At least once a week, I wander into my coworker Rebecca’s office for a teaching session. Over the years, we’ve grown from coworkers to friendly colleagues to true blue friends. But I’m beginning to believe that God’s placed her in my life for an additional purpose: a life coach. Maybe it’s because I mirror herself at my age. Or because I’m admittedly tender in a lot of the ways of the world. Whatever it is, I’ve scribbled dozens of pages of mental notes from her tales of life experience.
Lesson #290: A man who cooks is a man you hook.
For the past couple of months, a temp has been working in our department. James is extremely congenial with a warm smile. It is hard not to notice him: his 6-foot frame towered over most of us and his rich baritone made eardrums tingle. Recently, he nailed a permanent position at another organization. As a farewell present to us, he made an incredible batch of deep dish bread pudding. The cinnamon and raisins and vanilla swam beautifully together and before I knew it, I had swallowed the last bit on my plate. As I stood to go to my desk, I saw Rebecca wiggling her fingers, motioning for me to come into her office. She lowered her voice and said,
“And he cooks….!”
Lesson #367: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Rebecca pulled out this story to teach about not letting bliss blind you. At a different place of employment, she was in a relationship with a fellow coworker. Ty was a dream come true. Besides being handsome, he was kind, taking extra steps to get presents and necessities for her young son.
They did spend time together in the workplace but used discretion to throw coworkers and supervisors alike off their scent. They spoke via phone after hours, conversing and joking about everything under the sun. Ty was
attentive and most important to Rebecca, he never pressured or asked her about sex.
But that’s what made her alarms go off.
(The first lesson Rebecca taught me was “Christian or not, if a man doesn’t ask, mention or try, something’s up.”)
As time went on, she noticed fragments of concern. Phone calls at certain times. Sudden departures. A woman answering his phone. Finally, she prayed and asked God to show her if this man was His man for her. Shortly after, she got a phone call from a friend. Her friend was sitting in a beauty salon and overheard a conversation between a customer and a stylist. The customer had just moved from South Carolina to be closer to her fiance. As the conversation went on, her friend realized that this woman’s fiance was Ty.
So Rebecca got up early the next morning. She took sweet time primping for the day. Dousing herself in more perfume than usual. Brushing on one more coat of mascara. Styling her hair just so. That day when Ty came into her office, her beautifully painted face told him to leave her life. Rebecca recounted everything her friend told her and with each sentence, Ty’s face grew more and more stricken in disbelief. He asked her,
“How did you find out?”
“Does it matter?”
It didn’t. Ty went back to his fiance and Rebecca went back to her life with one more coin of experience in her treasury.
Lesson #455: Don’t settle. Wait for God’s best.
Once, Rebecca was deeply in love with a man named Lawrence. She knew he was no good for her. She knew that he had another woman in his life. But she couldn’t shake him. His presence lived with her and it seemed there was no way she would ever get over him. One day, she spoke to a older coworker about her dilemma. When she was done venting about the relationship and her entanglement with Lawrence, her coworker spoke very simply to her:
“Sis, you are in a triangle. And that is not God’s best for you.”
The older man took her hands in his and prayed. Prayed for her spirit. Prayed for her future. Prayed for God to cut the thread that tied her so tightly to Lawrence. When Rebecca let go of his hands, she said everything she felt for him left instantly.
“He fell off me like a change of clothes,
The older man continued to encourage Rebecca, never failing to remind her that God’s script for her life included a leading man, someone who will love her the way she should be loved.
I know my mental notepad will continue to be filled with tidbits of her wisdom.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.