It was quite an honor. I grew up in a small town, Creswell, OR, from the time I was 1 year old until I left for college. My parents still live in the same house & attend the same church, Creswell First Presbyterian Church. My mom is a deacon, & they kindly asked me to come & do a presentation in the morning from 9 AM until noon about how to better serve those who live with chronic illness.
Then, they invited the community to come & hear me speak from 130 until 3 PM, in the sanctuary. The last time I stood on the stage at this church was when I was 15 years old & accepted Christ into my life.
I wrote about my pastor, Norm Few, in my book Mosaic Moment, Devotionals for the Chronically Ill. (You can read the actual devotional about Norm soon on this site. I will post it –it’s precious!)
It was such a joy to be able to return to what I will always consider my “home church.”
It was also a different experience to look out to the audience & see people who I had known all of my life. Or perhaps, I should say, these people had known me all of my life!
They were the parents of friends I grew up with.
People who had hosted their children’s slumber parties & I had dug through their kitchen cupboards in search of snacks with their children at 2 AM.
One was the mom of a “boy” who had the first boy/girl dance party in the garage that I attended (supervised, of course).
I was the flower girl for another couple who attended.
One woman was someone I attended high school with, & she was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis & found Rest Ministries online when searching for how to explain her chronic illness to her son.
The daughter of my second grade teacher came (her mom passed away from cancer awhile back.)
And a few of you from the ministry drove many miles (Crystal drove from past Seattle!)
My family was there, my son actually fell asleep leaning against gr&ma (evidently mom was not that interesting to a seven-year-old boy –even if I did share some stories about him).
I tried not to look at my dad in the audience too frequently, as occasionally his eyes would water. He said it was the first time he’d ever seen me speak “in person.” (Love you, Dad.)
And my mom was not only extremely helpful & supportive, but also a good sport about some of the stories I shared in order to lighten things up. I remember looking at her as saying, “I love you mom, but you just have such good material!”
And I have to include my husb&. For the first time, we left our son with his gr&parents for a couple of days before I spoke & went to the coast for some time together. And I have to admit that I spent a portion of it working on my presentations. I tried to avoid this, but I just ran out of time, & his loving support from telling me it was fine, to helping me find a hairdresser on the way back home to get rid of the beach frizz–these are all our little signs of how much you love me. Thank you.
My husb& is working on getting the video together & taking out a little bit of the static that occurred. But I have to have it up on the website soon. The 90-minute presentation will be available as a DVD that can be purchased for a small amount. And then there will be many clips online & you can watch live for free.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. If any of you are reading this who would attended, please know how much I appreciated your presence.
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