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.
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.