Monday, May 23, 2011

The Final Countdown

Wow its been a long time since I have blogged. I think the desire has always been there but sadly there has been no time. Poor excuse but some how I suspect in the days and months ahead, I will be doing a lot more reflection and so I'm hoping to revive this blog a bit :-). 

This week is the final countdown. After working for over 23 years in the corporate world, I am hanging up my corporate booths to move into a new role with an NGO (Non Governmental organization). I can't believe I have worked so long but then again, time has a way of passing by quickly and yet I would not trade all the wonderful and amazing experiences I have had. Business has always been one of my passions and so I never really saw these jobs as just 'jobs'. I loved what I did and especially my most recent job in investment banking. I loved advising stock brokers what stocks to buy and experiencing the adrenalin high of seeing the value of stocks go up and also feeling quite the opposite when they went down. If anything I have learned from the financial world and the volatility of the stock markets is how easily one's emotions can be so captivated by what happens in the markets. I have learned much about what it means to have Jesus as my rock, who never changes when circumstances changes. He is always in control regardless of what is happening in the stock market.

So as I begin to take stock of all these wonderful career opportunities, I have seen the many ways in which the Lord has used them to equip and train me with so many different skills which I now take with me into a whole new role as Country Director in Cambodia of Ratanak International . Going from an environment of capitalism, of investing in stocks, to investing in lives, how can one compare. There really isn't any comparison. The Lord has given me an incredible privilege of investing in young lives who have been rescued from child sex trafficking in Cambodia in an effort to restore dignity, hope and new life into lives that have known much pain and suffering. This yet again represents another privilege to live out a dream and a life long passion. 

And so these next two months, I am entering into the phase of 'transition.' I'e been reading a book by William Bridges entitled 'Transitions' and in it Bridges notes: 'change is situational. Transition, on the other hand is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner orientation and self redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won't work because it doesn't take. All transitions are composed of 1) an ending, 2) a neutral zone and 3) a new beginning

Indeed this is what I feel I am entering into. 'Transition always starts with an ending' and for me, it is the end of a corporate career, the end of certain friendships, the end of a certain way of life, the end of a certain lifestyle and even the end of a certain identity. It is for all intents and purposes a death and it involves learning to embrace the loss, to grieve it. In many ways, I think that grieving process has already begun for with each passing year as I have traveled back from Cambodia, there was always an ache in my heart. An ache to be there and to let go of here but perhaps it was more poignant last summer when I returned to Toronto and realized that something internally had shifted in me. Toronto maybe my home but my heart was already in Cambodia. So as I wrap up this final week at work, I am waiting and wondering to see what my emotions will be. 

Last Friday my boss was in town to say goodbye and I was surprised by my emotional reaction but at the same time I knew it would happen. He has been an incredible support to me and I am thankful for working with a man who had such integrity and fairness, always looking out for my best interests and always covering my back. That is a rarity in the corporate world but I give thanks to God for giving me such a wonderful boss who demonstrate such leadership and care for his staff. 

So for these next two months, it appears as though I am entering into the 'neutral zone' . Bridges goes onto describe the neutral zone as this: 'that apparently empty in between time when, under the surface of the organizational situation or invisibly inside you, the transformation is going on. Everything feels as though it is up for grabs and you don't quite know who you are or how you're supposed to behave, so this feels like a meaningless time. But it is actually a very important time. During your time in the neutral zone, you are receiving signals and cues---if only you could decipher them as to what you need to become for the next stage of your work life. And unless you disrupt it by trying to rush through the neutral zone quickly, you are slowly being transformed in to the person you need to be to move forward in your life.

I guess I am in a temporary state of unemployment --- in between jobs since my new role doesn't 'officially' begin till August.I suppose all the purging and cleaning I am doing during this time is really about getting rid of the 'old' and preparing for the 'new'. It is another form of letting go and dealing with the uncertainty of what this 'new life' will be like in Cambodia. Strangely enough, I feel as though the Lord is protecting me and shielding me as I can't say I'm too perturbed about the uncertainty. There is much peace in my soul as I rest in the truth that He has called me and because of that, I believe He will take care of the details so why do I need to be preoccupied with the future. He is the One who holds my world in His hands so I am simply called to rest in His faithfulness and not worry.

As I think about what transitions means, the scripture that comes to mind is from the the book of Ecclesiastes:

A Time for Everything

 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace

Indeed all that I am and will be going through during this time involves dying, planting, uprooting, tearing down, building, weeping, laughing, mourning, dancing. Indeed it all these things and much more but for now, Jesus is teaching me to take it one day at a time. Christ is my daily bread and as I look to Him, He will keep me walking steadily along the course He has set before me. My job is to seek Him first, keep my eyes on Him and not look to the left or to the right. Thank you Jesus that you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End and also the Middle. What you start in each of us you will complete. It is these truths that I rest in, knowing that Jesus is sovereign and that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10) even through a season of transition, a season of ending, a season of uncertainty and a season of new beginnings. Thank You for being the Lord of all of our times. 


Hamster said...

Hey, are you doing? Missed seeing you on my most recent 48-hr. trip back home.

Praying for you as you make this huge transition! Can't believe you're actually going to Cambodia full-time. I'm excited for this new phase in your life.

Also, have your Christmas card/gift at my parents' place in Etobicoke, if you are free sometime to pick it up after church sometime. (An order of your fav SB face product...)

Miss you and hope you're doing well.


Born to Worship You said...

Thank you for sharing this post, I learned a lot from it, I Pray that God will shower a more blessings to you! :)

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