So You Made a Mistake

I panicked this morning when I woke up at 7:38 am because I was supposed to be at the office by 7. By God’s grace, our meeting in the morning got postponed to next year, so I didn’t miss it. When I arrived at work, my immediate supervisor told me that I received an award (President’s Star Award – Outstanding Customer Service) during our company’s Christmas party the night before. Because of a family affair, I wasn’t able to go to the party, so this surprise really encouraged my heart. I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I knew my weaknesses in different aspects. It also felt ironic because I was late for work today. But nonetheless, I thanked God for His grace and extended my gratitude to my supervisor.

IMG_1582

Fast forward to 5 pm, I found out that my colleague and I experienced delays and miscommunication in one of our tasks. Unfortunately, our mistake led to a terrible domino effect on the other departments involved and we were called to the ‘principal’s office’. From 5 to 6 pm, all I could think of and feel was anxiety, regret, shame, and worthlessness. Immediately, I felt like I was melted cheese or a rotten vegetable in the office. I wanted to fly away and never come back. But, I couldn’t turn back time, I couldn’t linger on my regrets because those were already in the past. All I needed to do was to face the reality that I made a mistake, take responsibility, and learn from it.

While my colleague and I were trying to discuss things and seek help from my supervisor, a hundred discouraging thoughts quickly entered my mind which eventually crushed my spirit. I hurried to the bathroom and cried because I knew that I needed to let it out. I mustered a whisper to God and asked for His grace and mercy in the situation I was in. I asked for a miracle.

By God’s grace, a few minutes later, my supervisor walked in the bathroom and told me that one of our managers could help us out and somehow alleviate the stress and delays caused by our mistake. With a deep sigh, I thanked the Lord, washed my face, and headed back to my table in the office.

IMG_1579

Despite the roller coaster ride that I experienced today, one of the things that I am grateful for was the conversation that I had with my supervisor a few minutes after my bathroom break. We sat down in a private room and talked about what happened. She graciously listened to me and comforted me in spite of my weaknesses and it was really a heartwarming time. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, she (once again) graciously and gently rebuked me and gave me a kind of support that only a supervisor can give.

One of the things that she said to me that still gets to my heart was this: “Don’t let that one mistake define who you are. You did a good job this year which is why you were given an award. Even though you made a mistake today, it will not define you.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I silently listened to her words of encouragement. I was keenly listening to her voice, but at the same time, I was listening to God’s as well. It was as if God was embracing me at that time and saying to me that His grace is enough for me and will always be enough for me.

IMG_1470

Today was our last working day for the year and God made it as exciting as possible. By His grace, He allowed me to experience His goodness and victory when I received the award today, but at the same time, He also allowed my heart to get crushed and humbled so that I would be reminded that it was, is, and always will be because of Him, His grace, and His love for me. Even if I make mistakes in the future, I know that He never will. My security and hope is in Him and not in my own strengths. And I’m learning to focus on His grace and power and not on my weaknesses.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9]

So I made a mistake. It’s not a big deal because the beautiful thing about God’s grace is that He can turn even our greatest mistakes into our biggest blessings. Sometimes, He may even use our mistakes to bless others too.

Thank You, Lord, for 2014 at work. It has been a privilege working for You this year. I know that You are not through with me yet and I look forward to more adventures with You soon.

Be a Blessing in the Workplace

Every morning, my dad and mom would listen to the radio and tune in to 702 DZAS. This radio station has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration to our family. One of their segments, “Pro Tips”, which is hosted by Maloi Malibiran Salumbides, talks about action steps and biblical principles on being a blessing in the workplace.

Photo taken from her Facebook account. :)
Photo taken from her Facebook account. :)

Last February 18, 2014, I passed by the kitchen (where the radio was) and I heard the host talk about the Pro Tips for the day. I don’t remember her exact words, but I remembered some of the principles she said:

1. Be content with your work, but don’t be lazy. She encouraged the listeners to find contentment in God as we work for Him and not compare our work, tasks, and situations to others. Also, she emphasized that being content is different from being lazy. We must also learn how to strive and excel continuously at work because it is God’s blessing to us.

2. Continue to aspire and dream big. She also talked about how our God is able to do so much more than we can ever imagine or think of and because of this, we can hope and desire for bigger things in the workplace. (Eph. 3:20)

3. Be open to the things that God wants us to do. There would be times when God would speak to us about certain decisions at work (e.g. moving to a different department, looking for another job, starting our own business, training others, etc.) and it’s important that we open our hearts to these and obey Him when He tells us to do something. God can definitely use these faith steps and new opportunities to develop our character and skills. Most importantly, it’ll help us grow in our relationship with Him as we choose to honor Him in our career.

These are just some of the Pro Tips shared on the radio station and by God’s grace, they will continue to encourage us with more. :)

Surprise encouragement from my officemate who dropped by my area. :P
Surprise encouragement from my officemate who dropped by my area. :P

Sometimes, our work can get toxic and discouraging. But, whenever we focus on who God is, thank Him for the blessing of work, and choose to be a blessing to others in the workplace, He changes the way we view our work. And as a result, it positively affects our behavior and our influence to the people around us.

Surprise gift from my seatmate at work! She (Iza) made this, by the way. :)
Surprise gift from my seatmate at work! She (Iza) made this, by the way. :)

“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” -Colossians 3:23-24

Encouraging time with my officemate (Shermaine) after work. :)
Encouraging time at Hanako with my officemate (Shermaine) after work. :)

Looking forward to a great week ahead! Thank You, Lord, for the workplace. :)

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)