ARE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE?

July 17, 2017 

Exodus 3:9-11 (NLT)
Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:1 (NLT)
But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?

Exodus 4:10-17 (NLT)
10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

In the late 70’s to early 80’s I was working for a major department store.  Initially I went to work for this company to complete an internship that was part of my college graduation requirements.  Upon graduation I was hired to work for an Interior Design company.  With this company I worked on a draw vs. commission basis as an Interior Designer.

In order to have funds to tide me over until I established my clientele,  I decided to seek a part-time position with the same company that I had done my internship with,  and thank goodness that I did.  Shortly after going to work for the Interior Design company which was a family owned business, the owner’s wife became very ill with some type of liver disease. 

This was a family owned business and the owner and his son, who also worked for the company decided to shut the business down since the owner’s wife’s role in the business was so vital.  She worked in the office as the bookkeeper as well as she assisted clients with their design needs.  My college degree was in Interior Design so I felt totally confident that I could handle that end of the business. Bookkeeping however, was a whole different story and definitely not my thing. Sadly the decision was made to close the business when the business owners wife’s health began declining more rapidly and she would need someone home to help care for her.

I was back to square one. So I decided that it only made sense that I would seek full time employment where I had done my internship, after all my foot was already in the door there.  The people at the store liked me and I felt that I could transition easily from a part-time to a full time position. When I went back there were no full time positions available in the departments that I had previously worked in. I made the decision to accept whatever was available since I now had my own apartment and I was responsible for paying my own rent each month.   However, this would be quite a detour from Interior Design.  I ended up working for this retail company for 15 years.  Looking back, I guess I had accepted the fact that this job was paying the bills, and that was what was most important. I was actually making good money because I was paid commissions on all of my sales. However, there was always something in the back of my mind that made me feel like I had abandoned my dream of becoming an Interior Designer, which was what I really wanted to do. I took on small design projects here and there just to keep my skills up and because I enjoyed it so much.  

In that 15-year span at the department store I worked in several departments. 
I sold carpet, sewing machines, and vacuum cleaners but I made the most money selling washers and dryers, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves and ranges.  These were considered ” Big Ticket Items” so the commissions were higher.  Little did I realize that being trained in the world of Sales was preparing me for a life of working in Sales.

I was content in the Major Appliance department because I enjoyed the people that I worked with and we really all had become great friends.

Things took a change however,  when the company started to have major layoffs. Back then when a company laid you off, if you had done a great job and you were liked, the company would call you back when things started to improve. I had already survived one layoff.  

After a few weeks of being laid off this time however, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of waiting for the store to call me back, I began searching for positions within the company but in different locations. Finally, I was hired at a different location and was placed in the large appliance department just as I had worked in before.  Once again things were shaken up a bit, when the new store had to start cutting back on staff as well. 

Because the company had reinstated my years of service when I came back to work for them, my seniority was still in place.  Since I had more seniority than several of the people that I worked with, I was able to keep my job.  However, I was relocated to different department within the store. Can you believe, the Tool Department?   Now those of you that know me, know that I am a Girly Girl and that the Tool Department would not be my cup of tea at all. I had bills to pay, so I had to go through with the transfer whether I wanted to or not. 

After a few weeks I realized that this could not be a long term gig for me. I was miserable to say the least!  Looking back, I now realize that God allowed me to be placed in an uncomfortable situation so that He could direct me to something better and something that I was better suited for.  This move to the tool department turned out to be one of my greatest blessings, because it forced me to take charge and not just accept something because it was someone else’s idea or desire for my life.  Trust me God had a much bigger and better plan and He definitely gets all the glory!

One day while working in the tool department the thought came to me, that I should start taking my days off to visit different wholesale showrooms to look at their products and set up accounts.  It was time for me to start my own business.  Although I only got to work for the Design company briefly, I was blessed that my boss had taught me so much about how to work with clients through the World Trade Center and the Design District.  I had already become very familiar with a lot of the furniture and fabric vendors that he had introduced me to.  I had also learned how to get out and solicit for business. I became the “Queen of Cold CaIls” I had learned things that are never taught in a classroom setting about the design business, so I felt totally prepared for this transition.  I just had to take the time on my days off from the store to do the leg work.  It would be weeks before I would really have a day off but I knew it would be worth it in the end.

I was bubbling over with excitement knowing that I was going to have my own Interior Design business. Weeks went by as I researched things and really got my plan together. My final step was to interview the best installers that I could possibly find, to install window treatments for my clients. 

The day had arrived, and I was finally able to walk into the company that I had worked for, for 15 years and say goodbye.   I don’t think that I have ever been so excited and scared at the same time.  In my heart I knew that it was time to leave and that’s just what I did.  Although I left the job years ago, I am thankful to say that I am still friends with several of the people that I worked with to this day.

Little did I know at the time, that this would be the beginning of a twenty year career for me in the Interior Design business. I have often wondered, if I would have ever left the department store had I not been placed in an uncomfortable setting.  I truly believe that God allows us to become uncomfortable for at least three reasons and they are to teach us, to grow us and to promote us to the next level in our lives.

If you are uncomfortable know that God is working.  Take time to re-evaluate your situation and ask yourself the following questions. 
1.  What is God trying to teach me from this experience?
2. Am I being disciplined through this experience?
3. Is there an area of my life where God wants me to grow more?
4. Is this experience preparation for my promotion?

There are times also when our doubts and fears make us feel uncomfortable. When God approached Moses about leading His people, Moses was uncomfortable because he did not feel qualified. He was insecure because of his speech impediment.  No matter what Moses’s insecurities were, God knew what He was doing and He had a reason and a purpose for selecting him to lead His people.  When we are the most uncomfortable is when we must also exercise the most faith and trust.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, later he was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife and was thrown into prison for several years. But God had a purpose and a plan for allowing his discomfort.  Joseph later became the ruler of all of Egypt.  Only God can take you from the prison to the palace.

Whatever the source just know that if you are uncomfortable God is at work.  This is an opportunity for God to work mightily through you and for you. He is up to something Big, so cooperate.  Surrender to His holy and perfect will for your life, so that you can move from uncomfortable to blessed and totally content. Only He can provide that sweet peace that surpasses all understanding. 
 

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