Posted by: nieophyte | January 6, 2009

Hands over eyes, big breath, giant step, here I go …

My last job at a to-be-left-unnamed magazine had its good moments and its bad. There was friendship and drama, great triumphs and desperate losses, personal achievements and also the sinking suspicion that I was being taken advantage of sometimes. It was a great and terrifying time of growth, challenge and sobering revelations about what it means to enter the job force.

Despite the inherent difficulties of working there, however, the one solace was that I was assured my work was needed there … and the times were not as tough as they are these days.

Now I find myself in a completely different situation. My worklife right now could not be any sweeter. The people, the boss, the content– all of it is a dream come true.

And yet now with the impounding realities of the economic crisis, it seems that every day is a ticking time bomb … will I make it to the end of the day? Every call into an office is received with fear. Every task is perceived as a test. And I’m left wondering, does the lord indeed give and taketh away?

In my times of despondent manic depression, while working on something at my desk, only to pause and wonder, is this all for nothing? I’ve turned to that ever present solace for all 9to5ers of our generation: gchat. Ah those blessed green dots that indicate all the friends that are there for you in your times of boredom and need (and those wretched red dots that just piss me off … I KNOW YOU’RE SITTING RIGHT THERE!).

On one such occasion, after a particularly sobering financial report from our leadership team, I went to my gchat to find my friend Sam alive and well in all his green glory. “I am going to get fired.” I typed. “I have no revenue generating purpose at this place … I’m effed.” And proceeded to whine and complain and bitch and moan and flip flop from hope to despair (maybe they will keep me because I am one of the few asians on staff? or maybe they will say one is enough and cut me!) to which Sam faithfully and kindly extended solace, counsel, encouragement … but finally, and  most importantly … a kick in the pants. Here, below is part of our conversation verbatim, thanks to gmail’s magnificent chat saving capabilities.


oh my gosh
if I lose my job
what will i do?
maybe i will go to the aveda institute and learn how to become a hair dresser

4:37 PM Samuel: your job is not yours to lose, God has you there presently, if you move on, it will not be “you lost your job,” it will be God gave you a new one =)

Glory. He was absolutely right, and with that chat my faith was reinstated in the truth that God is building a story in me that is beyond my control … he is the great author of my life and I am more than happy to let myself to be written.

It made me think of the time my friend Elizabeth and I decided to try and make peanut butter … the directions seemed easy enough: roast peanuts, remove skins, put through food processor, add oil and honey and voila! But with each step,  we fretted and worried. How was this bag of peanuts going to turn into the smooth creamy stuff we so loved? Had we roasted them properly? Had we skinned them thoroughly enough? In the end, it didn’t really look like the stuff we buy in the store. It didn’t look very good at all … it kind of looked like … silly puddy.

We looked down at our bowl of peanut scented silly puddy with the sober understanding that all that was left to do was to taste it. Shaky hands plunged our spoons into the stuff and slowly into our mouths … only to reveal the best damn peanut butter we’d ever had.

In remembering that moment, the truth sinks in and I am left with such great peace in knowing that my life is that peanut butter … my life is directions to be followed, steps to be taken, steps to be trusted, handed down to me from someone who knows better, who knows what the directions add up to. The best damn peanut butter the cosmos ever made.

My life is to be lost, and in losing … to be gained. Amen to that! My friends, my prayer for us this year is that we never forget that this life we lead is one of such amazing surrender and freedom. I pray we all live in the fullness of the call that God gives to his people to open our hearts and minds, to taste and see that the Lord is good.

Cheers to the new year!




  1. i know where you used to work! 🙂 love you lots. love your post.

  2. thanks for sharing, i kind of needed that too.
    i always enjoy your posts 🙂

  3. hey! g-chat me you punk! 😀

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