Last summer I gave my employer a one-year notice of my resignation from the company. I was worried that I might be separated immediately when they learned that I no longer had long-term goals that included them, but I also knew that they would eventually find out as word of our departure spread. I decided I wanted to control the message and I wanted to share my story with them regardless of the risk.
I met with my immediate supervisor who listened with very little comment. He just looked at me and said, "Chad, are you sure about this?" When I answered yes, he took a deep breath, looked me in the eye and again repeated his question. I responded, "yes, I am more sure of this than anything I have ever done." He stood up and said, "let's go talk to the president."
Within a few short minutes I found myself in the office of the company president and was telling our story of how adoption had changed our lives. I talked of the villages and the people of Guatemala. I spoke of their faith and how it challenged our own. I found words flowing out of my mouth with sincerity and deep-felt passion as I shared our goals... our dreams... our plans... our calling.
To my surprise she then shared with me some of her own story and I was overwhelmed with the parallels in our lives. Somehow it seemed that this conversation was meant to be. She ended with telling me that I had her support and the support of the company. I could remain employed up until the time I chose to leave.
Within a few weeks I began phasing out of my position and was re-assigned from my district role to a management assignment in a retail store. I hadn't worked in a store for nearly 7 years and I had a great deal to learn and re-learn.
The store had heard bits of my story before my arrival, and when I was there face to face I quickly learned that I had to be better at telling exactly what we were going to do in Guatemala. Suddenly I was publicly sharing my faith on a daily basis. Within time, I learned to love telling the story! They helped me re-gain my footing and become effective.
I have been with this team now for 6 months and they asked me how they could help us raise money for our mission. One of the ladies, Sue had an idea to buy and sell bracelets. I told her that I had a box of about 100 hand-braided bracelets from Guatemala and showed her the one on my wrist. Within 48 hours she and the ladies in the front office had sold the entire lot to our co-workers.
I left work this past Friday with a smile on my face, and a lump in my throat... everywhere I looked, the men and women that I have worked beside these last few months had Guatemalan bracelets tied on their wrists. One by one they came to me to show that they wanted to be part of our life's goal. Some have even made long-term commitments to giving.
God knows the need and desire of our hearts. When we follow his path, he works in ways that we can not see. What began as a tentative step for me in sharing my faith with co-workers has brought us together to this point of shared vision.
I have less than 100 days now with the 9-1-9, and I plan to make each on count. I am thankful for these days.
That's how we do it at the 9-1-9!