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My Friend Debbie     I was getting ready to make a big move from San Diego, CA to Virginia Beach, VA. Three of my children had already moved to VA, and I was excited that I would soon be joining them. As I was going through all my drawers, I spotted an item I had missed for some time--my gold chain and cross that my husband had given me before he passed away.

     It had gone missing a few months earlier after I invited a woman named Gina and her two children into my house. She had a 10-year-old son, Jason, and a hard-to-handle teenage daughter, Sherry, who I later discovered was on drugs, just like her mom. I couldn't bring myself to kick them out in the street, so I let them stay for a few more months.

     One day, my misgivings about my houseguests were confirmed by a stranger who knocked on my door and shared that Sherry and a friend had stolen some precious antique jewelry from her home. I immediately "knew" that Sherry had stolen from me as well and told this stranger that I had been missing a pair of gold heritage earrings and a gold cross and chain that my husband had given me. I had a habit of leaving my jewelry on my side table in the living room at night while I watched television. I knew that they must have taken my jewelry, especially since they were drug addicts and the mother hadn't found a job yet. I shared with some family members that I was mad because they were stealing from me. That cross was everything to me; it was mine from my beloved husband.

     I didn't have the guts to face Gina and tell her that I knew they stole my jewelry. I don't know why, maybe it was because there just might be an ounce of truth in the fact that they hadn't taken it. I knew I couldn't prove it, so what was the use of confronting her? However, I did share it with others. I knew that was wrong, but I felt I had a right to talk about them after all, isn't that what drug addicts do, steal to get the money to buy their drugs?

     Now, let me return back to the day of packing and going through my things for the move. I found my cross and necklace in the back of a drawer in my bathroom. I immediately heard the Holy Spirit say to my heart, "Jo, what now?" And I was shocked, because I just knew they had taken my jewelry. Then I heard the Holy Spirit say to my spirit, "Now I want you to go to Gina and tell her what you said about them and I want you to ask her for forgiveness and last but not least, give her your cross and chain. My first thought was, "No! My husband gave that to me," but we all know it wasn't that easy to deny the Holy Spirit. Every waking moment, the Holy Spirit said, "Jo, give her that jewelry." I even tried to bargain with God, that I could buy her another cross, but the answer was a definite, "No! Give her yours!"      I realized that I was not going to get any sleep or peace until I obeyed God. So, I gave Gina the cross and told her what I said about her and asked for her forgiveness. She said that she would forgive me and that I didn't have to give her the cross and chain, butI told her that God said I must. I had to do it and I wanted her to take it. She took it and we parted several days later when I left for Virginia.

     About three years later, I received a letter from Gina. I was surprised to hear from her and wondered why she was writing to me. So I opened up the envelope and inside was my cross and chain, with a card, that said: "Jo, thank you for being obedient to God. Now it's my turn. He wants you to have it back. I love you, Gina." Wow! God is Awesome! In my wildest dreams, I never expected to see that cross and chain again.

     I wrote this about me to share with you that we as Christians make mistakes and God is a just God, teaching His children whom He loves through discipline. And when we obey Him, we do reap good things. I have many stories about my life and my journey of bad decisions, which I will share in future writings, but I choose to show that we are all human and we make mistakes. Although it's humbling to share my failures, I know that I am in the will of God in doing so. I can be confident in the grace of God, for He has forgiven me of all my flaws and has taught me to be humble, transparent, truthful, and forgiving; and I know He is proud of me. I'm not saying I'm perfect, far from it, but I'm learning what God desires of me. If I forget, He will remind me. God's love can make us whole again. He forgives us when we ask, but we always seem to forget to forgive ourselves. My guess is, you just might sleep better. After all, we all have stories to tell, don't we?

Copyright © 2008-2015 Jo Treinen

Reader Comments...
2009-01-25 00:08:40
"You are a blessing and inspiration Jo. I am praying for you!"
        - Kerriel

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