This led to a 5-6 hour drive across Washington after the conference with Jeff and his wife, Keri, neither of whom Jared had met prior to this encounter. In a white van with no windows. (OK, just kidding about the van.) But you get my point. ;-) This could have gotten shady pretty quickly. Also, there was apparently a gallon sized bag of gummy bears involved in this excursion, so that is certainly questionable at best. But. . .
. . . thankfully, they didn't have any shady plans in mind (other than consuming those nasty little globs of goo), and they did in fact deliver Jared all the way to Vancouver safely. ;-) In fact, by the time they had reached Vancouver, Jared had come to the conclusion that Keri and I would be BFFs if we could spend some time together. (Jeff's not too bad either, but we can talk about that some other time.)
Fast forward about a year. Jared was scheduled to speak at a conference in Seaside, OR, and that same dude named Jeff Seavey asked if Jared would like to speak at his church in Vancouver again. And guess who joined him this time. :-D And guess who finally met the utterly fabulous Keri in person. And guess who ADORES her! (It's me just in case any of you slow people were struggling with the guessing.)
In some ways, we are kind of polar opposites. She is in the Northwest. I am almost as far away as you can get within the continental U.S. in the Northeast. She is in the city. I'm about as rural as you can get. She is a pro, having ministered with her husband for several years. I still find myself feeling very inexperienced at this pastor's wife thing. And then there's the fact that we're kind of photo negatives of each other--me with my white hair and light eyes, she with her glossy dark mane and beautiful brown eyes. BUT. . . I'm pretty sure our hearts are identical twins, and I love that.
What a gift to me is this precious woman! I'm always amazed (not really surprised anymore, but still amazed) by the way God knits hearts together so quickly and securely when the Gospel is the common ground. When you add to that common experience and similar struggles, it seems like the bond becomes even stronger more quickly. And let me just tell you, pastor's wives need each other. And that's about all I'll say about that for now. ;-)
Through Jared's stories and Facebook, I already felt like I was getting to know this entire wonderful Seavey family. But this week we shared stories, we shared meals, we shared laughs (SO MANY LAUGHS), and we even shared the Gospel with some unsuspecting associates at the Seaside Dairy Queen who were just trying to close down for the night. Bless their little hearts. :-) And we dug into the Word together via the CB Northwest Pastor's Conference under Jared's teaching. And every second of it was a blessing.
I'm so grateful for another sister with whom to lock arms as I continue to learn and grow into what this whole "Pastor's Wife" thing is supposed to look like. It's a challenging journey, but much less so when shared with loving, Godly, FUN ladies like Keri who help lighten the load and share JOY along the way. This week was such refreshment to me. It truly felt like a glimpse of heaven. Beautiful fellowship, all things in common, and staring into Christ's glory together. I wanna do it again SOON! So much AWESOME!
Love you, Jeff and Keri! (But mostly Keri. No offense, Jeff. It's not like you didn't already know. But if you'll get me a coupon for a $243 trip to Paris, I'll elevate your status immediately.)