1997-07-09 - Trust in the Lord
Hi everyone. David is on a six-week sabbatical, and Sandi is filling in for him. Thanks, Sandi! : )
Many people doubt God's existence. Even more people doubt His having a "Personal Plan" for each of our lives. I believe both. This story, I trust, will show why.
Proverbs 3:5&6- "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (KJV)
It all started when my husband, Jeff, "locked" himself away in our bedroom with a Strong's Concordance and his KJV Bible. When I asked what he was doing, he told me he would tell me when he was finished.
Allow me to share that money has been extremely tight for us, I am coming out of a long illness that culminated in surgery to remove the "sick" parts. And although I have been feeling a lot better, the money situation was getting worse and worse. Not to mention the fact that someone stole our best producing pay telephones right out of the ground and cut our earnings from the business in half.
So, I really had to wonder what Jeff was studying. Some of you know that I had three job offers on the table, but that all three seemed to have fallen through, 2 by my own weeding, and the third one "just because".
After a week of study, Jeff explained to me that he had been studying about "trust" and "worry". He'd come to the conclusion (by his study) that God doesn't want us to worry, but instead to trust in Him. He'd come to the conclusion that he had been sinning by his constant worrying about money and the bills not being paid, and that he had not been trusting God to take care of all of our needs. The Bible clearly states that if we trust Him and put Him first that He will take care of our needs.
While he was still talking the phone rang and when I answered it, it was that third opportunity that I alluded to. The guy (Jim) told me that he had an upcoming sales trip the next week, and did I want to go? Sure, I did!! And where was it? When he told me "Pensacola", my heart sunk. I did not particularly want to go out of town for a week to go on some sales trip that probably wouldn't do much.
Before I go any farther, let me explain that I have (had) two major fears in life … the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. Anyone who has ever been in the sales force knows that for someone with these fears, sales is definitely NOT the field to get into. I didn't mind "trying my hand" at sales, but only if I was close enough to home to have a safety net to fall back on. But I told him I would think about it a couple of days and get back to him.
Jeff was sure I should go. "We'll be all right, go." The boys were sure I should go. "We'll be all right, go." But I still had one more objection, "I don't have any business clothes." Upon calling a friend, that objection was over-ridden, too, that friend had "just happened" to clean out her closet, and I received a whole new wardrobe of business attire. Looked to me like God was saying, "Everything will be all right, go."
So, I called and left a message for Jim on Wednesday night that it looked like everything was a go.
On Thursday, the phone rang, it was Jim, calling again. It was going to be just him and me, and he had rented a 2 bed efficiency. Now, I had a lot of problems sharing a room with a guy that I am not married to, and I told both him and Jeff that I didn't like it. Jeff told me to say, "Yes" and we'd pray about it. So, I did. Saturday, Jim called back, he'd found a another woman to go. Praise the Lord. Really looks like He had plans, right??
All of this, so far, was pretty exciting to me, because I had never seen such direct answers to direct prayers before. (Okay, outside of the Hurricane Andrew experience, and maybe the time when I learned to praise Him no matter what....but all of this was still new area for me. "Trust me.")
We got to Pensacola very late on Tuesday night, and by Thursday afternoon when I had a lot of promises, but no definite yesses, I was extremely discouraged. "God? Did You bring me up here to fail? Did You want me to face my fears and get them out of the way? I'm doing it, God. But this trip is costing me money, and we don't have the money to lose!"
I talked to Jeff that night, and told him about my frustrations and discouragement. He reminded me that God said to trust Him. If I sold nothing, that was okay … the point was trusting and not being discouraged.
The next morning, as I read my daily Psalms and Proverbs, the words kept reflecting Jeff's words. Over and over. "Trust in the Lord" "Be not discouraged." When you're wrong, you're wrong, and I had been wrong. I asked God's forgiveness for my being wrong, and asked Him to help me.
Jim hadn't taken his own vehicle because Maggie and I were "in training" and he spent each day with one or the other of us, and Friday was my day to be observed. We stopped at a store that already had two of "our" phones located there (I was working for a competitor) and the lady in there was very happy and very nice. She suggested that we stop at another friend of her's store and see if she would want a phone, "Tell her I sent you."
Upon arriving at the store, I put on my best smile, walked in, and told her Kim had sent me. "She said you might like a payphone" "Yes." "Would you like a payphone?" "Yes." We arranged where to put it, and I walked out onto the clouds.
Jim is not a Christian. He believes in "a" God, but not a personal God, but had been watching all of my troubles. Maggie is a believer, but had been cramming it down his throat how he needed to give up his ways and accept Christ or he was going to hell. Period. I got back in the car, and started laughing. I looked at Jim and told him the whole story of my going up, all of my frustrations up to that point, and then I told him, "Jim? God gave me this contract. He just waited for me to tell Him that I trusted Him. I didn't work for it, I didn't earn it, I trusted Him. And He provided."
Jim agreed that it was an answer to prayer and then said that he thought he needed to rethink his thinking. I grinned, and we continued with our day. Didn't get another contract, but we did laugh a lot and have a good time.
Saturday morning, I went back to a store where I had gotten a lick and a promise and asked the guy when he wanted his phone. He signed the contract, and I had two. And a lot of follow-ups to chase down.
Ended Saturday by going to visit some friends in Alabama that I hadn't seen in years (was a tank of gas up and a tank of gas back)...when Jim had told me that it was for 10 days, I told him okay, but I was not going to work on Sunday. Stayed the night, went to church with them, visited with an Jr. High school chum (who is … ahem … a grandmother now <Snicker>) and then some wonderful friends that I had met on the internet came over from Georgia for dinner. We had a great time together and then it was time to head back.
Monday morning bright and early I was out on the field again. Told Maggie and Jim that I really wanted to work alone....and spent Monday chasing "fall-through" leads. Just could not get hold of anyone … or was told, "Come back after the 4th." Even got one, "No, I thought about it and I don't want it."
Sigh Figured God had given me the two to show me that He wants me to trust Him, and that was it, I was done. I was tired, hot (no AC in my car … 93 degrees outside and 100% humidity), and plenty homesick. Called Jeff in the afternoon and told him I wanted to go home. I just really wanted to go home. Told him every day was costing more money, and I missed him and the boys, and could I please come home?? I'd apply for a "real" job … I wanted to come home. He told me I could do whatever I wanted … but he felt God wasn't through with me up there. He told me to pray about it, He'd pray about it, and he'd talk to me later.
I paced the floor, and prayed … told God that I really didn't want a "real" job, but I hate being turned down. Right back to that rejection-failure thing. As I was pouring out my heart, the phone rang … a lady whom I had been chasing the whole last week called back, and wanted a phone at two of her stores. I got the giggles. Called Jeff and shared with him what had just taken place, and then filled out two contracts and left them at one of her stores for her to sign and get back to me.
So, at that point, I "had" four contracts … two signed, and two "holding".
Took the rest of the day off to praise and thank Him … and told Jim and Maggie about what had happened when they got in … with their own three contracts. We were all pretty excited about the way things were turning out.
Tuesday morning, they had their own leads to follow up on, and gave me one to chase down along with the follow-ups I had. Couldn't get hold of the one they gave me, did my own calling and then decided to go to a town where no one had been. We'd been "stepping on each other's toes" in Pensacola, so I went over to Milton … a 45 minute drive.
Had the opportunity to think and pray. Told God that it was clear to me that He had planned the trip out … and I was having a great time. But, my really big question was, "Do You want me to do this on a permanent basis? Do You want me to come again? Is this what You have planned out for me right now? If the answer is "YES", Lord, would You give me one more contract today to show me?"
He did. :) I stopped at a "Seed and Feed" store … the first place I saw off the highway, pulled in and when I presented to the owner why I was there, he took me by the arm and led me to where he wanted the phone.
I thought I had had the giggles the day before!!! When I got back into the car, I was laughing so hard, I couldn't drive at first. Just laugh and thank God for the way He says, "Yes." Talk about a clear answer!!!
But, the day wasn't through yet, I had another hour and a half before I had to be back to Pensacola, so I drove on down the road. Stopped at a couple of stores, and got the owners names to call later, and as I was driving, I passed a Mission Thrift Store.
Made a U-Turn and went back … right on the main highway and lots of cars in the parking lot. Looked promising. Stopped and went in, and talked to the manager. She told me, "YES!! I want a payphone!!" But told me I had to talk to the head of the board of directors … who just happens to be the pastor of … "Faith Baptist Church" in Milton.
I almost choked … because I belong to "Faith Baptist Church" here in Palm Bay. When I related to her that fact, SHE got the giggles and told me that it looked to her like God had sent me there to her. :)
So....on to Faith Baptist Church I went. Pastor wasn't in, but the secretary was, and looked ill. I asked her if she was all right, and she said she wasn't feeling well, but had a lot of work and no one else to do it … we stopped and prayed right then and there, and I knew I had met a Sister.
When I explained why I was there, she informed me that the Board of Directors met that night, and they have four stores, not just the one. Would I mind leaving a contract for each store? Would I?? No Problem!!!!
Talk about ecstatic, no one could have been more on the clouds than I was. God had answered my questions in obvious ways, and had proved to me that He wanted me doing just what I was doing. No doubts. So what if I fail?? God is there. So what if man rejects me? God is there. What a wonderful thing to know.
We went to dinner that night and decided that since none of us had any real leads for the next day, we could just finish what we had going and go home. Home. What a wonderful word. I missed home. And I had nine contracts. I could go home.
Went back to Milton the next morning to talk to Pastor Mac, who told me that out of the four stores, only one wanted a payphone. No problem, right?? I still had six contracts. Stayed and listened to his radio show and some Bible Study … on trials and tribulations. LOL! Have to laugh … had been studying that at home.
Drove back to Pensacola and tried to get hold of the lady who wanted the two contracts. Couldn't get hold of her, so I left a message with my mailing address here with directions that if she wanted the phones in during July, she'd need to mail them to me by Saturday. Sigh Went from nine contracts, to six contracts, to four contracts (for the trip). Jeff called and said that "Patti" had called and couldn't put a phone in front of her check cashing store, robbery, but would get the other one in the mail to me.
That morning , during my reading of the Psalms and Proverbs (it is a habit of mine <g>) one Psalm kept coming back to me again and again, Psalm 62:10b … "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them". It kept coming back to me again and again as I drove up to Milton, and as I was driving back. It came back to me when I couldn't get hold of Patti. Nine contracts meant riches … and I had definitely set my heart on them … we do after all need the money.
So, we packed up and were leaving, and Jim said he needed to see the two places in Milton, so we drove over there and he turned them both down. He just felt funny about them. Well, I had to laugh. Here he was, worried about my "feeling bad" about his rejection and I was laughing at him.
He asked what was so funny … and I explained it this way, "Jim, this morning when I woke up, I knew I had nine contracts in the bag. I knew that I had made over $1300. I was so excited. I read in Psalm 62:10b … "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them". I couldn't figure out why that one verse kept coming back to me. But now I know."
"I get to keep two of the nine contracts, which is $300. I spent $300 up here. Want to know what I think? I believe that God brought me up here to teach me to trust Him … and then just to prove His point, He made sure that this trip cost me nothing. He's giving me back what I spent, but not a penny more. If you want me to keep working for you, I'll do it. But God taught me to lean on Him, to trust in Him, and to know that He is in control."
And that, my friends, is the story of how my week went. I'm leaving again tomorrow for a four day trip … and I'm taking Andy with me. I think it'll be great to have my "young-un" with me. Part of home. And I can do that … can't with every job. Jim said that when it comes time to "do" the installs, I'll go up for another sales trip, and I can take any of my kids I want … he'll use them and pay them $10 for each phone they help him install. :)
Maggie got nine contracts, but she's decided that she doesn't want to stay in the field of sales. That's okay, it's not for everyone. I didn't think it was for me, too … but God said, "Go."