Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Benefit

Sunday night, the 27th of January, we were shown an over-abundance of love and support in the form of a benefit dinner held in our honor.

When my friend Stacey told me about what was being planned (about a month ago) I was floored. Actually, I was a bit speechless... and if you know me, you realize how miraculous that really is.

After the Captain being out of work for so long last year we were fighting to make ends meet. To be honest, I'm not sure how we actually paid bills most months. Talk about a modern day miracle... the money just always came in time. However after this last surgery, and an unknown time off work, with no money coming in at all for months on end, I would be a liar if I told you I was not a bit worried.

When you are in a position like this it is not the easiest thing to share. There is a small fear of pity and judgement.

But God.

He took it upon Himself to provide through friends and family an amazing idea... and through the process He calmed my heart, gave me a peaceful humility to accept... and blessed the socks off of me and the Captain.
This Benefit has taken a load off of our backs... it has erased a nagging worry about our future. Andy and I are now able to focus a bit more on his health and recovery, and our family.

And that is truly a priceless gift.

I cannot say in any words used in the English language how amazing the dinner was. I want to... but everything I keep thinking of comes up short. It was overwhelmingly beautiful. Not in just an aesthetic sense, but we saw the heart of Christ through the love and generosity of His people.

I was, still am, awe struck.

Everywhere I looked I saw people I loved, people who love us, prayer warriors, friends, family... and it made me more than a bit giddy.
I kinda wanted to run around and spontaneously hug and kiss everyone who walked through the door...multiple times...
but for decorum's sake I restrained myself. 
(You're welcome Benefit Dinner guests, you're welcome.)

Of course there was a really schmancey dinner, but there was also an auction. Two, in fact. A silent auction and then a smaller live auction.

The silent auction was filled with all sorts of items. Ranging from a fiddle signed by Charlie Daniels to Coach sunglasses, a photography session, jewelry, signed photos of famous athletes... it was impressive.

The live auction was smaller, 5 items, and was by far the most I've laughed in awhile. Our friend Mark did an amazing job being the MC and Auctioneer. He is Hilarious and shinned in the role. He auctioned off 2 art prints, 2 handmade children's craft tables, a 207 lb hog, a behind the scenes TV experience, and a year's worth of Chic-Fila sandwiches. All to gales of laughter and amusement... mostly because his wife kept uping her bid for the prints!

Our former Pastor, and close friend Gary Walker was the Keynote Speaker. He has suffered the sorrow of losing a precious baby girl as well. So he was a perfect choice to share with others some of our story. He blessed me and touched my heart greatly as he used some of my own words from this blog in his speech to the crowd. He did and amazing job. Gary's words brought tears, but he brought encouragement and boldness as well. He shared the most important thing with all who were listening... the Gospel. 
We wanted, more than anything else that evening, for all to hear about Jesus. To know our life could impact another in the greatest of ways... salvation through Christ... would be the greatest joy.

That is why each moment of this life, no matter what the circumstance, is worth it... to point others to salvation.

And that was what the night really was about... or Who, I suppose... Jesus.
His love for His people.
His care for us.
His comfort and encouragement passed along to all who were there.

The Benefit dinner was a blessing to us. So much more than I can even put into words.

And what makes my heart really smile... I know it was a blessing to others as well.



The Andrew D Chastain Sole Benefit Trust was set up to be ongoing.
If you have questions, or want more information you can read more about it here.


Julie : ) said...

you my dear....looked stunning in that dress. :)

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

It was an amazing night. I told Rachel - I want this to be my church. Can we make it so? How can we get that together? It was honestly like the best church service I have been to in the longest time. And you did look stunning in that dress.

Anonymous said...

It is your church Gretchen, the Body of Christ working together for the glory of God as He intended! And I agree on the Stunning Cari but add that Andy looked pretty awesome too!! b

Anonymous said...

It certainly was an amazing night! I am honored that we were able to be there. I am so glad I was able to talk with you Cari! I told Mindy that all I could think about was how joyful you were---definitely evidence of Christ in you.

God was definitely glorified in that place Sunday night, and continues to be glorfied through you and Andy, and your incredible faith, displayed for the world to see.

I love reading your blog---it reminds me of how all Believers should be, and gives me such a strong example to 'try' to following.

I want you to know that you have a prayer warrior and Sister-in-Christ in me, and I feel blessed to have been able to meet you!

By the way, I LOVE the prints you made, and can't wait to hang them on my wall to remind me of God's truth and of you and Andy~they will remind me to pray for you each day:-)

Melissa Wallisa

Sarah said...

What a wonderful story. Gretchen told me how wonderful it was- I wish we could have been there. You have such a precious family.

Jenny said...

I made your blog! :) what a great night. It was a blessing to many because you guys are so fantastic. Praise God that it could ease some of your burden!

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Boyka said...

You looked stunning, and happy, and sad, and composed, and so proud in your sadness, and so awsome!!!Thank you FOR WHO YOU ARE!!! I do feel privileged to know you (though I have never seen you!- strange as it may seem) - through Andy! An amazing young lady, a mirracle - that's what you are!!!Love you and your family!!!