Last Saturday I went to Women’s Day, an annual event put on by my church, for women living in this area. Each sister that was there was able to sign up for three different classes of her choosing. I thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes, and am anxiously awaiting next year’s Women’s Day.In one of my classes, we learned about ways God speaks to us, how we receive the answers, how to recognize the answers, and what to do if we don’t think we have gotten an answer. It was such an uplifting class for me.

As we went through these different points, my mind kept going back to a memory – an experience that happened to my family almost exactly a year ago. My husband had gotten a new job opportunity, which we felt was an answer to our prayers. We quickly realized, however, in just a short month’s time, that it was not the right path.

For a while, we were confused. We thought we had received a spiritual prompting that Jad was supposed to take that retail management position.

In class we talked about how sometimes we listen to our emotions, and assume it is the Holy Ghost speaking. I think in some ways this may have been the case with us. We didn’t do enough research on the job, and just blindly assumed everything would be  fine because we were so excited about the opportunity for change.

In other ways, though, we really felt like the Lord brought that opportunity to Jad. He had been applying for jobs for years, and this was the first time he was contacted by a company (that wasn’t a sales company), was interviewed, and offered a job that fit his experience, with an ability for growth in the company.

But it was the wrong decision, though…

I learned a couple things in this class at Women’s Day that go along perfectly with this experience:

The first is a quote by Elder Richard G. Scott, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who said, “When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, Go will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision”(Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer, Ensign, May 2007).

It was true. Jad and I felt very strongly after his first day of work (after a month of training), that this job was not right. We felt prompted that he should quit. We thank the Lord for giving us that prompting, and giving Jad the strength to listen to it.

So, why did the Spirit tell Jad to take the job if it wasn’t right? Well, we watched this beautiful video in  class called Wrong Roads, a true story from the life of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, another apostle in my church. Watch the video for the full spiritual message, but in essence, he said that sometimes the Lord takes us in a direction that isn’t right so that we can quickly discern what is right.

It’s true. We learned so quickly that retail was not the path Jad should go down. We stopped applying for retail manager jobs after that experience, and instead, researched different career paths Jad could take.

We also learned other wonderful lessons from him taking and quitting that job, two of which were to be grateful for what we have, and to make more quality use of our time as a family.

The lesson doesn’t end there, though. We learned which path wasn’t right, but it took us almost a year to find out which path was right. Why so long?

Elder David A. Bednar, another apostle in my church, said something that makes it all make sense: “Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation” (The Spirit of Revelation, Ensign, May 2011).

Heavenly Father wants us to be patient, to trust Him, to keep His commandments, and to continue to pray to Him earnestly.

He also wants us to do our own work and research. In modern scripture to Joseph Smith, the Lord said, “But behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8).

Jad and I had to do all of these things, and when we were ready, Heavenly Father prompted Jad on the next steps in his career.

Retail wasn’t the answer, and getting another Bachelor’s degree wasn’t the answer. The answer Jad received was to go into the IT profession, in the field of networking. He searched out schools, and felt at peace with My Computer Career.

It was a leap of faith, though. It is an expensive school. We had to take out a hefty loan. He had to figure out how to go to school but still run his store, knowing that he would not stay there much longer. He had to deal with family disgruntlement and lack of support. He and I knew, though, this was the right choice.

Jad  has now been attending My Computer Career for two weeks. This is going to be at least a one-year schooling journey. It has been hard – the information has been coming quickly, and is a bit overwhelming for him. He is home much less and it is affecting time with our kids, and  with us as a couple. We are both much busier than ever before.

There is a difference this time, though. In contrast with his retail position where we never saw any light ahead of us, we definitely know in this case that the Lord is there and lighting our way.

In a video entitled Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation, Elder Bednar talked about three different patterns of light we receive as we get revelation. As Jad is in school, I can see that our pattern is that of a foggy day. There is just a little light ahead of us. If we just keep taking a few steps, though, the light will help us see far enough ahead that we can continue to press forward.

We can’t see the end result yet. We don’t know when Jad will get an IT job, where, how much money, how it will affect our lives, etc., but we trust the Lord wholeheartedly that he will guide us in the right direction. We are so excited to see where this path leads our family.

If you would like to read all about Jad’s retail management journey from 2013, read below:

Have you ever called someone a quitter who left a job
instead of sticking it out? Have you ever seen a messy store and assumed it was
because of lazy employees and management? Have you ever thought badly about
someone because of what someone else tells you? Well, I have a very interesting
story to tell you about my husband, Jad.


Ever since we have been married (four years next March), Jad
has traveled out of town at least three days a week to work at his convenience
store in Kinston. Though he has always been off work the other four days of the
week, our family has found this arrangement very difficult, for several reasons.
Because of this, for years we have prayed for another job to come along where
Jad could have benefits and be home every night with his family.


Well, in July and August, our dreams started to unfold.  Jad had an interview with a popular retail
store to be the assistant manager at its Chapel Hill location. His interview
process moved forward, and on August 12, he was offered the job. We prayed
about it, and it just didn’t feel quite right. It wasn’t going to be quite
enough money, and we thought his skills exceeded that of assistant manager.

 
Jad told the district manager that he wasn’t going to take
the job, and we were both surprised and excited when the district manager
offered Jad to be the store manager of the Reidsville store. He told Jad that
it was a large, lucrative store, full of loyal employees, and the best office
manager around. Jad would be paid plenty of money as a manager, would have
benefits, and would learn great skills he had not yet had the privilege of
learning. We prayed about it and felt good about Jad accepting this job. So, he
did.


During the month of September, Jad trained to be a store
manager in the Chapel Hill location. He was overwhelmed much of the time,
worried he wouldn’t be trained in time. We didn’t see him much during
September. We also couldn’t communicate with Jad during the day, but had to
wait for him to call us and talk to us for maybe five minutes. We noticed both
of us having less and less sleep, and less time together as a family. It wasn’t
so bad, though, because Jad saw us each day, at least for a little while.
Sometimes he only saw Casey for a few minutes before he went to school. The
house got increasingly messier.  


We kept reassuring ourselves it was going to be a raise and
a good opportunity. Jad ended up needing an extra week to train. He completed
his training successfully October 4.


During the weeks Jad trained, we did not know how much money
he would be paid once becoming a store manager. We didn’t know if he would be
able to work with the retiring manager at the Reidsville store. We didn’t know
what his schedule in Reidsville would be like. We didn’t like how we didn’t
know these things in advance. At the conclusion of training, Jad was told that
he would have one day with the newly retired manager and then the Reidsville
store would be his starting the 8th of October.


On the morning of the 7th, we were all excited
for Jad to start his new job. I waited for him to call me all day to talk to me
about it.  When he didn’t call me, I
texted him instead. He said his day wasn’t going very well – that it was just
too much. I encouraged him, saying I knew he could do it.
That evening, I made his favorite dessert, knafeh, to
celebrate. To my surprise and sadness, it was not a celebratory dessert after
all, but more of a therapeutic one. The rest of the evening was filled with
tears and sadness as we discussed the day’s events.


Jad told me that the whole way home he just wanted to cry.
The store was filthy beyond belief, with boxes everywhere, a disgusting carpet
that wasn’t going to be replaced, a horrendous back room, no Christmas items
set out, and a mess that would take weeks to clean up.


At work, when the district manager for Reidsville walked him
around the store, he pointed all these things out, all the while putting down
the manager who just retired. Jad agreed there was much to be done, and felt
confident he would be able to fix everything. Then, he talked to the manager
himself. He got a different story.


The newly retired manager told him how happy he was to be
leaving that store. He said that he worked over 60 hours a week and worked hard
all the time, but there weren’t enough employees to get anything done. Only a
small percentage of store profit can go to Payroll, and the numbers are
strictly enforced. Several of the employees at the Reidsville store have been
there many years, and thus, make much more money than most cashiers would. Because
of this, no extra help can be hired. Despite this, the retired manager had the
same expectations put upon him, with no leniency or compassion of any kind.


Jad got a different outlook then. After talking to the
retired manager, he realized that this manager had to clean bathrooms and run a
register, amongst other non-manager duties because there weren’t enough
employees to do those things. A salary-paid employee gets paid the same no
matter how many hours he works. Jad figured out that based on how many hours he
would have to work, he’d only be making maybe $9 an hour. He’d also have to
work at least two Sundays a month.
In addition to working at least 60 hours a week (managers
are only supposed to work 48-52 per week), he would have nearly an hour drive
back and forth each day. Plus, he would only get a total of three days off
during November and December each year, and would have no paid vacation until
after his first year.


Jad and I had a very long discussion about this whole
situation. I told him he had to quit. As we kept talking, I knew that was what
had to be done, and kept reiterating it. He was relieved, and told me he was
worried that I would tell him to stick it out because of the money.


It really wasn’t even an option for him to stay with this
company. Jad wouldn’t be able to fulfill his church responsibilities – not his
calling nor his home teaching. The kids and I would basically never see him.
He’d miss out on all school and church activities. The house would stay messy
forever… no, this was not going to work.


We did consider the cons of him quitting. The only thing we
could think of was how people would think about him for doing it. People might
gossip. We decided that was not a good enough reason to stay with the company.


Jad got excited about quitting. The next day was actually a
big meeting with all the managers of his district, the district manager, and the
district trainer. He said he would go to the meeting, get a final feel for if
this job could work by talking to the district manager, and then quit if
necessary.


He left for Greensboro early Tuesday morning. On my way to
the church class I teach, I got a phone call from Jad. He told me he was
shaking from the inside and that he thought he caused a big stir. I asked him
what happened. He then started to tell me of the morning’s events.


When Jad first got to the meeting, he noticed all the
managers were older. He found this peculiar. He had been told that he would
have an opportunity for promotion. If that were the case, all the people in
this room should have been promoted by now.


After the first hour and half of the meeting, Jad felt
prompted to start asking his fellow managers questions. He asked each of them
how long they had been working at the company and how many hours they worked
per week. On average, they had been working as managers for 15-20 years and
were working about 60 hours a week or more. Jad asked them if they liked their
job. Not one person said yes; they just looked at each other.


One manager, who was a little younger, said she is at work
more than she is at home. She has not been able to spend quality time with her
children for 15 years.


Jad went outside then to speak to the district manager. He
asked the DM for 15% to use towards payroll or a significant pay increase. The
DM said no, so Jad asked to speak to the whole group inside.


He boldly stood up in front of everyone and said that he
would not be working for this company because he would be a slave. He said he
would rather spend time with his family than work all the time for more money.
Throughout his speech, he told the managers to stop him if he said something
wrong.


 Jad wasn’t afraid to
tell everyone that this company wasn’t run in the right way.  There weren’t enough hours to give the employees,
so the managers had to work for basically $9-$10 an hour.
Jad firmly testified that money is not important. After we
die, we only take our family and knowledge with us. His relationship with his
family was much more important than any job. He reiterated that he would not be
working for the company. He said it was nice to meet all of them, apologized
for the trouble, and stated his name before handing the district manager the
keys and heading to his van to come home.


As he looked around the room before departing, he noticed
the faces of those around him. He was surprised that the only person who looked
upset was the district manager. Most of the other people had looks of
understanding, or eye-opening awareness. One female manager even smiled at him
and told him to go home to his family.


I was proud of him, and we were both relieved for him to be
going back to the job we so desperately wanted him to leave.


Later we talked about all this. Why did we have to go
through this experience? Why go through all that training just to quit a job
after one day? Well, we actually learned much from this and are grateful we
went through it:


1.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other
side.
2.
What we had was actually good in many ways, and
we should have acted more grateful instead of complaining. Jad’s work
arrangement of going to Kinston three days a week is still not perfect, but we
will be much more positive about it now.
3.
Quality family time is so important. Getting
more money is not an excuse to take that away.
4.
Do sufficient research on what you are accepting
before taking a job. Don’t just take someone’s word for it.
5.
Be careful of listening to the “flattering
words” of others.
6.
Get both sides of all stories. Things are not
always as they seem.
7.
When we thought we would not be spending much
time together anymore, we thought of ways to spend more quality time as a
family, and we will continue to implement those ideas.
8.
Only someone who was about to quit a job could
speak so boldly as Jad did. Perhaps his words will influence a change in the
company, or at least in the hearts of some who work there.


Jad
and I both thank our Heavenly Father for knowing what we need and how we need
to be taught. 
Thank you for sharing!

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