I've obviously not posted in some time. There've been many changes in my life, including a new employment situation that comes with a longer commute. My time for writing is reduced. I do not let writing intrude on family time.
I feel very fortunate and blessed to make a positive job move in times like these and there's been a couple of situations lately where I've felt something that I know not everyone is feeling right now. It's relief.
As I begin to write about the first, I realize that I need to be discreet. Although I understand that the person who gave me relief had the discretion to do so, I don't want any chance that the person would get in trouble.
Through ignorance of my own, some fees I owed accumulated over the last couple of years. When I became aware of my mistake, I owed nearly $2,500 (that I didn't have). As I reviewed the paperwork associated with these fees, I saw that there were some numbers handwritten on the form. There was a way to make it look like I would only owe fees for a few months. The temptation was great to manipulate the numbers to my own advantage. Because I was not able to address the situation immediately I would vacillate, in my mind, between being tempted and dismissing the idea.
"I could save us over $2,000!"
"I could be charged with manipulating official documents."
"No one would know or care!"
"I would know."
"People must do this stuff and get away with it every day!"
"I don't have the money to pay this fee!"
"That doesn't make it right."
In the mean time, I had given notice at my work. When I left, I met with my boss and he paid me a compliment. He said, "The thing I really like about you, Kim, is that you're a man of integrity." On my last day, I received severance pay that gave me enough to pay the fees. I could really have used the money for some other critical necessaries, but this was the most pressing. I went to the office and waited for over two hours with hundreds of other people to pay my fees. The whole time, the forms were in my hands. I had the appropriate colored ink pen. Two little flicks of the pen and I could potentially be off the hook or charged with forgery. I prayed for strength to resist temptation. "That is just not the sort of person I am. I am a man of integrity." My number was called. I resigned myself to paying the fee. As I walked up to the clerk, I actually did pray and asked God for mercy and that somehow, I would be relieved of paying these fees.
The clerk took my paperwork and reviewed it.
"Did you know that you should have taken care of this over two years ago?"
I answered, "No, not until recently."
"Do you realize that you'll have to pay the fees for the last two years and the upcoming year and late fees?"
"I understand that, yes," I answered, dejectedly.
The clerk looked at me. Looked at the paperwork. Looked at me again.
"Well.....I'm not going to make you do it."
The clerk took a pen and made two little flicks on the form.
"You owe $307."
I thanked the clerk and wrote the check.
As I walked out of that office, I got choked up. My eyes filled and I felt like a giant load was lifted from my spirit. I felt relieved. I called Gwen and related the story. We talked about how, in the past, I might not recognize or appreciate how God was at work in my life. I do recognize and appreciate it now. What spiritual lessons were there to learn? Going for the feelings, I recognized how incredibly exhilarating it is to experience relief. To know that I was in debt and to have that debt removed was a touching experience. I'm determined to look for opportunities to help others feel relieved. It will cost me, I know. To relieve someone else, I will have to shirk some wrong done to me, will have to take on someone else's debt, will shoulder the blame that someone else should take.
Sound familiar? It will be worth it, if I can be more like Him.