The King pondered the path the Princess had taken. He lightly tapped her with His shepherd’s staff as He led her back to the road. “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:26) He warned.
The Princess heard the King. She knew she had taken a bit of a detour with Liang, and it was time to make a decision. Liang knew what the Princess wanted, for she had been clear about that from the start. Theirs was a transitional relationship, and she had gone as far with Liang as she could.
It was at this time that another change happened in her life. After she had finished College the year before, she applied for a job in her chosen career. It was a good job. The work would be full-time.
After the first interview, she had to sit an IQ test. “I can’t” she said miserably. “I tried to get in to that job 15 years ago, and failed the math part of the test.” The King wanted her to try again. He reminded her of a passage from a book he had given her at the start of her journey.
“Whatever you’re doing, give it all you’ve got. Give every bit of yourself. Hold nothing back. Life cannot deny itself to the person who gives life his all. Throw your heart over your difficulty, throw your affirmation over every barrier, throw your visualization over your obstacles. Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.” – Norman Vincent Peale, the Power of Positive Thinking.
She believed the King would not have brought her back to this if she could not overcome it. The day of the IQ test came. The room was full of people, as it had been 15 years ago. As she nervously took her place, she affirmed to herself “I can do all things through the power of Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
This time she rose to the challenge, passed the test, and won the job ahead of all the other applicants. The King had taken her from failure to victory.
The Princess was elated. Full of joy, she looked for friends to celebrate with. Livia poured the cold water of her negativity and disapproval over the Princess. “But this is what I’ve spent the last three years studying for! Why are you so disapproving?” she asked Livia, robbed of her joy. “It’s too early to go back to full-time work. Your children need you.” Livia replied.
Doubt set in. It meant giving up her room in the tower and her other part time job. It meant not having as much time with her children.
The Princess reminded herself that she consulted with the King before winning the job, asking the King to close the door on this opportunity if it was not what He wanted. The door would not have opened if it had been against His will. She stood at the threshold, afraid. “What if Livia is right? What if this is not what the King wants for me?” she wondered. “What if I find I cannot do the job, after I have committed myself to it?” she asked herself fearfully.
Before they parted Liang took her to a meeting of the King, held in his land to the south. In the meeting, a man spoke out the King’s word, and said; “Never think that you cannot do it. You CAN do it, for I the Lord AM with you. When you commit your way to me, it WILL succeed.” Afterwards, Liang said to her “I think that message was for you. She knew in her heart he was right.
The year 2000 was quickly approaching, and the Princess was about to join a worldwide army of computer programmers needed to change the two bit date fields in computer programs to four bits. Otherwise computer programs would crash when the year 2000 was subtracted from the year 1999.
The Princess stopped seeing Liang when her new career began. Their parting was easy and amicable. The new job that she had looked forward to with such excitement, fear, trepidation and hope was not as easy. Her unhelpful colleagues had been there for twenty years, and did not want to share their knowledge. It was a cold hard place where they had no time for newcomers. Worse, she had been given the “iron maiden”, the workplace bully for a mentor, and the sabotage started immediately. She was treated with contempt and disrespect.
“How am I going to learn?” she anguished to herself, bewildered, humiliated, and intimidated, as she hung on for grim death. She did not know how to confront the bully, and there was no support around her. It was a familiar and lonely place. It had been like this in the home she had grown up, at school, in some workplaces, and with Silver-Tongue. Will the abuse never stop? “The fault must be with me” she thought, with a feeling of distress.
She had been in hard places like this before, and knew it would get better once she had the experience and could prove herself. She would not be defeated. Her will was to succeed and come out stronger. What was the King’s will? He was silent in the face of abuse. Had she chosen the wrong job? She pleaded her cause with the King, as she set her face like flint.
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Isaiah 50:7.
“My days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if my strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and I will fly away.
If only I knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
Teach me to number my days,
that I may gain a heart of wisdom.
Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on me your servant.
Satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love,
that I may sing for joy and be glad all my days.
Make me glad for as many days as you have afflicted me,
for as many years as I have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servant,
your splendor to my children.
May your favour oh Lord my God rest on me;
establish the work of my hands for me—
yes, establish the work of my hands. Psalm 90:10-17