Closing the Chapter & Looking Ahead

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I used to be a long-time brooder…especially when I made a mistake. My urge to be a perfectionist would kick in and I’d find myself spending months analyzing what I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done which always left me depressed. I just didn’t know how to close the chapter and move on.

This brings back a particular incident years ago when I was the manager of a department where I worked. I was in charge of hiring people to supervise and we were always busy with deadlines to keep. I had successfully hired three people who did an awesome job and went onto bigger opportunities. However, the fourth person I hired would be less than stellar.

In a nutshell, he didn’t work out. He was not cut out for the job and I had to have several meetings with him to discuss the problems. He would assure me he was fine, he liked the job, etc., etc., but he would continuously miss deadlines, stay away from his desk eating in the coffee room, and visiting other employees hanging out at their desks when he should have been working.

The complaints about him mounted up that I had to conduct two meetings with my supervisor sitting in to try to correct the problem. All of this didn’t help and I eventually had to let him go. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. I was grieved, but the story doesn’t end there.

I’m not sure if it was weeks later, but his mother filed a lawsuit against the company and me stating I fired him because of racism (he was Caucasian and I’m Multi-racial). I was told he had gone around and lied on me behind my back and turned many of my co-workers to his side. It was a nightmare going to work everyday with everyone thinking I was prejudice, the whispers in front of my face…being isolated with no one as a friend was horrifying. Many days I had to hold back the tears.

Finally, I had to have a meeting with the company attorneys to discuss the lawsuit. I brought in with me a file which I had documented every meeting, notes, complaints, everything that had happened, and all the things I and my supervisor tried to make it work out with him. This file weighed like an encyclopedia! The attorneys looked at it and me and was shocked. End of lawsuit! I was thankful that I had this file, because it saved me.

Some weeks later, the guy I let go came to me and apologized. He went onto work for another department within the same company and was fired for sleeping under his desk. Clearly, he had some problems and it was determined later on he had some mental health problems which he had to address with doctors. The truth finally came out and of course I received a lot of apologies. But that didn’t ease my soul. I was crushed and I couldn’t seem to move past this situation.

Check out this post >>  Fallen Leaves

Six months later, I was still anguished over this ordeal and as I prayed that night…I heard The Lord speak to my spirit, “You brood over things too long!, when will you let this go?” My life would change forever after this. He was right. I needed to forgive him, his mother, the co-workers, and believe it or not I had to forgive Jesus for having watch me go through this. I wasn’t angry with Him, but I was hurt. He didn’t allow this to happen to me out of malice, for that is not His nature. But, when you’re in a trial, your emotions take you all over the place. There were times when I couldn’t fix my lips to pray. I cried almost every night. I couldn’t even dig deep enough to find something positive about having gone through it.

But, I was relieved when The Lord vindicated me. He let the truth about this fellow come out for all to see. I knew I had let him go because he simply didn’t do the job I hired him for. The last three people who worked under me were all Caucasian and I had no problems with them at all. It would take time to rebuild relationships there, but because I decided to close this chapter, I was able to eventually heal. And, if the reason for having gone through this will help someone else reading this, then it was all worth it.

The thing this, in life we may go through a life changing ordeal and we’ll need to understand there’s a time for everything. There’s a time to grieve, but there’s a time to find closure. This situation got rectified and yet I couldn’t or wouldn’t let it go. Here I am months later still feeling sorry for myself. At some point, when we hold onto the bad things, they will eventually drag us down. God doesn’t want us down, He wants us to look up, look forward, and look ahead.

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.