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I have had a long and laborious struggle trying to work out in the world while at the same time making space for the existence of a few tiny Christian values I hold dear.

That “long and laborious struggle” is part melodrama and part humor simply to set the scene. In truth it’s been a really good thing, a great blessing, and I’m writing this just to encourage others and to say it is so worth it to remain true to yourself. The Bible reminds us, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Work should never be soul sucking. That’s what I call it when a boundary is crossed, when a company thinks it not only owns your labor, it also owns your soul. Since many of us need to support a family or pay the rent, it’s easy to fall prey to this.

Artaxes’ Brainbench has an interesting post up about ESG that is worth a read. Here where I live employers crossing boundaries and demanding one comply with, “crazy, radical, woke stuff” is simply a way of life. It is really abusive and wrong.

Hubby and I were eventually able to start a business which gave us a little bit more freedom. I am so done with the corporate world and the entire medical establishment too, having hardly gotten my foot in the door in the first place. The kids are all grown, the hubby is retired, and so I am in a season of life that makes it possible for me to say such things.

Also, it’s been a really messy journey. I have been through some stuff! It often comes at you in creeping instrumentalism, so sometimes it’s hard to see at the time. Doubly true if you are somewhat compliant and just want to, “go along to get along.” I was once asked to stop wearing a tiny cross under my sweater because it allegedly offended people and I had signed a non discrimination in religion agreement that forbid, forcing my religion on others. Apparently people complained. I did not rise up like a great warrior for Christ, I complied on account of the fact that I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or traumatize them farther. Obviously they had been hurt by Christianity and so I didn’t want to contribute to their suffering. Soon however, it became evident that my mere existence as a Christian was offensive, and trying not to exist so as to not offend someone else is…...downright soul sucking.

Then there was the time I cheerfully walked right under the Pride flag, past the transgendered rights posters day after day, but finally had to draw the line at being forced to sign an oath, an oath mind you, swearing to uphold the transagenda. This was several years ago and I was like, what in the heck is the transagenda?? I’m like a babe in woods sometimes, I didn’t recognize that for what it was, but I felt convicted about not swearing any oaths. A bit funny, I couldn’t recite verses from the Bible if you paid me, but every word of Matthew 5:34 was suddenly in my head and clear as a bell. Comical, but looking all confused and saying, “Uhm, God says I can’t sign oaths” only angered them more. Who knew?

It’s one thing to expect employees to treat everyone with respect or courtesy or something. That’s perfectly reasonable. I am all for non discrimination policies. It’s an entirely different matter to feel as if you now have the right to dictate people’s mandatory support and full affirmation of things like the Ukrainian flag, BLM, the transagenda, Pride month, or whatever other politically correct ideologies come down the pike.

I also complied with the stupid masking mandates at work and sat behind plexiglass screen for two years, but by the time we got to, “it’s not your body anymore and the vaccine is mandatory,” I was done. Nope, I’m not playing, “weekly testing” either.

Keep in mind that most of these jobs I’ve had were part time and with lousy benefits. Lord help me if I ever had had good benefits. I’d probably still be there, allowing my soul to be sucked dry bit by bit. I would be parched, deeper in debt, and likely full of self loathing.

“You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store”

-Tennessee Ernie Ford-