An unexpected visit by a co-worker who doesn’t normally swing into my space revealed that I was off my game. She stopped by in the midst of her busy schedule to ask me if I was okay. I responded with the standard response of, “I’m okay.” She then said, “You don’t look like it. I was watching you and noticed that you weren’t smiling like you normally do. Are you telling me the truth? What’s the matter? ” I then began to recall in one big breath my last several months telling her that I had/still have a lot going on including an ill father, having packed one house while frantically looking for another house, unpacking the new rental home, dealing with some pressing personal/business matters which were weighing on me, battling fatigue because of all I just mentioned and trying to balance it all in the midst of working two jobs. She then responded, as a good sounding board would, “I knew something wasn’t right because you simply weren’t yourself. I’m so sorry. I will be praying and expecting to see the Angela I know back soon.” And just like that she left. She didn’t ask any specifics. She didn’t pity me. She didn’t dig for dirt. She didn’t offer her two cents. She offered prayer and expectation, and a genteel reminder that it was time I stepped up my game.
And just like that I realized that my secret was out. I thought I was handling my business business as usual and clearly wasn’t. Not that I didn’t expect to have problems. I’m actually accustomed to them by now, and the blessings which always follow. But I thought I’d reached a point in my spiritual and natural progression where my problems didn’t show. I was wrong. My problem was showing and I didn’t know it. Sometimes, as good as we think we may be in covering those things we’re working through we are still human and subject to the external display of internal situations. That could be shown through our attitudes, actions, enthusiasm, and responses to things which ordinarily wouldn’t bother us and any other myriad of ways troubles tend to affect even the best of us.
Having pondered what my colleague said, I was grateful for her asking what was wrong, not assuming my situation and definitely not ignoring my warning signs. It made me realize others care, even those I don’t interact with daily. It made me feel relieved to be able to share with someone who was genuine. It made me glad that she noticed so that I could put my emotions on notice that Jesus and I would be handling them from here on out. And it made me glad that someone sincere, and not concerned with how what I was going through might or might not be affecting them noticed so that I could get myself together as to not let my issues interfere with other things or show up with other people. God forbid my “goings on”, even as they’re being worked on, leak out into my treasured relationships with my loved ones or valuable interactions with those I supervise or associate with regularly. That would be a tragedy and I don’t prefer tragedy.