March 10, 2019
Hello, friends, let me introduce myself. My name is Janet Irby and I have been invited to share some stories (blog posts) with you on this Crystal Springs Community of Christ web site. I recently returned to the congregation after being gone to the SF Bay area in California for 21 years. My husband Dave and I used to live behind the church for 20 years in the home next to Dennis and Nellie Butterfield and were very active in the congregation. More about that in a later post.
Today I want to focus on the concept of God moments. Evangelist Scott Giles loved to ask our youth group in my previous congregation, “What was your God moment today?” For me, this was a new way of invoking short testimonies to share with others. In that tradition, I would like to share God moments and invite others to share theirs.
The first Sunday Dave and I were back in the Crystal Springs congregation at the morning worship service after moving to Redmond, I was a bit numb. It was September 31, and we would take ownership of our new house the next day, October 1. We had moved out of our house in California early in September and had been staying with several friends on our way to Washington where we still had to rent an apartment until we took possession of our house. I say I was numb because after many dramatic events, I had not shed a tear.
We had said goodbye to our congregation in Novato, California earlier in the month, with many tearful friends sharing stories of our time together and the love we felt for each other. I had played the organ one final time for the service but had not cried at all. My emotions were bottled up. My only public comment that day was my wish that the congregation “always welcome every child or youth who came through the door and learn their names.”
Then on September 30, a Saturday, we celebrated the life of Dave’s mom, Lois Helen Irby, who had died in August. The Crystal Springs sanctuary was filled with friends and family, some whom we had not seen in many years. Our family sang a favorite song, “The Journey is our Home”, and once again, many tears filled the eyes of all gathered. But not mine. I was still numb, my emotions full but bottled up.
Then the worship service at Crystal a day later. I sat down next to a young woman whom I didn’t really recognize– with Dave on the other side of me. I felt good to be there but a bit lost. I can’t remember much about the service, except as we sang, the young woman sang out strongly with me, glancing over as if enjoying the blending of our two voices. Then toward the end of the service as we stood to sing, she reached for my hand and whispered in my ear, “It’s so great to sit next to family in church.” Then it dawned on me, she was Jordan, my sister-in-law’s granddaughter. At that moment, I began to cry and all the emotion of the last week and the last months of this big move in our lives came pouring out. Yes, the Spirit affirmed for me that this move to be closer to family was the right move, and I could breathe more completely through my tears. My God moment. Where did you sense God with you today? Blessings– Janet Irby