Stephanie Pavlantos: Tribulation in the Lab
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.~Hebrews 11:1 ESV
At twenty-five years old, I had a stomach ulcer caused by the stress of my job.
I had found a laboratory that would hire an inexperienced college graduate with a B.S. in biology. The VA hospital needed a histology technician, and they would train me to do the job. Histologists make slides from the tissue removed from the body during surgery which pathologists review to make a diagnosis for the patient.
My lab consisted of my supervisor and one other histology lab tech—I was the youngest. Both women had been working in this lab for years. I came, excited to learn. I did not realize I would learn about more than histology….
God was about to throw me into the middle of a spiritual battle.
My supervisor did not like me from the first day. She criticized my work clothes, my hairstyle, and the fact that I wore contact lenses. She demanded I pulled back my hair and wear glasses. Good thing I wasn’t there to find a boyfriend… it would’ve never happened. She thought I flirted with the doctors who came into our lab simply because I acknowledged their presence.
It got worse. She did not allow me to take some of my breaks, and if she wanted me back in the lab before lunch was over, she would stage a mysterious phone call from a “family member,” who hung up before I got to the phone. Equipment from my locker disappeared after she watched me stow it away for the night. I was not free from her harassment even at home because she would call if I took the day off. I was too demoralized to complain, being held hostage by fear and intimidation.
I cried to the Lord every day.
Although discouragement and hopelessness were my constant companions, I sensed God’s presence in the midst of it all. He met with me each morning as I worshipped and poured out my heart to Him, and He filled my soul.
As I grew in faith and dependence on my Savior, I sensed God would work good out of this difficult situation. However, the more I grew in my faith, the worse the harassment got.
The Lord surrounded me with friends who taught me to pray against the forces of spiritual darkness. I knew the Lord was with me.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”~Hebrews 13:6 ESV
After a year, I interviewed for another job at the hospital. They offered me the position, but I knew the Lord did not want me to take that job. Saddened, I turned it down, but God gave me immediate peace.
After working in the Histology Department for two years, the head lab manager gave me a significant pay raise and promotion because of my qualifications. My supervisor, who had no control over this, was furious. She increased the attacks, wanting to prove I was undeserving of this promotion.
I begged God to let me leave; finally, He did.
The Lord had an incredible job waiting for me in the Cancer Research Department. The requirements? They were looking for a histologist with two years of lab experience. If I had taken my eyes off of Jesus, and surrendered to the hopelessness of my circumstances, I would have missed out on a job I loved.
No matter what situation you may find yourself in; whether it is a bad relationship, a difficult job, or a health problem, don’t give up. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and hold on to your faith. Trust Him to guide you every step of the way. He has you in the palm of His hand, and He will see you through.
For he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.~Hebrews 13:5 ESV
God is with you, friend. He is your constant companion in good times and bad, and He will see you through.
In what way is the Lord teaching you, despite difficulties, to trust Him?
Heavenly Father, You’ve promised never to leave me nor forsake me. I trust You with times of suffering, and I acknowledge You are good even when I don’t understand how You will work these tough times for my good. I choose to praise and thank You in all circumstances. I love You and I receive Your great love for me.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2020: Tribulation in the Lab: Stephanie Pavlantos: All Rights Reserved