My last year as a banker, I accepted a new position and transferred to a branch across town. It would be an understatement to say I was excited. I was beyond pumped to start there, have a corner office, help customers with their finances, and above all, make more money.
My bubble burst within the first few weeks. I lost a hundred dollars on my first day (it was brought back by an honest customer later on). My new position’s training had been pushed back, meaning I would act as an interim position in the meantime. I realized quickly that I didn’t click or have anything in common with my coworkers. And I had been involved in car crash that left me in physical pain, made me miss a week of work, and scared me out of my mind.
The next six months only got worse. When I wasn’t getting pressured to up-sell and open as many accounts as possible, I was constantly being put down and socially isolated. It was everything from backhanded compliments, to snide remarks, to undermining my authority in front of customers. Day in and day out, I would arrive at work with the best intentions and willing to compromise, and was met with the coldness and eye-rolling of mean girls. At one point, I was even accused of stealing from the company – something I was almost immediately cleared from but stuck with me.
During that time, I was also going through painful personal growth with friendships and leftover hurt from relationships, and healing slowly from my car accident. My depression had hit an all time low, and health problem after health problem started to emerge.
That whole year was a disheartening, damaging experience that I didn’t know I carried with me until recently.
Fortunately, there are a few things I’ve learned.
I’ve started the journey of reclaiming that old innocence and sincerity. Simply said, it’s not easy. After experiencing a hostile work environment and getting my confidence crushed, I started to retreat. I didn’t want to feel that kind of hurt again, so the innocent, wide-eyed version of me – the one who always saw the good in people and loved freely – started to disappear.
I had been burned and betrayed, so I stopped being as kind with others and myself as before. I let biting opinions roll off my tongue more often, until it was the majority of my conversations. I mastered passive aggression and became irritated more easily. I judged people harshly and liked it because I felt I was absolutely right.
I wasn’t a bubbly, excitable junior banker anymore, and that attitude carried on into my personal and professional life after finally resigning. Worst of all, I had mistaken my new, bitter outlook on life for maturity, and started showing God’s love less and my love more.
Friend, bitterness eats you alive. It picks at your insecurities and whispers injustices in your ear until it’s all you can think about. When you refuse to forgive, pain can consume you until you only see a shell of the person you used to be, and you have no idea where to go from there.
After all of that, God has been so merciful to me. He brought a new job that came with it’s own growing pains but I know is where I ultimately need to be. He’s kept amazing people in my life who love and support me. He’s put on my heart a renewed desire to pursue ministry, and brought to light heart issues that I need to address.
I’m still on that journey of healing and rebuilding trust, confidence, and kindness. I forgive and still fail, but I try again and again.
If this story says anything I hope it says this: Jesus died for you and is in your brokenness. Not just part of it, but right at the center and experiencing every pain with you. Every bit of bad news, every cutting word, each confusing and heart-wrenching step. He loves you when you’re a jerk and when your heart gets broken. He loves the snarky, self-righteous you, and the confused, insecure you.
He can help you re-cross the t’s and re-dot the i’s that came undone under the pressure of not being good enough. All the while holding you and saying that, because of him, YOU ARE good enough.