For eleven months a co-worker has jumped at every chance to point out mistakes I have made. Although the woman works in another department, one week a month she relieves me at the front desk for breaks and lunch. Since I perform clerical back up to all departments I often carry out tasks for her. Nothing is ever done to her satisfaction and I receive numerous lectures on how to be professional and how important it is to be accurate. I accept the points and tips to perform better and brush off the insinuations that I am purposely being negligent - until last week.
I was responsible for a huge project affecting all regional offices including ours. (We are the Regional office for one and a half states.) Unfortunately, this project was one this woman has handled for the past eight years. Her criticism has me paranoid to the point of doubting my self on everything I do, not just this project. She got under my skin and it is affecting my job and I have to find a way to handle the situation. The woman is a veritable icon in the office and there is no way she will be reprimanded or removed. If I want this job, which I do very much (except for this woman it is the best job I have ever held) it is cope or leave.
As I read my e-mails last night (Friday) I prayed to God, asking for help and guidance. I opened a forwarded e-mail with a beautiful picture of Jesus holding out His arms, beckoning the reader (me) to come to Him. It reminded me of my vision years ago when I saw Him face to face. He told me He loved me just as I was – flawed and imperfect. It didn’t matter how often I failed. What mattered was that I kept trying.
I went to bed with that thought in my mind and in the wee hours of the morning, I heard His voice. He gave me this prayer to recite after this woman’s lectures: Dear God, you know what is in my heart. You know my true intentions and although I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes, You still love me and that is all that really matters. He added instructions: After reciting this prayer I am to counter her negativity by reminding myself of something I have done right, of a memory that will boost my confidence rather than shredding it.
My morning devotions re-emphasized this. Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman: The oil of kindness has worn the sharp hard edges off many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable, ready to receive the redeeming grace of the Savior. A pleasant word is a bright ray of sunshine on a saddened heart. Therefore, give others the sunshine and tell Jesus the rest.
And so, I will retain tips on how to do a better job and throw away the negative. I will try to be a ray of sunshine to my co-workers, sifting the chaff from the wheat and reminding myself the only opinion that matters is God’s.