The Power of a Trusting Heart
Sometimes, tough times turn into blessings. Christian Wilson found herself in the middle of a situation that she didn’t know how to get out of. She worked at an accounting firm for five years and, for most of those five years, her boss sexually harassed her. Though he treated Wilson nicely in many ways and even helped her secure a raise at one point, he continuously acted inappropriately, harassing her verbally or touching her in ways she didn’t like (such as slaps on the rear).
Wilson, 33, describes the way she was treated as someone helplessly under the authority of another. “It kind of felt like he was a slave owner—someone who protects you, but violates you at the same time,” she said. “Or a parent who abuses a child, but still acts like he loves you.” Similarly, she was unable to escape from her situation.
While she constantly sought new job opportunities, she found herself standing in front of too many closed doors. During this time, Wilson kept praying and trusting that God would take care of her and that He would indeed provide an escape from the mistreatment she faced at work. She reported her boss to the human resources department and also confided in one of the other partners at her company.
However, about two months later, Wilson was called into her boss’ office to be informed that they were letting her go. She couldn’t understand why—she came to work early, stayed late, never complained and always worked hard with a smile on her face. Her boss told her not to speak to others at the company about her situation and suddenly, she knew without a doubt that the coworker she had confided in had talked to her boss. Together, they developed a scheme to let Wilson go. Wilson was in disbelief. “When I thought about my story, I realize it sounds more like a movie than real life,” she said.
Normal company protocol for someone unwillingly leaving the company was not to allow that individual to return to his or her desk for anything. But in Wilson’s case, she was given three months until her final day of work, which allowed her the time to gather all of her pictures and personal documents from her computer, as well as all of her belongings at her desk. With her head held high, Wilson didn’t mope or feel sorry for herself. Instead, she was excited for new opportunities that lied ahead. She always loved fashion more than accounting, anyway.
During the remaining three months at her company, Wilson said her boss consistently inquired about what her plans were for the future. She credits this to the guilt he was feeling inside. “It was just his conscience eating up at him,” she said.
During that time, Wilson contacted an attorney and after she left, her attorney sent a letter to the company to inform it of her formal sexual harassment complaint. The result of her case provided her with enough financial support to start her own fashion brand, Christian J, a women’s dress fashion line. Wilson says her business has been doing well and she is currently working on another collection.
For women in similar situations, Wilson says it’s important not only to document and report those cases to HR, but also to know that such treatment should not be accepted. “Don’t ever act like it’s okay if something makes you feel uncomfortable,” she said. “And keep praying because God will definitely make a way of escape for you.”
Her experience has given her the passion to inspire and encourage other women. She now looks back at what she went through as a blessing in disguise.
She reminds women never to give up hope that God will get them through the storms of life. “Even when you can’t see your way through something, and you feel like God is ignoring you, He’s totally not ignoring you,” Wilson said. “He really does have a plan.”
You can visit Wilson’s business website at IAMChristianJ.com and her personal/ministry website that she blogs on at ChristianJoyWilson.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @ChristianJoyW (personal) and @IAm_ChristianJ (business) and on Instagram @IAmChristian_J.