My job ends soon. I’ve known Pentecostals in my past who prayed I would lose a job and who rejoiced when I lost a job, because they believed the job wasn’t the will of God for me or thought God needed to get my attention on something. There are probably people thinking the same things now. People from my former church have called and bragged that now they can get jobs, that the pastor told them they could probably get jobs now, and so forth. There may be people in my former church who even think God is punishing me by taking my job away.

This job was never supposed to last past a certain time. It actually lasted about 15% longer than it should have. I have a new job already lined up. There are other opportunities that may also present themselves. I’m not disappointed that it’s ending. I’m relieved. I worked, and worked hard, there, threw myself into it whenever I had the opportunity, learned a lot, grew professionally. And left church to keep my integrity and honesty. My job was made more difficult by my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ who threatened and blackmailed me and by a boss who wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t like them.

Earlier this week I e-mailed a good-bye and thank you to some former coworkers. One who attended church with me asked about a rumor. I responded to her on some other things, but completely forgot to answer whether the rumor was true or not. She questioned me again about it, laughingly saying I avoided the question. No, I forgot it had been asked. It was hardly worth thinking about. A year and a half ago a rumor like that would have been nearly earth shattering.

Clearing out my e-mails today, I read again some of the messages my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ had sent me. The messages seem almost petty now. “Like u care, but i…” “u avoidn my ? i no u don like wat i say but it tru…” Childish, unprofessional, but no longer bothersome in the way they were when they were written. They are still troublesome for the memories they produce, and I still react to them, but I realize now if it hadn’t been for the threats of a bullying, abusive pastor their statements would have meant nothing.

I’m looking forward to my new job. I’ve gotten numerous compliments and thanks from work associates in the past few days. I’ve sifted through and cleared out e-mails that reminded me just how much I’ve learned and done in my time at the job that’s ending. Several people have recommended upcoming positions in their offices. And a few have mentioned that they wouldn’t hire me when I held the job that’s ending because they needed me as an associate, but that since it’s ending they would do their best to get me on their staff. Sound like God’s punishment that I’m losing my job? Not hardly. A huge blessing, perhaps, in many ways, but not a curse by any means.

It still hurts when one of them goes out of their way to make a snide comment, but not like it did. What hurts now is not what they think, but that they call themselves ‘Christian’ when they do it, and knowing that I shouldn’t repay in kind. And it’s knowing that they believe I did them wrong somehow, when if I’d been more like them I would have hurt them first so they couldn’t have gotten me… and that if I’d done that, I’d probably still have the job and the church they say I’m cursed for leaving. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to know that I did the right thing in spite of their threats, bullying, and backbiting, and that whether they want to believe it or not, I know that everything has worked out even better than I originally planned… and that many of the things they consider “curses” are actually blessings–and better than anything I could have hoped for.