Erin held her head a little higher than usual as she walked into her office on Monday morning. She felt the stares and heard the whisperings of her co-workers as she walked tall and proud across the lobby. She purposely stopped at the coffee station and slowly poured a cup of steaming coffee, taking the time to add creamer and stir it thoroughly before retreating to her office.
I refuse to allow this gossip to affect me. God, please give me your strength.
The rumors had started months ago. Erin had ignored the bits that she overheard, thinking that all the talk would go away. Instead, the spark that had ignited had turned into a blaze, picking up momentum with each person that took part in building the forest fire that now surrounded her.
The entire office believed that she was having an affair with her boss.
Erin knew this for a fact because one good willed Christian woman, a friend of Erin's, had stopped by for a visit on Friday to inform her about the gossip that was running rampant about the office.
"Erin," Shelia had began while squirming uncomfortably in her chair, "I don't know exactly how to tell you this, but someone needs to. Everyone is talking about your relationship with Brian."
"What are you talking about"? Erin asked, feeling her blood pressure rise.
"Everyone sees the closed door conversations that you have in his office. Everyone also saw the two of you leave for lunch together last week."
Erin had barely allowed Shelia to finish the conversation before she had snatched her briefcase and headed home.
She spent the weekend sobbing in her husband Chad's arms. Chad immediately understood. He felt her pain because he had been her rock through the entire situation. He was the one who had encouraged Erin to witness to Brian. Chad prayed with Erin for Brian and helped her to find the words to say that had ultimately led Brian to Christ. Erin had never felt closer to her husband because of the faith and trust that he had shown in her.
Brian had led a playboy lifestyle. He was one of the firm's top executives, single and successful with a certain charm that no one could resist. No one that was, until Erin.
Brian had made his fair share of attempts to capture Erin's attention, yet Erin always resisted and managed to redirect the conversation to her family and her personal relationship with Christ. She had talked to Brian about how she and Chad met and how they had known that they were meant for each other because of the manner in which God had answered specific prayers. Erin had also talked to Brian about hardships that she and Chad had endured and how God always saw them through each trial.
One morning, after a weekend of empty partying, Brian began to ask Erin questions about Christ. Tough questions about how to have faith and believe in a God that he could not see.
Brian wanted desperately to have a relationship with Christ, but the concept of Christ dying on a cross for his sins was foreign to him. He had not been raised in church, yet the conviction that he was under drove him to the point that he could focus on nothing other than reading and studying God's word.
Erin had answered many of Brian's questions about scripture in the privacy of his office. She had also helped him find a local Bible believing church and encouraged him to attend.
Yes, if she were completely honest with herself, she could see how her co-workers might have gotten the wrong idea. Yet, she knew that she had followed her own convictions and had allowed God to work through her at a time when Brian needed a Christian friend.
The humiliation that you feel today is not in vain my child.
Erin relaxed completely as the soft voice of God washed over her.
Regardless of the amount of humiliation that she felt at the moment, Erin reminded herself that it was worth it. After months of praying for Brian and answering his many questions, Brian had taken her and Chad out to lunch last week to celebrate the fact that he had turned his life over to Christ.
Brian and Chad had become great friends. The office staff would figure it all out in time.
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