**This is a long entry. However it is a very inspirational one.**
This week has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve got so much energy and excitement right now that I can barely contain it. A little more than an hour ago I submitted my letter of resignation with two weeks notice to my current boss. My reasons of how things came to this point I will explain throughout this entry.
About a year ago I began to start attending church again. When I say again, I mean that it’s been a good 12 years since I’ve been a member of any church and attended regularly. I have a ton of reasons why I chose not to attend church, but explaining why would take about 25 paragraphs. Anyway, I began attending church with my fiancée. It was a Sunday evening service at 6pm and I was real hesitant to get up from my day of viewing football to attend. However, I decided to go with her. The service was pretty good and I enjoyed the message that day. The following Sunday, we went again and I started to become more comfortable in the environment of the church. After not going for a while, it felt weird at first. My only reasons for being in church had been for weddings and funerals, that was it. Now I was back and the feeling in my heart was a positive one.
Now, I was raised to believe that when people run around the church like the Olympics and did all that hollering, screaming and jumping over pews like hurdles, that it was more for show. That stuff used to give me the creeps for real. When I attended churches and that occurred, I’d politely excuse myself and go to my car for a while and then return after the antics were over. However, this church did not have that type of environment. People got their spirit in various ways, but there wasn’t a lot of nonsense so to speak. The pastor was a young brotha and I could really feel his message. His talks were more like conversations and not sermons. The brotha kept it real and talked about his life experiences, which made me feel more at ease. I started to not care about football as much and looked forward to attending each week. Now anyone who knows me must know that getting me away from the TV or stadium on Football Sunday was a miracle in itself.
Fast forward to this past spring. After attending services regularly since that first day (with a few misses here and there), I decided to join the church. The reverend made the call to the congregation for those who wanted to join the church and seek salvation. My fiancée and I walked together to the front of the church and at that point I felt a ton of weight lifted from my soul. We decided to re-dedicate ourselves as a couple. Being that she was already a member, I was the one who needed to complete the new member orientation classes. I completed them sometime in August I believe. In September I was read into the church as a member and given the right hand of fellowship.
Now one issue that I always had issues with was giving up my money. To be straight to the point, I’m talking about tithing. Now I’d throw a $5 or a $10 in the offering plate every now and then, but I wasn’t going to give up 10% of my salary every time I went to church. However through growth in my faith I began to tithe regularly at some point in the summer. It wasn’t easy at first because I’d look at my checkbook and say “I could use this to buy _______”. But I remained faithful, continued to tithe and attend church regularly.
Getting to the job situation. I’ve been at the same job for 4 years as an Audiovisual Technician at one of the largest media companies in the world. I do sound, lighting, video, editing, videoconferencing, web casts, etc. About 10 months ago, my co-worker (other technician) resigned. That left me and my immediate boss to cover 65 multimedia rooms serving 2500 employees. Now you would figured that assuming the responsibilities of my co-worker as well as my own would grant a ‘moderate’ boost in salary. However that day never came. The bad timing of it all was that my review came a few weeks before my co-worker left and I was given my annual 4% at that time. They didn’t feel the need to make any adjustments after losing a member of the staff. I’ve been truly working as hard as a brotha can work since the early part of February. Since that time. I’ve been looking around and interviewing here and there, but nothing in the salary range that would allow me to depart. I refused to make lateral moves for small increases.
Now the commute daily of 40 miles each way to work from MD to VA was taking its toll on me. My doctors discovered degenerative disks in both my neck and back less than 2 months ago, but the pain has been there for some time. Sitting in traffic daily only aggravated my condition more. One night as I lay in bed writhing in pain I asked God to look out for me. I talked about my physical pain and my desire to find an employer that would appreciate me financially. I didn’t think I asked for too much, I only wanted about a 15% – 18% increase over my current annual. I prayed on many other things in my life as well.
About 3 weeks ago while Googl’n on a Saturday afternoon I saw a listing for a position similar to the one that I’m in now, but in downtown DC. I attached my resume, hit the submit button and received a confirmation as with tons of jobs I’ve applied for in the past. A week later I received a phone call from the HR representative. From there I did a phone interview which was successful enough for me to get an in-person interview which took place this past Tuesday. I walked into the company conference room and was grilled by 5 members of the staff on my resume, my knowledge of audiovisual and IT, my educational background, etc. They threw everything that they could throw at me and I remained cool. I answered each question to their satisfaction and didn’t break a sweat. I prayed a few moments before entering that conference room and I had the strength and determination that the Lord gave me that afternoon. I felt a wave of quiet confidence in my technical abilities and didn’t waver one bit.
Five hours after I left my interview, I received a voicemail call from their HR manager. They wanted to talk with me further about taking the next step. I returned the voicemail, but they had closed for the evening. Wednesday morning they called me back and made me an offer. Not just any offer, but a 39% increase over my current salary. Yes, I said 39%!!!! I’m not going to even front, I cried like a baby. Maaaan, my eyes are watering right now as I type this. Without hesitation or need for further negotiation, I accepted the offer on the spot. That evening as I drove home from work I made a detour. My partners wanted to celebrate over some drinks, but I knew where I needed to be. I drove straight to church for Bible study. I had to give praise where the praises were due. The Lord gave me that strength to go in that interview and knock those folks out. This was the first time I had been to Bible study in close to 25 years. Yet, I needed to celebrate in the house of the Lord.
I was overjoyed that night and had to go to church and say “Thank You”. Now anyone who knows me is aware that I’m not a ‘holy roller’, but I’ve grown in my faith and spirituality over the past year. I’m far from perfect and like all of us I still have my battles and temptations, but it feels good to know that God is working with me and still blessing me. As I entered into the sanctuary, I sat down in the pew beside my future mother-in-law who had no clue I was coming to church that night. She told me that she had prayed for my success in the interview and she gave me a big, warm motherly hug. After brief selections from the Praise Team, the Reverend came to the podium. His topic for the evening… Financial Faithfulness. He spoke about the blessings and rewards we get when we give God that 10% and how Christians are blessed when we do tithe. It was incredible to me that his message that night was perfect for what I was going through. The Lord does hear and answer prayers folks, he really does. Now I’m going to a new job, I have the ability for more growth professionally and financially and my commute will either be by car or subway to downtown DC each day. No more sitting in my car for 2 hours a day with neck and back pains.
God is good I tell ya… I feel truly blessed!!!!!