At a time that now feels like an eternity ago, I found myself in a dark place mentally. I was stuck in what seemed like a dead-end job with a colleague I was convinced was determined to suck the soul out of me. I turned to unhealthy vices to subdue my feelings but found nothing I tried on my own would work. It was shortly after, during a weekend series at my church, I found my identity was not in my circumstances, but rather in my relationship with Jesus Christ. Slowly, as I grew in faith, I started to shift my mindset and notice the small and beautiful things all around me. I found joy in the midst of suffering, and I began to develop meaningful relationships with my coworkers who I realized were struggling with personal trials of their own. I created a Bible study at work, where we’d pray before each workday for the armor of God to protect us and would process our emotions together. We even prayed for blessings upon our difficult colleague, which wasn’t an easy prayer to pray; however, God eventually redeemed it!
I believe God used this period of time to train me to rely solely on Him and learn how to manage my emotions effectively. God has blessed me richly (literally) since then, bringing me to bigger and better opportunities in new organizations where my salary and responsibilities have grown six times. Even today, as I lead teams and on occasion encounter challenging people, I’ve been able to use the skills I developed in that season of growth to reset and refocus my mind, ultimately giving my burdens to Jesus and asking Him to intercede on my behalf. I am a better man, joyful guy and unshakable son of the King through it all. -Daniel R.