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4 min read

Uncommon Care: Part Two

The second part of an interview with Susan Pray, Administrative Assistant at the Center for Women and Children. You can read the first part of her interview, hereSusan-Pray.jpg

Lynn: What biblical character do you think you'd most want to sit down and have a conversation with?

Susan: From the Old Testament, I would want to sit down with Esther and just ask her how that was: being in that time and in that place and that situation, stepping up to what the Lord called her to.

Lynn: Is that because you feel a similar call to a different place than you thought?

Susan: Well, I think for me it would be like if I ever found myself in a situation of such magnitude, would I step up? Would I have that faith? So I find that very compelling and encouraging. You just never know what the Lord might call you to.

In the New Testament, I would probably want to talk with the woman who touched Jesus' garment and was healed from her bleeding. She had bled for 12 years or some crazy amount. Again, that faith component, taking that risk, and then when he questioned who touched his garment, stepping up and saying, "That was me" and why. I've always been intimidated by pastoral leadership. So to be recognized and have that direct interaction and say, "That was me," I think that's so cool, that she had that faith and stepped out.

Because a moment can change your life, my life, another person's life. Just being mindful of what the Lord has. That's one thing I've been learning a lot lately, just to be sensitive to the things of the Spirit because not everything is physical. There's a lot more going on around us, so learning to be more aware. What might look like a common situation may not be.

Lynn: Do you have any verses that you cling to from day to day as you do your work?

Susan: A lot of people have this as a life verse, but I love Proverbs 3:5-6. "Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." I try to reason out a lot of things, and so I get in my head a lot, and so just for me to be trusting in the Lord and let Him do the reasoning.

Lynn: Do you have something that happened where that worked out?

Susan: We had just bought our company in 1996. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and I was 9 months pregnant, and then got in a car accident. So we had this season of potentially a life threatening disease, and I had my daughter by Cesarean on a Friday and then went back to work on a Monday because my husband was in the hospital. And the other woman thought the accident was my fault. So I had this on the back of my head, just "Was I at fault?" And just having that sense of, "OK, Lord, this is so big and so crazy that you have this."

And He just walked us through that season and was very, very faithful. He did it. And I always go back to where I could have just caved in to self-pity and to despair, and God just blessed me with just a real steady, "We'll just take this one day at a time." And my husband's alive and well today, and our daughter just had our first grandson. I think that's a big one.

Lynn: Sometimes that is a grace, when He makes it just "too much," and you become overwhelmed and then you know you're at the end of your own strength, there is no deceiving yourself. And so you just let go of it and He shows you who He is. Do you think a lot of the women end up in that place?

Susan: I truly do. Unless we're at that point where we release it all, we're still doing it on our own efforts. I definitely think there's a grace in that, in coming to that place, however it looks. Because it looks different for all of us.

Center staffComing to UGM as a volunteer, I didn't have ulterior motives or anything, but I thought I was serving the Lord by giving my time, which I was. But what I've really been blessed with over the last three years is really coming to a good understanding that the playing field is level. We're all sinners, and we're all broken, and we're all in need of a savior. God is just showing me that I learn so much from the ladies -- their faith, their walk inspires me, it convicts me. So what I thought I was giving out for the Lord, he has poured in 200-fold.

I'm getting chills right now -- just some of the lessons that I learn, especially when we're in community and sharing, and I'm like, "Wow, Lord, I didn't expect this."

Lynn: How do you recharge when you aren't at work? Or do you even need to recharge?

Susan: No, I need to recharge. You talk to my people and they'll tell you, "She needs to go recharge" (laughs).

During the summer, we love to boat. Almost every single weekend, we're on Lake Pend Oreille. During the winter, I just kind of hole up and read and watch a lot of sports. I love football, basketball, baseball. Fortunately my husband does, too, so we're quite compatible with the sports love. And now that we have Joel, we're babysitting three evenings a week. That actually is a recharge, a big one.

Susan_and_husband.jpg

Lynn: Who are your teams?

Susan: For baseball, California Angels. I have converted since moving back here to be a Seattle Seahawks fan. Prior to that, San Diego Chargers. I don't like pro basketball, but I love college basketball. Definitely Gonzaga, and WSU.

Lynn: What would you like our donors, prayer partners and supporters to know about UGM, and the Center in particular?

Susan: Just how grateful and thankful we are for them. It sounds really trite and clichéd, but we could not do the ministry without their giving, whether it's their time or their donations, their money. I don't think this ministry could be as effective without their generosity. It just couldn't happen. Coeur d'Alene -- I know Spokane's awesome -- but Coeur d'Alene, that little community has just rallied around the Center.

It's actually sometimes kind of difficult because they'll say, "I want this to stay here." So it would be helpful for them to understand how, even if it doesn't stay here, it benefits the entire ministry and it still benefits our community. Our community is small, but it's also big, so we need to have a bigger picture on who we're serving. We're not just serving Coeur d'Alene.

The gratitude definitely, but there is that little piece of trying to educate on how donations -- whether it's financial or gift-in-kind -- can impact with that ripple effect.

Want to get involved in helping those coming to UGM? Use your gifts as a volunteer!

 

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