|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on June 1, 2010 at 2:58 PM|
Wow, it has been quite some time since I've written here. There have been many changes in my life in the last few months. The most recent event has allowed something in me to die, to be reborn. As is with any death, you have to have a time of grief and mourning. Both of these processes are ment to heal, and not to harm. "Growth is the goal of the Christian. Maturity is mandadory... If you are the same Christian you were a few months ago, be careful." Max Lucado "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..." Hebrews 6:1 Yes, growth is what is happening in my life. May 26, 2010 will be a date that I won't forget for some time to come. A date where something in me died. Where the old self is being given an opporunity to grow, to mature, to live, to strive. Death, in this case is good. When God closes one door, He is in a position to open not only other doors, but windows, by which he is able to pour out so many blessing, that we don't have room to receive. He is an awesome God. I continue to learn life's lessons every day. This year I will be 1/2 a Century Young/Old, however you'd like to think of it, but I'm getting better and stronger in Christ every day. I truly enjoyed my time working with ACS and seeing the way we improved the quality of life for cancer patients on a daily basis. I do hope and pray that the quality and level of services available will not suffer because of the recent RIF. My last 5/6 months at the Society have been no bed of roses, but my Lord has sustained me none the less. In recent months it had become increasingly difficult to go into the office each day. Goals were being met, tasks were being completed, and programs and services were being implemented around the state. That was not enough, the criticism was constant and blinding at times. Creativity was squashed, and new ideas were not welcome. Yes, God had been trying to tell me something for months. After my return from FMLA in January, I began to experience challenges in the office like you would not have imagined, but still my God brought me through. On January 4, 2010, the first day I returned to the office after surgery and Christmas Vacation, the Lord began to speak to me. I began to clear the office of any personal belongings or anything that was of me. I had somehow sensed that tmy life with ACS was about to come to an end. Slowly but surely life was being drained from me in the office. I was so thankful for family, friends, sister's Grace and Mercy, and the love of my holy Father. They were all there to sustain me and replenish my daily losses. Yes, death was creeping closer and closer. Finally, I realized the end was near the morning I removed the Relay For Life quilt from my office. My mother is a quilter, and this was the first quilt I had created, from Relay t-shirts strips of purple cloth, and love for an organization and mission that would have been respected in other societies, but that was ok. I had begun to sense a peace and calm like no other, and was ready for anyting that came my way. On Wednesday afternoon, May 26, I was not at all surprised by the visitors to my office who politely shut the door and explained to me that my position was being eliminated. I was ok in knowing that as this door was closing, my God was opening others, and others, and others. What did not sit right with me was being forced to put what little I did have left into a box, and being escorted out of the office like a common criminal. That aspect of the process is both embarassing and discouraging. Where I like to see the general good in people, this process is set up to expect the worst, and why then are they surprised, when they receive the worst from some. Dignified as I could, I proceeded to place a few personal items in a box, collect other goods, and a few personal files. I was not able to say goodbye to friends, nor take a moment to accept the idea that I was being force to walk away from 10 good years of service. No one thanked me for that service either. So we end up here today. Days from the event, and I am feeling better. Better about the organization, and better about what they have been forced to do in these difficult financial times. I wish them well, and can only pray that everyone else in the RIF will land on their feet. I have met some great friends during my time with ACS, but this process has torn us apart without even a way to reconnect. E-mails, gone, phone numbers, gone, address books, gone, and friends scattered to the far edges of the state, gone. I know I have the christian strength to recover from this, and pray that God will look upon not only those who call His name, but those you need to get to know Him, during this time of grief I have learned a great lesson from this experience, and know the importance of serving one God with character. From this experience, I have learned that the thoughts, feelings, and actions we participate in today form the kind of person we will be tomorrow. I am choosing not to be bitter, but to build on the experience I have gained from ACS, and to trust even more deeply in God. "...choose for yourself this day whom you will serve... as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15. Everything happens for a reason, and I feel that even though my season with ACS is over, my new season in life is just beginning.