Overcoming Conflict & Fear – “Marlene just be a little flexible….”
In 1993 I was recommended by a friend at church for an office job managing a commercial real estate company owned by a Christian couple in Tallahassee, Florida.
My friend told me this couple were two of God’s finest. Looking back now nearly thirty years later, I have to say that she was right then and is still right today.
I had arrived in Tallahassee in Februrary of 1991, with only two of my four boys after a disasterous event beseiged our family.
Colt was six and Maverick was four. I drove a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle that had been redone, and painted candy apple red, but it had no seat belts, car seats, and two big holes in the floor board in the back where the boys sat. I was always afraid we would hit a bump and one of them would go bouncing through to the pavement below.
I was such a fearful and insecure single mom. When Rene’ approached me and told me she had referred me I wondered, “Why would anyone want to hire me to manage their office?‘ She replied, ” The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Exodus 14:14 ESV
The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
The first week, I was asked to re-do the phone greeting for the company. This was great the first time, but then about the tenth time on the first day….it got a little scary.
I had quit my very secure and stable job with the Leon County School Board, and I was beginning to wonder if I was up for the job. So this was Monday, then Tuesday, Wednesday, and it suddenly dawned on me Thursday evening that I just couldn’t get it right . I went home that evening only to get up the next morning, fearing it would be my last day.
I looked in the mirror and wondered whether or not I was going to have to “redo” the message again. It was as if I just knew I was at my breaking point. I felt the LORD say gently,
“Marlene, how about being a little more flexible. Could you? If you looked in the mirror and didn’t like the outfit you were wearing, or the way your make up or hair looked, you wouldn’t give it a second thought about going back and changing it. Learn to be a little more flexible. It will serve you well in life.”
Marlene, how about being a little more flexible. Could you?
Somehow when God speaks to you, He is able to do it in a way that gives you the choice to either flat out rebel; or to just submit and obey. In my heart I knew He was right and changing the message forty or fifty times to get it just right wasn’t really a big deal in the whole scheme of things.
So when I got to the office and Johnny Blue came in and smiled at me and said, “Hey Marlene, about that phone greeting!”
I was able to look back and instead of being intimidated, fearful and not feeling good enough, I stepped up boldy… with the confidence of God…
I said, “Ok Johnny Blue, I’ll work on it.”
To my surprise he said, “No Marlene, I loved it! Thought it was great!”
I continued to work for Johnny Blue and April Anderson Craig for nine years as their office manager at Craig Commercial Realty and would not trade one minute or message.
When I left, There were days when I felt conflicted, fearful, and as if I had lost part of my soul.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”I Corinthians 31:12
But, the LORD used them to help me gain strength and courage. But, through those times of learning to be flexible, when I didn’t or couldn’t understand what God was doing in me, in them, or in our children; I’ve learned how to be a better parent, grandparent, friend and overcomer.
This is just one of many many life lessons learned while under the roof of Johnny Blue and April Anderson Craig. (Most of the other stories involved some sort of dead or stuffed animal.) When God lines you up with people in your life, you can totally believe He knows what He is doing. Johnny Blue and April, thank you for everything. i love you guys.
His love endures forever,
Marlene Hoenig, Missionary, Mentor & Prayer Counselor
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In Christ Alone we stand, all other ground is sinking sand.