Today’s Pondering~Indirect hits…
Seven years ago, I was in Phoenix enjoying a week-long trip for work where I was supposed to learn all things Compliance. It was my first trip away by myself and I was a nervous wreck most of the week. I enjoyed being there, but I really wished my daughter could have made the trip with me. But it was a work trip and she was in school, so I had to go alone. I had never gone far from home without at least having my sister or my mom with me and the thought of being thousands of miles from everyone was terrifying. But the purpose of that trip was supposed to be to get the necessary training for Compliance Certification. Unfortunately, I was not able to get that certification. The subject matter was boring and without much context for me, given that I didn’t really work with that side of things at the time. It really hadn’t made much sense to be sent out there when the certification wasn’t required, but I thought it might be a good way for me to move up and so, I gave it a shot. Looking back, I can clearly see that the purpose of that trip had nothing to do with my success at the company where I worked at the time and everything to do with the success I would have later in life.
It was around 2016, and I’d been at my job for a couple of years. Most of what I did there involved making sure policies and procedures were updated regularly and reviewed or implemented as needed. I had worked with higher level information earlier in my career, but the type of work I was doing then wasn’t necessarily as complex as it was time-consuming. My reviews were great and I thought I got along well with most people. I wanted to do more, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
After Phoenix, I decided that if I could make that trip by myself, then there was nothing stopping me from traveling out that way again. And we did. For the next few years, we visited New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada several times and had even decided that when my daughter graduated from high school, we would move out to Vegas. I worked from home, so I figured I would be able to keep my job and easily relocate once she was done with school.
In late 2019, however, my position was eliminated and I was out of job. I talk a lot about this in my book, Rejected: The Cancellation of the Qualified Worker. The trip had no bearing on the decision to eliminate my job, at least not to my knowledge. I had a new supervisor and a new co-worker and before I knew it, I’d unwittingly trained my replacement. Sadly, all of the plans I’d been making since Phoenix were now off the table. Without a job, there could be no move. I could barely move within my hometown when I needed to, so going out of state with no support system nearby was out of the question.
In early 2020, COVID sucked the rest of the wind out of my remaining sails. It went from being difficult to move to outright impossible. I was unemployed for the better part of the next two and a half years; unable to find a position that fit my skills and experience but didn’t ask for that awful vaccination (which I would not take). Thankfully, I had some retirement money saved up and it carried me through the worst of it. I made up the rest with freelancing and contract work until I landed my current long-term temporary position.
We were able to maintain the basics; food, shelter, clothing, etc., but life had lost its lustre. The joy I’d felt while traveling was ripped away and I was stuck in a place where I didn’t want to be, struggling to make ends meet and dodging bill collectors who didn’t seem to understand that I don’t have access to the big money printer that is used by our government. Every time I would make a little progress, we’d have an emergency of some sort. My old car needed work, tires, etc., I would get sick with my usual yearly ailments and any work I missed meant that I wasn’t paid because I wasn’t a regular employee and didn’t have PTO. And then prices went ridiculously high on absolutely everything including a $150 a month increase in my rent that I hadn’t expected. Life wasn’t fun, but in spite of it all, I was happy.
I was happy because when I thought back to the days when my family was struggling and I was too young to do anything about it, I remembered that God had always brought me through whatever challenges presented themselves. This wasn’t the worst part of my life, not by a long shot. I’ve been through a lot in my fifty years and none of it has been able to completely knock me down. Poverty, depression, rape, multiple miscarriages, job loss, divorce, lost relationships with friends and family, and crippling depression and anxiety. I’ve seen all of this and healed from every bit of it. And God has always shown me in that healing that I never really understand what’s going on in my life until He decides to give me clarity and show me why it had to happen that way.
Sometimes He pushes me through things while I’m kicking and screaming, assuring me that He’s got this. Sometimes, He’s pulling me through each day, reminding me that I’m not yet where I need to be and that this day’s challenges are all part of tomorrow’s victories. And that I don’t need a full explanation until I’m actually ready to listen without putting my own spin on things. He’s done this with me for as long as I can remember; even when I wasn’t acknowledging that it was Him.
The point is that these things that seem significant may not be important for the reasons we think they’re important. The Phoenix trip wasn’t supposed to be a catalyst for my career at a company that ultimately didn’t care what happened to me. It was supposed to be the catalyst that caused me to see that there is a world outside of where I had confined myself for so long. It was supposed to show me that I can always see something new and build a new life when I’ve hit a dead end. And though I’m still in the middle of making that new life happen, I am more confident in my ability to reframe my life now than I would have been had I never ventured outside my comfort zone. And I’m hopeful that when the time is right, God will provide a way for me to do what I need to do.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos taken by Rebecca Benston at a resort in Phoenix, AZ.
My alter ego, Robin Stone, has a new story on Kindle Vella! Fresh Meat is a mystery you can sink your teeth into. It’s the first story in the Man-Eater’s Club series. Here, you’ll meet all of the girls and get a glimpse into their lives and the challenges they face. Start reading today on Kindle Vella!
answers author beliefs dreams empowerment faith God healing Learning lifestyle purpose society thinking values writer change empowerment faith God motivation moving forward pain
ronashively View All →
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.
Leave a Reply