One morning, I came home tired and frustrated and posted a tongue-in-cheek excerpt of my night that was not taken too well by my supervisors at work, and was immediately called into work to have a talk with the warden. My explanation of the post was not enough to soothe his inquiries, so I resigned immediately in order to quieten any unintended uphevals that my post had caused -- even though the post had been deleted.
My time at the prison had been a blessing, but the mental and emotional turmoil it wreaked on my heart, due to the constant mind-games that the inmates played on a daily basis, made resignation some-what of a relief. I felt that God was telling me it was time to move on to something more "peaceful". I needed to rest.
I had done the smart thing in saving every penny of my money after bills in order to have something in case of another situation where I had to leave work. And, I was informed that I would be able to re-apply at my job in six months, should I desire to.
I decided to try my hand at direct sales. I signed up to sell Watkins Products on the internet. I mourned over the fact that I was told I would never again be able to sell Avon years before, due to my ex's intrusion on my finances and the past due bill -- even though it was paid off in time.
I was good at selling Avon.
Out of a sense of nostalgia, I put in my application to be an Avon Independent Sales Representative, anyway. I was expecting to be denied.
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
I was accepted immediately. I was overjoyed, and praised God! I felt that God was giving me a second chance, and that it was in His will that I do this.
It was during this time that I began to speak to someone from my past. Many great memories of times we had together and unfinished business began to flood my heart. I began to long for a life that I felt should have been mine. I begin to reflect and over-think on what life could be like again, if given the chance.
I started praying for relief for my heart. I knew it was all in the past, never to return. But, I believed in a God who performed miracles; and so, I prayed for a new start. I wanted easy. I wanted to build on something that was already there.
God had restored so much in my life. Could He not restore this, too?
In six years of being single, I had come to be independent and secure in myself. I had no need of any relationship with the opposite sex, and did not desire the change in my life-style that it would bring. I certainly had no desire for the heart-ache that I knew it could bring if the answer was "no". And, I knew myself well enough that I still did not trust my own judgment.
But, I felt that if I was going to go into any kind of relationship, I was going to go ALL in. I wanted to be able to say I gave it my all; so, I did. I gave it everything I had. Every day I prayed on my knees for an opening. Every day I prayed for a miracle to give me the future I felt that life had stolen from me due to bad decisions from my past that I had no control over.
It was during this time that I found out how easy it was to lose all self-respect and create distance with God. I fought this as best I could, but realized that my worst weakness was my emotions. I even came to a point, briefly, where I was angry and willing to throw everything about who I had become out the window to make the point that I did not need this pain. I thank God that He stepped in to make that impossible for me by thwarting every move I made. One mistake did not deserve another.
I started working at a local diner as a cook to help off-set my bills and personal expenses as I worked to build up my Avon business. I worked hard to be a good employee, in spite of the low pay and odd hours. At times, my job was respite from the turmoil that my heart was going through, and I took out all my emotions by working hard physically, so I wouldn't have to think about anything -- but, came home only to find that the desire was still as strong, if not stronger than ever.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
After a year in wallowing in self-pity over having made the mistake of trusting my heart again in vain, I began to long for God to fill my life with the same joy and abundant life I had before realizing what I DIDN'T have. I prayed that He would either give me my heart's desire, or take the desire away from me. At times, I felt God was answering with, You made this mess. YOU fix it.
I kicked myself hard on a daily basis, and through my prayers, for giving into the temptation of believing that something that was miles away from me was just at my fingertips.
In the meantime, God was still blessing me -- even though I certainly did not deserve it. I had fallen away, and felt that I was in a "rut"; but, in a way, I was still inching forward, heels dug in, trying to stop whatever progress God seemed to want to make in my life in favor of what I wanted so badly.
God is a gracious and merciful God, even though I didn't feel He was being "merciful" at all with my heart. And, I knew this and respected Him enough to say, "Thank you, anyway" with every prayer I prayed.
I paid off two of my biggest loans from the purchase of my home. Though I was still paying mortgage, my finances were relieved immensely.
And then, COVID-19 came along.