I was born into a Christian home in Twin Falls, Idaho. At age two, when my parents divorced, my mom and I moved to San Diego to live with my Aunt. We began attending a Christian church in the area and became very involved. I spent quite a bit of time at church, because my mom would help in Sabbath school, Vacation Bible School, and with other church events such as weddings. I started attending a Christian school in second grade, where I eventually graduated. I’m thankful I had that opportunity to strengthen my faith in God and help to build a strong biblical foundation.
I have always had a love for nature and would grab every opportunity to be outdoors. Every summer, I would spend at a Christian camp. I always felt the closest to God, when I was spending time in the nature He created for us. This love for the outdoors continued into High School, where I joined the Hiking and Camping club.
Shan, a friend of the family, would often be at our house throughout High School when I was leaving for various dates. She would often tell me that she knew someone I needed to meet, that we were perfect for each other. In my senior year I decided to attend Pacific Union College, a Christian college in the Napa Valley. When I told Shan that I had decided to attend Pacific Union College, she told me that Jay (the person she thought was perfect for me) was already attending there. She showed me a picture of Jay and provided my information to him. Over the summer we wrote letters back and forth.
When I was leaving for college, my mother teasingly told me I had one year to find a husband. I arrived at college and began forming friendships with my dorm roommates. I have always been somewhat of a shy person and would see Jay around the campus, but did not have the nerve to introduce myself. One evening when I returned back to the dorm, I received a phone call from Jay’s roommate. He told me that Jay was in the lobby and wanted to meet me. I went down to the lobby and finally met Jay. We quickly formed a relationship. That next January, after returning from Christmas break, I called my mom to tell her that Jay and I wanted to get married. I guess I didn’t need the full year my mom gave me to find a husband since we were married less than a year after we met on September 22, 1985.
God blessed us with two beautiful children, Tiffany and Devan. As our children grew, they became involved in various sports. With work and the sports we fell away from attending church and didn’t make God a priority in our lives. In February 2004, a friend suggested that we would like the Rock church and we decided to try it. We once again started attending faithfully and recommitted our lives to Christ.
Growing up in Church, our youth group would sing a song about how trials come to help us grow. Our family had our share of trials in 2007. In January 2007, Jay and I both lost our jobs after 20+ years. Losing our jobs was nothing compared to the trial we would endure November 2007 when we lost Devan, our son, in a car accident. The morning of the accident, I prayed for the safety of my children. I believe that God speaks to us in many ways, one of which is through the Holy Spirit. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say to me “My will be done” during my prayer that morning.
After the accident, I felt like my heart was ravaged like the fields destroyed by the October 2007 wildfires. The tears washed my heart, like the rain on the burnt fields. Even though the rain turned the fields green, the damage caused by the fires could still be seen. My faith in God has been the only thing that gives me peace and comfort. God has shown us many things through this trial and our faith in Him has grown. I hope to someday put into words my thoughts and feelings to share with the world.
When you lose a child, it brings into reality the fact that none of us know when our life will end. This reality encourages us to help spread the gospel to as many people as possible. We pray for the words that God wants us to share with the people that He brings into our paths.