Erica, would you consider being my executive secretary?”
One Sunday morning a couple of years after becoming a single mom, I was at church when a lovely couple, Alan and Julie, came up to me. Alan asked me if I would like to be his secretary. I stood before them, shocked, “Me?” I don’t have any experience in that field at all, nor do I have a degree or even a resume,” I fearfully told him.
Alan said, “Anyone who can raise five kids on their own has to have some skills.” He continued telling me that I would do great, as long as I had integrity and a willingness to learn new things. This proposition was such an honor. I loved this family so much and to think I would be able to have a Christian boss was more than I could ever hope for. But I was torn because my children came first, so as long as I could work part time, I would consider it. He said I could come in at 7:00 a.m. and leave at noon. And he would pay me almost double what I was making at the nursing home job that I was currently working at. I took his offer very seriously. I prayed about it. And talked to my pastor and my mom about it. Everyone agreed this was an amazing opportunity. I excitedly decided to take the job.
This job changed my life in so many ways. Alan was the vice president and corporate controller of the finance department of a huge health care system with over 20,000 employees. For many years, this business was voted as one of the top one hundred companies to work for in the United States. Walking up to my office on the first day and seeing my name and title posted on my own desk, next to my own computer while looking out at hundreds of skyscrapers, thirty-three floors up, in downtown corporate America was an experience I will never forget. I was surrounded by top executives and had no time to wallow in my fear and intimidation.
I had to learn Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Microsoft Office, and so much more. I was in direct communication with the secretaries of the CEO and CFO. Alan had about ten directors under him. I remember the first time I had to schedule a meeting for all the directors. As I reserved the room, sent out invitations to each of the director’s calendars, and put together the PowerPoint slides for Alan to present, I was astounded how God gave me the grace and the clarity to do it all. When he asked me to be in the corporate meeting with him, I couldn’t believe it, it was so surreal. I was so humbled and in awe as I thought Alan must really believe I have value if he wanted me to accompany him to this meeting.
As I fearfully sat in that big conference room with ten executives surrounding me, I literally was flabbergasted and thought, I can’t believe that I am the one that put this whole meeting together, and it is actually running smoothly.
Alan believed in me and saw greatness in me even when I didn’t see it myself. He didn’t even think twice about it. He just said, “Erica, I need you to do this.” I continually doubted myself. But I had to find a way to make it happen. I had to look fear in its face and conquer it head on.
At times I made mistakes. I was so mentally stretched, but Alan and God continually believed in me and motivated me to learn hard things, which in turn gave me the confidence to continue striving harder.
A few weeks after I started working for Alan, I was having a rough day. But God encouraged me through a life-changing event.
Alan told me that one of his direct reports had done something ethically wrong over the course of six months, and it had adversely affected one of the branches of the company’s finance department. He told me that I needed to take care of this immediately, not by e-mail, or by phone, but to just go find the vice president of human resources and bring her to him.
At that moment I was thinking, Me? Can I really do that all by myself? So, with some fear and trepidation, I went and found her, interrupted her meeting, and told her that Alan needed to see her right away! She said, “Okay, let’s go!”
I was shocked! I couldn’t believe I was able to just go get the vice president of human resources in a company with over 20,000 employees, just like that. While I was in the elevator taking her up to my boss, there were two other vice presidents with us. One said, “You have Erica escorting you. This must really be important.” When he said that, I thought to myself, I am nothing but Alan’s secretary.
It was at that moment I realized that since I was escorting the human resources director in the name and the authority of my boss, I was able to accomplish much in Alan’s realm of authority. God used that situation to show me what can happen in the spiritual realm when we truly take on the authority and power of His name.
In the natural, I am just a struggling, single mother of five children. But when I take on the NAME of God, I no longer am husbandless. My maker is my husband! (Is. 54!)
I am no longer fatherless; Abba Father is my Daddy!
I am no longer poor; Jehovah Jireh is my provider. “I have not seen the righteous (those in right standing with God) abandoned/ Or his descendants pleading for bread” (Ps. 37:25).
My mind is no longer in turmoil because Jehovah Shalom is my peace that passes all human understanding!
I am no longer overwhelmed because Jehovah Nissi is my banner of victory. I am an over-comer by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony!
I am no longer lost because Jehovah Rahi is my Shepherd! He leads and guides me. Never will He leave or forsake me.
I am no longer full of sin because Jehovah M’kaddesh is my Holiness and Jehovah Tsidkenu is my righteousness. I am made pure through His Word, and I am in right standing with God!
I am no longer sick, for Jehovah Rapha is my healer. By His stripes I am healed! _
The list goes on and on…
Wow! This has truly revolutionized my thinking! I have been trying to do so many things in my own strength!
Today I want to encourage you to trade your name for God’s name so that you will no longer live in defeat or discouragement anymore!