Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lesson 2 - How to Turn It Over To Jesus

Lesson 1:  Learning to NEED Jesus

Lesson 2:  Learning to TRUST Jesus

I'm an antique dealer and folk artist.  I quit my job in 1996 to be an "at home" mom.  I chose to change my career from something I was paid to do, but really hated; to something I wanted to do because I loved it.  

Reselling junk and creating things is my passion.  It actually is in my genes.  I knew I had a talent for finding things to sell or recreating them into something new.  I decided to do that as my "job."  This has developed over the years to what I currently do.  

Alan built me a shop/studio on our farm.  It was always my dream to have my own shop.  I decided to open one week a month and call it:  Town Hall Trinkets a Monthly Market.  Each month I had a theme and created items and redecorated my shop to reflect that theme.  I LOVED it. 

During that time, I had some really good customers.  It was one such customer that introduced me to a "picker."  A "picker" is someone who goes out and finds items to sell to an antique dealer, who in turn sells it in their shop.  

I had many opportunities to buy from several different sources.  However, I decided to meet this picker and see what he had for sale.  This person worked for a very well known estate sale company in the Wausau area.  He had opportunities to purchase items before the sales.  He had a list of buyers that he sold to.  I really can't think of a dealer in our area who didn't purchase from this person.  He was well known in the antique circle.

When I first met this person, I felt sorry for him.  God had been so good to me with the success in my business that I thought I should help him out and buy some stuff from him.  I had many difference sources for my inventory, but I felt he needed the business too.  So, I purchased some stuff from him over the course of a few months.  

During that time, there was a terrible series of garage fires in the Wausau area.  These arson fires where scary for the people living on the east side of Wausau.  An elderly lady was even found dead outside her burning garage.  This was terrible and unsolved over many months.  

Little did any of us in the antique business know that it was actually this "picker" who was responsible.  

I still remember the night the officer called me and said that he needed to come out to my house and ask me a few questions about this person.  You could have hit me with a ton of bricks as this deputy told of the evidence in this case.  

This ugly story unfolded over the course of a year.  A year of investigations, questions, "good cop bad cop", accusations - it was horrible for all parties involved; including me!  I actually distanced myself from many in the antique business.  I was scared, worried and angry that my reputation would be defined by this horrible situation.  I spent years building my business on honesty.  My story never changed, it didn't have to, I was telling the truth.

I wrestled with myself, rehearsing my testimony for many, many months.  It all came down to the fact that I wanted to control the situation.  "Well, if they say this...I'm going say this" (I had worked for an attorney years prior and knew some dirty secrets about some pretty powerful Marathon County individuals, and I was willing to share that if need be).  I can not tell you the time I wasted on this - it consumed almost my every thought.  

As terrible as this was, I kept saying to my family and friend, Lisa, that I know Jesus loves me and he wouldn't put me through this unless I am supposed to learn something from it.  I just kept saying that over and over.  I knew there was more to this lesson than just not to buy from a thief.

So, it is the day before my testimony in Court.  I grabbed my bible, put it to my lips, closed my eyes and said aloud...."Jesus, if you love me, can see me right here in my kitchen...give me something...a sign, a verse when I open this bible...please."   Well, you would not believe what I opened to, where my eyes fell.  Mark 16:9 - 11.  "But take heed to yourselves; for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.  And gospel must first be published among all nations.  But when they lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye, for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."

What I got out of that was profound...."when they shall deliver you up to councils (court); don't think on what you will say....for in that same hour that you speak I will give you the words."  I screamed!  I'm an idiot.  I didn't need to worry what to say, Jesus is going to give me the words.  I had instant peace.  I only wish I had done this in the beginning - turning it over to Jesus instead of trying to do it myself.

I went the next morning, sat in the waiting area for my turn - just moments before I was to take the stand, the district attorney's secretary came in and said that I was free to go....they didn't need my testimony, the person before me told them all they needed to know about my portion of the case!  I didn't have to testify!  

Lesson 2:  Learning to TRUST Jesus.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.
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