Just over 8 1/2 years ago my husband and I believed G-d was encouraging us to consider moving to Central Oregon.
We had been living in So Cal taking care of Paki, my husband’s grandfather, living in 250 square feet in the back of the house and helping start a Calvary Chapel in Santa Paula.
I was expecting Baby 2 and between being violently ill and constantly on call for Paki was reaching the end of my strength.
The fall of ’99 was busy for us as we prepared to meet the rest of my siblings in Prairie City, OR for my parents 40th anniversary and the renewal of their vows. I was 7 months pregnant, we were broke, Isaac wasn’t quite 2 and we were begging G-d for direction.
September 18th all 7 of us kids, 5 spouses and 14+/- kids gathered, or descended, on hokie-ville, redneck heaven USofA. It was a really special time and I discovered two things. First, I really did enjoy my family. Finally. Second? Women who are 7 months into a complicated pregnancy should never jump on trampolines. Yes. But it seemed like such a good idea at the time…
On our way through Oregon we had stopped briefly in Bend and while fighting over a chocolate malt at Goody’s decided we couldn’t deny the sense of “home” in our hearts in this little city just East of the Cascades and West of no-man’s land. So we prayed.
We figured Bend was too expensive and since I had a great-aunt who lived in Redmond who let us use the back bedroom for a couple of nights it seemed wise to start there. On our way back from the Family Gathering of course.
What does this have to do with the title? Bear with me.
Mom & Dad’s renewal came and went. There were buggy rides, lots of music (we do music, us Glaser’s that’s what we do), laughter and some sweet time between those of us who aren’t able to see each other very much. Then there was a buffet with a smoked turkey. WIth all the trimmings.
Have you ever had food-poisoning in someone else’s home when you are 7 months pregnant, hoping to find something that will help you relocate (ie job/housing) while looking at a 15 hour drive within the next few days? I have. Not pretty.
We came through Redmond on Saturday-Tuesday AM. Saturday night I was up all night barfing and making large and grandiose promises to G-d if He would only make it stop for the love of all that’s holy and precious. So, as I am certain you can understand, Sunday morning I wasn’t up to church and my brave and curious husband ventured on down to Calvary Redmond without me. He met a few people, namely a guy who ran a produce stand and the pastor there at CCR.
Monday we interviewed for a job and Monday afternoon we headed over to the produce stand to get some stuff for the road trip back to dingy, dusty, sunny SoCal. When we got to the produce stand, this young guy and his wife/fiance? were there and when they heard our story, they prayed for us. Sincerely, openly, kindly and filled with hope. I felt G-d breathe new life into me. For a moment I wasn’t just a tired young sick mom who wasn’t coping well with all the change and most definitely wasn’t looking forward to going back to Paki and all his medical/dietary/emotional/relational and encroaching Alzheimer’s needs. For a moment I had hope.
When we did finally move up to Bend (exactly one month later) we occasionally would cross paths with this guy and I was always blessed by his sincerity although we didn’t ever get to know his family very well.
Now 8 1/2 years later, that young guy is a the pastor of church in a local community and I hope he has all the support, prayer and hope I’m sure he has offered to so many through the years.
One little moment in time. A September afternoon, a 10 minute conversation and he reached someone who really, truly, needed to know G-d hadn’t forgotten her or her family.
Thanks, Ryan. You took a minute and made a difference. Thank you.