When God Called Me to Stay
How often do we pray for God to change our situation? We land somewhere outside of our comfort zone and pray that God will take away our pain and that He will lead us down a better path. For me, it was 1986; I had been out of college for just under two years and was working in the technical recruiting industry in the Dallas area. The company that I was working for was expanding and I was offered a promotion to move to the Houston office. They had a Houston team in place but told me that there were a “few issues in the Houston office.”
Immediately after arriving in Houston I began to see how difficult this situation was going to be. The first issue was that Houston was suffering very high unemployment of over 9 %. This was of course more than a small problem in the recruiting business. My biggest struggle though was not the unemployment rate but the other employees in our Houston office. Not only were none Christians, they also ridiculed me for my faith. The other managers in Houston told me I “stuck out like a sore thumb.” My supervisor in Houston would come in to my office and write that our new name was going to be called the “Christian Staffing Center” and laugh.
This was an unbearable situation and I started to pray that God would show me the open door to a new situation. But the more I prayed the more God told me to stay. I couldn’t believe it; I really thought that I needed to remove myself from this job. It was not only the team and the teasing but more importantly my immediate boss was pushing me constantly to do things I felt were unethical. Truly a situation where I could have felt justified walking out of, but I really wanted God’s direction and God was saying to stay.
God’s message to me at that time was one simple message; He was calling me to stay. The message from Philippians 4:6-7 was what I felt God was telling me. “Do not be anxious about anything … And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I felt he was calling me to be a Christian in business and he wanted me to live my faith 7 days a week-not just on Sunday’s. If I would do that for Him then I felt that God was promising me His peace. My fiancé and I (now my husband) discussed this and prayed. My words prayed for “God’s will in my life” but I know my heart prayed for change and for God to call me to a new situation. Yet, when He called me to stay-I obeyed.
That first year in Houston was so difficult, I struggled with fears that I would be fired for taking the stands that I took and also my own personal desire to quit. However, in small ways whenever I needed encouragement, God was there with me encouraging me and offering his perfect peace. I would see Him in the workplace. Sometimes it was in a coworker asking for advice, or other managers thanking me for taking the tough stands that I took. Even in my immediate manager that so ridiculed me when I came to Houston, I started seeing small signs of God’s work in her life.
God ended up keeping me there for over 20 years, our Houston office was slowly transformed. My boss became my friend and my sister in Christ. The change in our Houston organization was nothing short of miraculous. It was so amazing to see God’s hand at work. God’s lesson has stayed with me through my adult life; He has showed me that although our situation may not be easy, when we seek His will, we will have His peace. With God’s peace all things are possible.
*Note: The author’s name is a pseudonym.