Longing for Change - Will McHarness

Longing for change amidst being blessed. There is HOPE on the other side of personal conflict. By Will McHarness

The sun was out and so were the kite boarders on the Columbia River. It was early April, and I was headed out to see some customers in Hood River. I love this drive, especially during the spring & summer when weather is ideal and there is an abundance of beauty to behold along the way.

I’ve been selling flooring for 20 years and have been an Outside Sales Rep since 2016 and can honestly say it is my “dream job”. Prior to getting this position I had been praying for many years to get out from under the desk I had worked at. Once those prayers were answered, I never looked back.

“I have been blessed by The Lord’s faithfulness in leading me to this opportunity and the blessings have been abundant.” I repeated that sentence to myself many times in the past seven years, but a feeling was creeping into my stomach.

I didn’t like this job.

The argument taking place inside me went something like this: This is a great job! Bills are paid. I have freedom that most jobs do not give their employees. I have been praying about getting this job for many years, before the opportunity ever came… and I’m not happy? What is wrong with me!? I’m just being ungrateful. There is real poverty and heartache all over the world and I’m complaining about… my flooring job!? As a former Marine, I would tell myself to “suck it up” and get to work! I was struggling with a whole heap of what I considered to be “first world problems”.

Sales were up, we were really advancing in the marketplace. I had a ton of job security… and I didn’t like it.

The reality was that I didn’t feel like the company’s values lined up with my own. Some issues with customers went too long without an official resolution and it left me feeling like I was failing them even though I was powerless to do anything about it myself. The sales meetings began to get more and more aggressive with some strong arrogance above me at a managerial level. I felt like I was being pushed further and further into my own head, and often found myself distracted.

I didn’t know what to do about all these conflicting emotions so I would constantly take them to the Lord in prayer. Eventually, I would take a step out and be vulnerable into the circles of my Home Community as well as the Men’s Community at Hope City. As I would share these things, I would be encouraged by the thoughts and insight of others and reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness through both their own personal experiences as well as scripture verses that they would quote for me. He is not done with me yet, and He goes before me in all things. This is certainly no different. He was moving in me and for me, and something would change in His own time. An opportunity would come.

This past April, I was on my computer and the phone rang. It was a peer in the building materials industry asking me if I would be interested in applying for a job at her company. She would personally vouch for me and was sure I’d be a great fit for the position. (Fortune 500 company, great salary, company vehicle, benefits through the roof) I said “Yes!” The interviewing process took a couple months to get going as they had a specific time their corporate hiring team would be in town. I had two phone interviews, an online personality assessment, a two hour in-person panel interview and was told I was one of the final two candidates to get the position. They would make the announcement in approximately one month. The whole process was extremely time consuming and took a huge toll on me with stress, anxiety, excitement, etc. By the time I finally got the email I was waiting for I was ready to burst!

I didn’t get the job.

We can talk about the grieving process, and we can talk about the insecure thoughts and self-doubt that comes with rejection, but we won’t be doing so today. I’m sure you can imagine how it all must have felt. I was just so sure that this was what I had been waiting for. During and after the interviewing process I had repeatedly prayed that this door be opened if it was meant to be and if it wasn’t, that He not let me make this change just to end up in a similar situation at another company.

This October I received a call from two guys in my industry whom I have looked up to my entire career. There was no two-month interviewing process, there was no online personality test, the conversation took less than an hour and as of November 1st I now own my own LLC and am an independent Sales Representative for Oregon and Washington. It’s not a Fortune 500 Company. It didn’t come with a fancy company vehicle or a pay raise. I got to keep my dream job. I got to keep my sunny spring day trips up the Columbia River. I got to keep all my wonderful customers and now I own my very own business.

When I was grieving the loss of that Fortune 500 job, I thought about all the things… more money, company vehicle, more swagger… I had to remind myself what I had been praying for all along. I was longing for an opportunity that aligned with me and what I am all about.

When I was at my first sales meeting with the six other men I now work with, I was given an opportunity to introduce myself. I said to them “I must be honest with you guys… I am a man of faith and I have been praying for an opportunity like this for a very long time.” The guys all around the table smiled. One of them replied “Will, we are all men of faith here… and we are very excited to have you on board."

Will McHarness
Volunteer | Hope City Church