In May 1995, I accepted a position with Nortel. I had been contracting for about a year and a half. My life had not been going well in 1995 and this new job was the best thing that had happened so far. Earlier in the year, my mother found out she had breast cancer, my soccer team lost every game, my husband’s job had an insecure future, I sprained my ankle and my grandmother died. Enough was enough! This new permanent position with Nortel came “out of the blue” literally. I had no idea what was to happen in my life at that time.
After a couple of months in my new position, I started to get aquainted with my co-workers. I became very obvious to me that Kelli, the lady who sat in the cube next to me, was a Christian. This made me nervous and I struggled with how to talk to her about her faith. I had been through a traumatic experience with another church a few years earlier. Since that experience, every time I entered a church, I had to fight with myself not to run out. I was afraid that Kelli was one of “those kinds of people” who would chase me down and thump me on the head with her theology.
I was wrong. I found out she was a born again Christian. I was thinking to myself “Wow, she’s so cool, she’s wears funky clothes and has a funky haircut. She has a great sense of humor and she doesn’t try to cram her religion down my throat.” She didn’t look like the stereo type Christian. My previous experience with Christians had been with people who walked around with a glazed look in their eye and quoting scripture constantly. I guess you could say Kelli’s approach was a soft sell.
I soon found out that three other people in the immediate area were also Christians. They were the same way. What I didn’t realize at the time was I was seeing Christ in my co-workers.
I began to realize that I was surrounded. However, it was a time in my life when I needed to be surrounded by some of God’s children. Soon, I was asking Kelli all kinds of questions. She shared her testimony, Bible verses, and a daily devotional with me that she received on email.
At Christmas time, Kelli and some other co-workers invited me to a Christmas pageant at a local church. I thought “Uh-oh, I need to tell them what has happened. I may want to run out of that church.” Kelli understood when I told her my story.
So, I went to the Christmas show anyway. I didn’t even notice until the show was over that I didn’t feel the urge to run out. I had a great time and the message really started to sink in.
I began reading the Bible. As a matter of fact, it was a One-Year Bible that my mother had loaned me years ago. I began attending church and then one day the preacher’s sermon really hit home. I called Kelli as soon as I got out of church. I really needed to talk to her and Lori, another Christian co-worker. (These two ladies had been so patient, kind, and so “normal”).
I told Kelli and Lori that my biggest fear in making a commitment to Christ was my husband. He had been active in church as a teenager but had been let down by the actions of church leaders. We hadn’t attended church much and he wasn’t interested in finding a church home.
As I talked with Kelli and Lori, I realized that I just need to trust in Christ and He would take care of the rest. The next day, April 4, 1996, I prayed and invited Jesus into my heart. I confessed my sins and told Jesus I just couldn’t do it by myself anymore.
I knew my life wouldn’t be any easier but I knew that God would be right there beside me helping through anything.
So if a Christian thinks that no one sees Christ in them at the workplace, they’re wrong. I saw Him in four of my co-workers and they helped me change my life. They didn’t beat me over the head with the Bible, nag me to go to church or judge me. They became my friends at work (of all places!). I saw how their faith made them stronger and helped them get through each and every day.