My parent’s office supply store grew into a chain of three stores, located in Sandpoint, Coeur d Alene, and Lewiston Idaho. My parents worked long hours to build their business.
In 1990 my parents sold their office supply stores and retired. I continued working in their store for a few years until I was persecuted by the manager and fired. I went to work for one of my parent’s competitors for almost a year and that didn’t work out well either. At that point in time I thought I would never be able to find another job. After more than 16 years working in an Office Supply Business, I wondered what kind of job I could find that would help me support my family.
As I searched for more employment, I began to get really discouraged. There seemed to be no place I would fit it. Who would hire someone with two firings on their record and who would believe in me? I worried a lot and prayed. Then one day, as I sat at my desk in my home office and prayed, I got my Bible and opened it. There before me was a page in the book of Nehemiah which said, “Then I said unto them, ‘Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.’ Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken to unto me. And they said, ‘Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.'” (Nehemiah 2:17-18 KJV)
I knew immediately that God wanted me to focus on rebuilding and that He was with me and would help me. With His help, I knew it would work out though I didn’t know what was in store for me.
Since I worked as a retail sales clerk and in other various jobs in my parent’s store, I thought I would try selling products so I could plan my own schedule. I tried selling life insurance and various other products but this type of selling wasn’t really for me. I didn’t really believe in the products or the people behind the products I sold. Besides I’m more of an introvert and selling products goes against my personality and makes me uncomfortable because selling requires more boldness and the ability to talk people into purchasing things. The people whom I sold products to in my parent’s store usually came in with a list and I greeted them and helped them find what they wanted to buy. Rarely did I have to convince them to purchase anything, though I did try to show them new products and help them come up with solutions to help them solve problems in the organization of their business.
In 1991 I met my present husband, Steve. He lived in another apartment in the same complex as my sons and I. Steve and I began talking and both were set on never getting married again so we became good friends. Steve was a Christian man and a good listener. He even had a great sense of humor which helped lightened up the load of stress I was carrying around. God used Steve to help me work through many of the issues of my previous marriage.
Steve had also been through two previous marriages and was had battle scars. He had five sons and a daughter (who died at birth) from his first marriage. His second wife walked out on him after only about a month, without explanation. She was pregnant when she left and Steve had another son with her. However, this wife moved far away and Steve never saw his son.
God used us as tools to help each other cope with the battle wounds from previous marriages. We became good friends and Steve would come over to our apartment nearly every evening after I got home from work and/or searching for a new job. Eventually, after three years–in 1994–Steve and I decided to get married. God had healed our hearts and we had fallen in love. Though we said we would never marry again, God had other plans for us!
One day, while I was searching for employment, I went to our local McDonald’s Restaurant and put in an application. I had never worked in food service before but I needed to find some kind of work quickly. As the McDonald’s person led a small group of applicants to a room in the back to complete paperwork, a friend of mine–whom I had worked with in Children’s Church–saw me in the group of applicants. She happened to be the manager of this McDonald’s Restaurant and, though I had a new last name, she searched me out and called me in for an interview. I explained what had happened at my previous jobs and she knew it wasn’t my fault. She hired me on to work in the grill area of the restaurant.
I worked, making the food products, in that McDonald’s for about seven years. I became a crew trainer and taught new people how to make the food. I enjoyed teaching others and preparing the food but became frustrated when those I taught would not prepare the food properly or listen to me. Finally one day God brought me a revelation–that I couldn’t change people or make them do anything–that was His job. I can’t even change myself. This revelation brought me great peace in the midst of a frustrating situation.