Friday, April 04, 2008

work and witnessing...

I’m thankful for the jobs I have had in my life. I believe each job has been given to me by God. My first full-time job was with Rax Restaurants. A friend of the family knew I was looking for a job and they were able to put a good word for me. Plus the fact my sister worked there a few years before me. I worked for this company for 5 years...between to different restaurants. I started out in a store in Kentucky and later transferred to a store in Ohio. Leaving my position as a shift supervisor was directed by God with the opportunity to go to school at Southland Bible Institute in Ashland, KY. Since school would be taking up much of my time, I had decided to leave there and find something part-time in Kentucky.

Through a friend from my boss at Rax, I was able to be hired at K-mart Department Stores. My first year with K-mart was a rocky one...as my school schedule caused some conflicts with scheduling. Thankfully I had developed a good work ethic with a few people above me and they seemed to put a good word in with the HR manager. I think she would have fired me had these people not give their opinion of me. In fact, one evening the HR manager came to me with surprising news that the job I had completed in the toy department impressed her. I told her that I would do my best to allow my school schedule to not cause problems while I was working there. I quit the choir...which was interesting as I really loved singing, but with the travelling schedule I did need to have the job too. So something had to go. I believe God used me at K-mart to witness to my co-workers...not in a beat them over the head, but as a person of love. Someone who had compassion on them...even though I didn’t agree with their particular lifestyle. After completing my four years at SBI, I graduated, but continued to work with K-mart for one more year. Right after celebrating my fifth year there, I ran into a good friend from college at a Geoff Moore concert, who worked at a small mortgage company in Ashland. She mentioned they were looking for a receptionist, and I was hoping to be able to find something that would allow me to be able to attend church on Sundays and Wednesdays. At K-mart my schedule was either mornings or evenings, and I sometimes had to work on Sundays too.

I was hired in September of 1998 with Star Financial Corp. Within the first year though, we had some financial difficulties and I was let go...for two weeks. After those two weeks, I was asked to come back as a loan processor as one of the girls working that position had to be away for several weeks due to a death in the family. I continued to work there and eventually ended up as a loan closing agent. This job was my first job working for a boss who was a Christian. It was a great atmosphere to work and we were able to encourage each other with our morning prayer meetings. I actually stayed with this company for a little over seven years, but the last year was a little hectic with money again.

In February of 2005, I was making a call to an insurance company for one of my clients. The insurance agent I was talking to had become a friend of mine...so out of the blue I asked if they happened to be hiring there. He said, "yes, as a matter of fact we are." I told him I would run my resume down to him and he just said to fax it to him. He would get it to the agency manager. The following Saturday after faxing my resume, the agency manager called for me to come for an interview. On Presidents day I met with him and was hired that day. It was a difficult decision to leave the company after seven years, but it was the right time.

I began working in the main office located in Greenup in March of 2003. The small office became a home to me and I really enjoyed the regular customers who would come to pay their bills or make changes on their policies. Towards the end of 2006, I began to work a few days a week in the satellite office in Flatwoods. January 2, 2007, I was officially moved to the satellite office to work with the agent in that office. It was an interesting combination...more relaxed atmosphere, but sometimes a little tense...depending on the day it was.

In September of 2007, we had a major change in the office. The agent was leaving to pursue an agency managers position in another county and we were getting a new agent. I was a little worried about this move, but I should have known God was in control and He was working behind the scenes. The agent applying for the position came into the office to introduce himself and we hit it off. His wife is an amazing woman as well. She helps out when we need her and is very easy to talk to.

I have given you the history of my employment for a main reason...I believe God has led me to these jobs to be a witness and light to Him. But not only to share my faith with those who may not believe, but also to encourage those brothers and sisters I have.

Bryan (the new agent), Crystal and I were talking this week about how we want our office in Flatwoods to have a good reputation in the community. We want to be seen as helpers...making it not only easy to do business, but also to leave feeling better than when they come first come in. Crystal is a great people person and is great at selling life insurance for Bryan, where as my strong points are more in the technical things...like figuring out why a bill is more this month than last month.

I mentioned how I enjoy seeing my regular customers each month...and with our goal being one of bringing a light in their day I have come to discover that many of them brighten my day instead.

Well...yesterday one of my customers called to speak to me on the phone. I had mentioned about a Christian concert being in the area and faxed him a flyer to give him information about it. He called to thank me for telling him about it. While I was on the phone I mentioned that I was entering the CATS competition. I asked that he pray for me as I stepped out of my comfort zone to do it. He wanted to speak to me about a problem, but before he did, he said, "let me pray for you right now." I tell you tears came into my eyes...one of my customers was sitting on the other end of the phone praying for me. How encouraging that was for me to experience. I love it when people actually pray for you when you ask them too...but to do it right on the phone. It was such a blessing I just really enjoyed it.

Today though was another experience. I have finally found K-Love on the radio at work. With the added station in this area we are now able to get it. I love listening to K-Love because the music on there is encouraging to me and it also allows our customers to hear while they have to wait. One particular customer was in the back office talking with Bryan and heard Crystal and myself share some things about our faith to one of our customers. She came out of the office and mentioned to Bryan that she wanted to come up and have church before she left. She told us she was very excited to hear us listening to K-Love and sharing our faith and God allowing her to see that the people she is using as her insurance agents are fellow believers. It was another way of God blessing my crazy hectic dreary week.

Yes the week started off rainy and dreary, and God used my friend Kat to give me that silver lining to focus on...and at the end of the week, God used our customers to give us that silver lining to focus on...to help us to be bold when sharing our faith.

It’s a blessing allowing God to lead my path as I walk along this journey. I’m thankful He’s in control of everything.

Until next time...

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