Friday, November 14, 2008

Unexpected Vacation

As of this time yesterday I had a slow weekend planned. Punkin' and I were going to hang out at the house and maybe do a little cleaning, maybe take some walks. But last night I got the call that I've been waiting for. It was Serra, and she had big news! Before I tell you her big news, though I have to share a little of our history. Rewind about four years...

After I had worked at Broadlane for almost two years I decided to switch positions and I applied for two internal jobs. The managers from both departments offered me a position on their teams, and I was faced with a decision. I did a lot of praying about which one to choose because I was torn. One offered a higher salary, and more of a direct career path. The other, was totally out of my box and it didn't pay as much. For some reason I felt like I was supposed to take the latter. I continued to pray about it and asked God to clear up four specific concerns I had about taking that position. The next day I again met with the hiring manager and he one by one alleviated all of my resignations about the job - I didn't even ask him to! That was clear enough to me that that is where God wanted me.

Two weeks into my new job and I was seriously questioning my communication skills with God, because that job was very far from what I thought it would be. I hated it, in fact. I kept asking God why on Earth he would put me there when it was so clearly not what I prayed for. I quickly decided that I needed to make a friend amongst my new co-workers or I would go crazy. Serra was one of the people who trained me, and I decided that I liked her, so she was chosen. However, Serra didn't want to be chosen. She was nice enough to me, but I could tell that she wasn't interested in becoming buddies. I've told her many times since then that I did in fact pick up on her "that's nice, but are you done talking to me?" face, but I was sure that if she got to know me that she'd like me too. I know at the time, though, she was just questioning my ability to read social cues. lol.

Eventually, Serra came around and we got really close. We ended up sitting next to each other at work and we talked most of the day. We found out that we had a TON in common. The main thing, though, was our personalities. I often referred to Serra as my twin. I always know exactly how Serra will react to something simply by putting myself in her situation. She is sarcastic, independent, hard-headed, and as un-mushy as they come - just like me. We started hanging out outside of work, and got even closer.

During her time at Broadlane, we would often talk about religion and our beliefs. This was one thing we didn't have in common. I grew up in church, Serra had never been. I remember one of the first questions she asked me was if you had to pay to go to a church. She didn't know you could just show up on Sunday morning and take a seat in the pew. I can't say that I remember many of our talks in detail, but I remember telling Frank about it because it was exciting to me that she was even asking. Knowing Serra, I was sure that I could never pressure her to do anything, so I tried to just answer her questions honestly. At that point I had no doubt that God was seeking her, and no doubt why he had asked me to take that job.

Less than a year after we met, her husband Garry got a job in California, so they moved and I was left in that terrible department alone. I definitely shed a few tears because 1) I felt like I was losing a friend, and 2) I was worried that she would never hear much of the Gospel anymore. (Because I'm the only one God can use, right??) Soon after she left I sent her a care package complete with the book "The Case for Christ" and some Wolf Brand Chili (don't ask). There was some other stuff, too, but I can't recall. I kept hoping she would call me and say - "hey I read that book, and I've accepted Christ!". Well that didn't happen.

We continued to keep in touch through emails, IM, and some phone calls which I didn't expect. I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people so I was pleasantly surprised that she and I were able to maintain contact. She eventually made another move to Indianapolis, where they now live. Anyway, throughout the last 3 years Serra has randomly brought up more topics about religion, and on one occasion spent over an hour on the phone with Frank and I as we spelled out the Gospel to her. Again, I was very hopeful, but the call ended without any kind of light bulb going on for her. Her questions came and went for another year, and the more she asked the more I was convinced that it was only a matter of time until she believed. God wasn't letting her forget about Him.

During her time in Indianapolis Serra and Garry both got new jobs, and not surprising to me at all - they were each working with a Christian. Apparently they got the same call from God that I did, because they shared their faith with Serra and Garry. A few weeks ago Garry decided that there must be more to this God of ours, and insisted on them going to church. The message was on "What is keeping you from Jesus". It wasn't long after that that Garry made the decision to follow Christ. Serra wasn't quite ready to make the step, but she was still excited to call and tell me what Garry had done. I laughed at her astonishment at the change in his attitude, and how she was shocked when he whipped out his Bible to read before bed. I was literally beaming from ear to ear!

So, the big news is that last night Serra let me know that she too has become a believer and she and Garry will be baptized this Sunday. I have told her for over a year now that I would be there when she made that profession of her faith, so tomorrow Allison and I are headed for the airport - kleenex in hand! Pray for them in their new faith if you think of them. It's the coolest thing I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. I'm really glad that God's ways are not my ways, and that he allowed me to be a small part in his plan to guide them to the cross.


Jen said...

You know, Kristin, you have such a way with a story! And what a story of our Heavenly Father's faithfulness and pursuit of His children. You've made me do what I try to avoid, and that's tearing up at work.

God bless Serra and Garry and your exciting first trip on a plane with Allison--I'll definitely be praying for that one. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome news, Kristin. God is so good to let us be a part of His work in other people's lives! I'll be praying for you and Allison as you travel. What a wonderful way to spend this weekend - rejoicing with a new brother and sister in Christ :)

Aunt Susan

Donna Lawson said...

What a precious gift to be able to be used of God. Just imagine the party in heaven! This is a good reminder of how our Heavenly Father never lets us go. Have a safe, fun trip, but take a moment to bask in the wonder of His miracles.

Miss Mommy said...

How exciting, and what a great friend to follow through!

Heidi said...

Wow what an amazing story. Thanks for sharing!!

Shannon Delcambre said...

Hey! Got your message on my blog and Jonathan has my car tonight, which has my book for class in which is your contact!

Email me whenever you have time and I would be glad to help with WHCC.

How was class, Im sure Im SO far behind!

By the way, wonderfully, moving story. God moves in mighty ways. Neat that he sat us next to eachother in a random class a few months ago. I hope you had a GREAT weekend and Im sure it was a blessing to have you there. Hope Allison adjusted to the trip!