Before I start off with my story, let me give a bit of a background about myself and my line of work.
I work for an IT consulting company as an associate manager with a developer background. My work is mostly project-based and as I have mentioned in a previous blog post, I am currently involved in a COVID-19 response related project as one of the technical leads.
With the growing needs of the project, my role has now shifted into a hybrid of being a tech lead and a release manager at the same time which means I am now also dipping my toes in moving code from one environment to the other using a relatively new tool as we go about the project. We have had a dedicated release manager, R, since the beginning of the project but as we have quite a number of developers and a number of environments to manage, the project management team has decided to get someone else to support him when deployments between the lower environments get a little bit too overwhelming for him to manage. Why they thought I was the best fit for that role, I absolutely have no idea, but I said yes because it was an opportunity for me to take some of the developer burdens off myself and be able to focus on coaching and mentoring my juniors.
Learning a new tool can be nerve-racking, especially when I’ve been so conditioned to specialize on one thing (see my other blog post about a similar experience last year). But lately, I’ve come to realize that it’s in these moments when I can really say when I am weak, He is strong.
In all honesty, my relationship with the Lord the past few months has been rocky to say the least. I go back and forth between hope and despair and I know that most of it has been my neglect of my own needs and until now I’m still on survival mode. I desire so much to thrive and do so much more than just survive but it takes work and I’m still working to get there. Not because I trust the work of my hands more than I trust that God will work but because I know that even though the Lord will meet me where I am at, I still need to do my end of the bargain. I have to put in some work.
Proverbs 13:12 always comes to mind. Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. I’m still stuck in the first half of that verse though, which sucks, and I have to keep reminding myself while we wait for the fulfillment of the promise that God is faithful and He is more than able to accomplish anything for my good. And He is!
My heart has grown hard from too much hope deferred and so for me, hearing His voice ebbs and flows. What I have proven this week is that even in these moments when I feel like He’s so distant that I can’t hear Him, He never stops speaking and I can still tune in to Him and His voice if I’m attentive enough.
The other day, H, one of our developers, was having an issue validating one of her user stories that had a destructive commit. She had sent me a copy of the error message she got and it was something I have not encountered before. Usually when that happens, I copy the error message and google for it to find if anybody else has faced the same issue. Most of the time, I can find something related or something that could at least give me a clue about what was causing the error. For this one though, I couldn’t find a single thing that could help me figure out a resolution.
But then an idea popped up all of a sudden, like a light bulb flickering on the way they depict eureka moments in cartoons. It was a passing thought that said, “Why don’t you look at the metadata that was committed in the user story?”
Before I can even rationalize things, I quickly got onto the list of the metadata included in the user story and found one or two components that seemed unfamiliar that to me looked like they shouldn’t be there. So I told H to re-commit her user story to remove those components. She did as I had asked and we ran the validation again to test my theory and it worked!
And then, just yesterday afternoon, I had another one of our developers, F, asking me for help because a defect was logged against one of her user stories. She said she already sought the help of two other developers and they couldn’t figure it out and so she reached out to me as a last resort.
I started looking into it and the issue seemed odd because given the current state of how I know that functionality was built, it should work, but for some reason it wasn’t working for just that particular scenario. This was another thing that I wasn’t familiar with. I was about to throw in the towel when, again, an idea came to mind all of a sudden.
For some reason I remembered that we had fixed another issue on the related user profile where we changed one of the permissions from Read/Edit to just Read access. In that split second, I was able to connect them together and pondered, “Could it be that?” even though I wasn’t sure how object level permissions should affect how that custom component should be displaying on the UI. It seemed foolish almost. But since I didn’t really have anything else to try, I tested it by re-enabling the Edit permission we had removed to see if the UI behavior would change.
I squealed in my seat when I refreshed the page to find that it really was because of that! They didn’t know why the UI was behaving that way. I didn’t know why the UI was behaving that way. But God did! And because I heard and I listened, I was able to find a solution that helped boost the morale of the team! When they thanked me, I said, “Oh no, don’t thank me. Thank God because I never would have thought of that right away!”
It humbled me and it still continues to humble me how God pulls through even in the small and seemingly insignificant moments like this. But sometimes it’s in the little things that we see just how much He really does care that even the hairs on our hair are numbered! Jesus said so in Luke 12:6-7 when He was admonishing His disciples to not be swayed by the worries of life.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God.
But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.Luke 12:6-7 AMPC
And so what this reinforces to me right now even as I continue to write this is to continue to hope in the Lord. Even when it’s tough. Even when it feels like nothing is happening. Most especially when it feels like nothing is happening. He knows your pain. He literally went through hell and back to pay for the price we should have paid just so we could live a victorious life.
So take fear, anxiety, thoughts of self-pity and loneliness captive; they are not your thoughts but lies from the accuser. Shake off all that gunk and put on your royal robes of righteousness. You were crowned with beauty and grace and He is calling out to you, “Arise, My beloved.”
Arise, my love.Song of Songs 5:2 TPT
Open your heart, my darling, deeper still to me.
Will you receive me this dark night?
There is no one else but you, my friend, my equal.