The holidays were upon us, and I was excited to be taking my annual Christmas vacation. My husband and I finished our final shopping. My sons zoomed around the house, eating up everything in sight as fast as we could prepare it. My daughter and I watched Christmas movies unless if we weren’t in the kitchen baking and listening to Christmas songs. All in all, it was a wonderful time of the year for my family.
After the New Year, I returned to work refreshed and ready to tackle the mounds of work I knew would be waiting. As usual, my inbox (electronic and physical) would be overflowing literally and figuratively. It didn’t matter because I had two and a half weeks of rest time to see me through and a positive mindset accompanying me.
Unbeknownst to me, my world was about to be turned upside down. How would I be able to continue writing my books, hosting my personal blog, writing for two other companies’ blogs, and marketing myself when I had lost everything that meant anything to my writing world?
During mid-January, I learned that somehow I had missed a couple of very important emails from one of my company’s vendors. These emails contained several invoices for the final quarter of the year. Apparently, the emails had been sent during October.
Rewind the tape to October.
It’s the busiest time of year for me at work. I have to provide budget reports, input budget data for the upcoming fiscal year, and provide other annual financial reports for twenty-two branch locations. Not to mention my daily responsibilities, and I was training my new manager on the accounting software.
Those missed emails turned into a fiasco. The vendor never reached out to me prior to January to determine why I had not replied to their emails or why they had not received payment. I had requested all vendors send a final statement of outstanding invoices to me in December and again at the first of January. The revelation of missed invoices was a shock to me, my boss, and our client.
Someone had to take the blame. I lost all three of my work-from-home days and was now required to come into the office daily. I was angry and bitter. All of the relaxation and restoration I had received over my two-and-a-half week holiday was out the window. I wanted to quit my job and I blamed the world. I could not fathom why the vendor would not provide the information requested, and why they waited so long to follow up about payment. I would not comprehend how losing my work-from-home days would resolve anything. I did not understand how the same people who, weeks before had previously discussed my exemplary performance over the last five years, could now hold my toes to the fire.
My husband kept me strong through this period. He knew what I had given to my job. He saw the commitment and dedication I poured into everything I did. He continued to speak words of encouragement and faith to me. Some days I could receive it, and other days I could not.
I pulled away from every project I worked on with the exception of the blogs. I had made a commitment to two companies, which I would honor; and I had two annual events featuring other authors on my blog. I poured myself into making sure those commitments went off without a hitch. Yet, as time went on, I realized my heart and soul was not into everything as it once had been.
During this time, my prayers were routine and my study of the Bible had begun to decline. I continued to read it daily, but I was not studying His Word to show myself approved (2 Timothy 2:15). Hopelessness rose within me as I began losing several hours per week to a commute, which could have been spent writing. Productivity declined with the multiple interruptions. I simply could not focus. At home, my office is quiet and efficient with no distractions. Tired at the end of the day from the commute and everything required at the office, I felt as if I had no time to create and market my products. Toss in spending time with my family, writing’s pretty much out the door. I needed hope in what appeared to be a hopeless situation.
One day, my husband spoke to me and helped me to understand that I must fight even harder. I must fight the good fight and not give in to the negative energy threatening to consume me. Meditating on Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 11:28-30, and Romans 8:28 gave me comfort and hope. Psalm 147:3 brought me light. He promised to heal me!
(Want more? Continue reading Chelle’s story in the next article, “Following the Truth.”)
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