To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Refiners Fire

Written from the third chapter of Malachi, a song "Refiners Fire" has been one of my favorites to sing in church. Refining precious metals involves heating them up to a temperature they can hardly handle, to rid them of blemish. To perfect them. To bring them to their best, most valuable potential.

I feel as if I have been in the fire these last few weeks. It emotionally exhausts me to retell the story detail for detail. I have had ups, downs, highs, and lows, these last couple of weeks regarding my employment. I love my job, I love my boss, and I love my environment at work. It's been a great five months, full of growth, change, and revelation. Five months I've been there.

The company I work for is struggling financially, and it's no secret. An entire office was laid off weeks ago, bills are going unpaid, and employees are wondering if and when they will see their paychecks. It's been a venue of concern, but so long as my coworkers and boss stayed strong, I would too.

It was revealed to me last Monday, however, that wasn't the case. People were losing faith in the company, and employees were looking to jump ship before they were thrown overboard. After the conversations I had that Monday, I went in to survival mode, and applied for six or seven jobs online that night.

Tuesday morning, 8:24, I got a call from one of those jobs. They wanted to interview me later that afternoon. That same afternoon. I was shocked. I did not expect that at all. I went in for the interview. It lasted an hour and a half, and went really well.

Wednesday my boss had a meeting with the CEO of the company, and was encouraged and energized. He made a commitment to stay for the long haul. Therefore, my loyalty was with him. He asked me to consider staying, though he reiterated he understood if I felt I had to take another job.

Thursday he fought for me. He didn't want me to leave, and I still had reservations. Being encouraged is one thing, but saving a struggling company is another. I'm in a position where it's possible hubby and I will want to start a family, and I can't - I won't - make that decision based on whether or not I have a job, or have job security.

Friday I had interview number two at the same place, and they offered me the position. I asked for the weekend to consider. Eighteen different times I changed my mind. I was going to stay. I was going to go. I was going to stay. I was going to go. I felt like out of loyalty to my boss and coworkers, I should stay. I also felt, however, I should consider my own stability and security.

Today was my deadline for deciding. I still hadn't made up my mind. I went to the potential employer this morning, with the intention of telling them thank you, but I would be staying with my current employer. No one was there. I left a Christmas card and a plate of fudge and went to work. My boss popped me up on instant messenger. He encouraged me to do the right thing - the safe thing - though he didn't want to lose me as an employee, he couldn't live with it if I stayed and lost my job or the company folded.

I have been a wreck. An absolute wreck. You know the oldie but goodie, "Should I stay or should I go now?" song? That has played through my mind more times than I care to count. I knew I needed to go. I didn't want to admit it though. I had been praying for an answer all this time, and here it was right before me, and I thought I knew better.

I begged for an opportunity to be safe, stable, secure, and happy in my work. It was presented to me in less than 24 hours. I wasn't convinced, so it was presented to me again three days later. I still wasn't convinced so I went to turn it down, and no one was there to receive my decline of the offer. I got a call and decided to go back this afternoon.

I cried in front of the interviewer. I cried. In front of the interviewer. My potential employer sat there and let me cry while I was working through this mental struggle. Can you believe that?! The offer still stood. With pure conviction she looked me in the eye and said, "You've told me you're a Christian and you believe in a reason. At some point, you have to get out of your own way."

Holy buckets.

I will never be perfect here on earth. I will never claim that I am perfect, blameless, or without fault. I do believe, though, that I am being held in the refiners fire, and that he is building me to be the best, most beautiful creation I can Him.

Am I sad to be leaving my boss and coworkers? Absolutely. I've shed many tears about it today. Am I scared to start this new venture? You bet your patootie. Am I faithful that all things work to His glory? Until my last breath is drawn.

He is holy. King of Kings. Lord of Lords. I worship Him. He has a provision, a plan, and a purpose. Sure the heat might be hard to bear at times, and I will want so badly to give up and go my own way. But I have the chance to be made perfect in Him. He's taking the time to refine me. To erase my blemishes and faults.

I may have only had this job for five months, but He's had a plan for me my whole life. Who am I to stand in my own way?

Refiners Fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for you, Lord.
I want to be Holy
Set apart for you, my master,
Ready to do your will.


  1. Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry to hear that you are leaving your beloved job but I just know that the Lord has WONDERFUL things in store for you. Be strong in your faith, love lots, laugh often and be good to yourself and those you love. It will be ok :)

  2. It is amazing what can happen in 5 months. May the next location be forfilling.

  3. This song came on my playlist as I was reading through your post...and I thought it fit well:

    If you're up to your ears
    In blood, sweat and wasted years
    I'm hoping you're going to open your throat
    And just scream

    You have to know who and why
    Which ones miss you when you die
    You have to know that a second guess ain't worth the salt in your eyes

    Just some words of advice
    Maybe you've heard them before but here goes
    Just be true to yourself if it lands you in hell, well, at least now you know
    Loud and clear is your heart big and bright are the places you might someday go
    With one million things holding you down, why you're one of those things
    No big deal

  4. Wow....these are such scary times as far as employment. Good luck in your new adventure. It sounds like you made the right decision.