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Question 113

Q: I’m an African-American woman who teaches at a small college.

The Lord has given me a great opportunity to help build their music department by starting their first instrumental music division. While any enterprise like this is both exciting and challenging, there have been many ups and downs. But the Lord has granted grace through these times.

My department chair, who claims to be a Christian, has become my “spear thrower” as you describe in your book, When You’ve Been Wronged. Your advice about getting away from a spear thrower is good, but what about when I can’t get away? From a career standpoint, I need to build my level of performance and build my student base to have any credibility in my field. What should I do?

Asked by: Sherri, North Carolina

A: Sherri, first of all, my sister, let me say that my heart goes out to you and I know it must be very difficult to work with someone and for someone who isn’t on your side.

But having said that, there is very little that you can do about your predicament. Unless of course, you feel confident enough that you can discuss the predicament with him. I pray that you will be able to, and maybe if you share your heart with your boss and say, “You know, in these instances it appears as if you’ve really not been on my side and there are things that are happening here that inhibit my ability to serve you well.”

It could well be that if you humble yourself, he’ll be willing to come through and to say, “Yes, I see what you are saying,” and some resolution can happen. If that doesn’t happen, however, then the only thing that you can do is to bear it. And remember this—this has been a great encouragement to me—God would never have allowed the pain that you are going through, unless He intended that it bear fruit. If you’ll remember, when I discussed spear throwers (and that, of course, is a reference to Saul who tried to pin David to the wall) God preserved David for ten long years before Saul died. Now I don’t know how long you’ve been in your position, but just know that God will preserve you.

You’re working in an environment that is not conducive to all your abilities and your desires, but God will use you where you are. I suggest that you stay, that you pray, that you commit, and that you communicate, and God will help you all the way to the end.

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