It’s bloomin’ challenging when one chooses to be faithful in the LORD and stick out like a sore thumb. Yet, I don’t find it a shameful pursuit.

However, it is increasingly concerning when I bite the gums of my mouth, as I keep my tongue behind my teeth. Despite this inward damage control, I have noticed that I am thumping the concrete walls of my workplace with my bare fists. I could stand over the height-of-nonsense management and tower over them as I stand, or I can release my anger in full and interject with common sense slingshots. Instead, I choose to hold everything inside for 7 hours and 30 minutes and I let the water from the showerhead rinse my tears.

Today was my turn to say prayers at our family prayers. My throat choked and instead I wept uncontrollably longer than I hoped to conceal from my parents. I can see this ‘settling down’ phase a little tricky for me – for various reasons that I have shared in the past.

I recognise my initial response is to point blame at myself for trying to please God, as I strive to be faithful and obedient – even in the toughest environments at work. But the real challenge is not to cause physical harm on myself, because of three central reasons: (1) I am a child of God; (2) I am an only child to my parents – a miracle blessing; (3) No matter how much the flesh wants to repel from Christ in this pitiful world, there is no way I am giving in to life (a.k.a. see Reason No. 1).

I haven’t formally reflected in a while. In fact, my ‘Journey’ app likes to remind me that my journal entries have dipped fairly sharply since transitioning to this ‘specialised’ field. However, I didn’t expect this field of work to specialise and gawk at Excel spreadsheets in a fairly non-technical role. It also makes me less employable.

I find myself in a Catch-22, as my technical skills is waning the longer I stay put, as I’m not being exposed to the regular duties of a systems administrator. There is hardly technical duties on the job. I also miss interacting with people. I’m essentially paid to look for green ticks and say ‘No’ to others, whilst updating Excel spreadsheets.

The training is non-existent. Heads don’t give a toss of your existence other than to frantically chase you for a sudden result. Voice a complaint and you get sniped, because the pay and annual bonuses trumps the development of one’s team who produces results. There is no relationship between Vets and Noobs. Do or Die. Only two Vets are actually knowledgeable and helpful.

Despite trying to ground my feet in this field, there is a lack of personal support. Should I want to seriously invest in the cyber field, London is the best place to grow and develop one’s skills. Gosh, there’s even junior cybersecurity consultancy roles, where you get to travel across the EMEA. Either that, or I become a scripting kiddie – but I’m not that type.

I’ve always desired London, but mostly for selfish reasons. How cool would a CV look if you had London experience? I technically have London on my CV due to a long-distant certificate. In all the job interviews that I’ve attended, nobody has ever highlighted about my subtle ‘bling’ about London.

At the end of the day, why should I sacrifice my energy for London? Even common sense tells me a high-paid role in London doing cyber stuff will lead to burn-out. Meanwhile, the longer one lives in London, the longer the health will suffer. Besides, my health is suffering in my current role, which was why I urged myself to look elsewhere at my previous role – due to the same predicament. Perhaps, I have a permanently crumby health since 2009.

Sadly, I am too shattered to focus on my personal development through training videos. My body withers at 7pm every evening, but I typically slump in total exhaustion when I hop on the bus ride home. Despite leaving the office at 4:30pm, I don’t arrive at the house until 6pm – simply to save money and keep my folks company. I sadly don’t have the energy or sanity to self study. I also feel weekends are a waste, as I try to recuperate my health and practice physical rest, simply to get ready for the Monday ahead.

Oh, but Richard, you should do exercise to give you energy. That’s why you lack the energy.

Well, I typically clock over 7,300 steps each day in commuting and forced walking throughout the working day.

The reality is… I’m searching the market again. It’s been a flaky experience since Day 1, but it’s also been hard to share with folk who can relate. Not too sure why God allowed this opportunity for me to accept. Perhaps God wanted me to learn the consequence of my flesh. Maybe, it’s the reality that I am called elsewhere – or I have to experience the hardship of this role, before I can progress to another role. I’ve not experienced this pulsating frustration with work before.

I can only imagine it will take a wee while longer before I can secure something elsewhere. I generally don’t give up, but I know when to let go – mostly for the sake of my health and sanity. I pray earnestly for God’s permission and His grace to grant me such release clause, whilst still being able to secure a reference and a clean exit.

I am due to hear back from two sources. One is likely to reject, and I’m praying for a miracle on the other, as it is very technical role and up my alley. Curiously, I had a strange e-mail from a recruiter only this morning who advertised a new opportunity. Not exactly where I want to be, and I’m too exhausted in my Spirit to discern whether this is God’s calling card to respond. Let me sleep on it first.

Disclaimer: I can freely share like good ol’ times, as I am no longer monitored by a third-party background checks agency. Probation is finished and I am in the clear. No more preying eyes on my finances either. I also recently acquired SC status, which I cannot help but grin inside, as it is a 10-year clearance certification. It’s also a nice feeling to recognise that I don’t have any skeletons lurking in any cupboards. Between you and me, I don’t see too much value in the process or outcome. It’s been more of a truth-telling exercise.

Today’s reflection is brought to you by Joshua 1:9 (NLT), which reads ‘This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

~Richard