Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's a Small World

I stared at the full parking lot, overwhelmed by the sheer number of women streaming into the convention center. I hoisted my five-month-old son’s carseat and walked resolutely towards the entrance, nervous about attending my first women’s ministry convention.

A friend had paid my entry fee. She had workshops to teach so I was on my own.

I found the check-in line. One thousand women is not an introvert’s idea of a good time. I felt awkward attending by myself and longed for a companion to share this experience. Few women brought babies so I stood out like a sore thumb. My son was the clingiest baby on the planet, so if I didn’t bring him, I couldn’t have attended.

I stood patiently in a long line when a middle-aged dark-haired woman bent down to smile at my son in his infant carseat. After making him laugh, she looked up and said, “You have a beautiful baby.”

“Thanks…” I began, then gasped. The friendly woman was my pastor’s wife from my home church in Northern California. The conference was in Portland, Oregon, ten hours from her home. I hadn’t seen her in five years.

We hugged and talked and spent much of the day together. I’m still amazed that in the sea of a thousand women we found each other. That which had made me feel conspicuous was the thing that brought us together. Without my baby we probably wouldn’t have noticed each other.

I marvel at what had to line up for this encounter to happen.

Keith was a financially strapped seminary student so I couldn’t have attended without my friend’s generosity. I had to work up the courage to attend a huge conference alone. I stood in the conference line the exact same time Mrs. Cundall did. 

Growing up, I didn’t really know Mrs. Cundall. Back then she played the piano and I shook her and Mr. Cundall’s hand Sunday mornings on the way out the back door. The conference gave us a second chance to truly connect and gave me a new appreciation for this sweet, kind lady.

We’ve kept in touch ever since. Twenty-three years later we still exchange Christmas cards.

On a family vacation to California six years ago, we visited Mrs. Cundall. How fun to reintroduce my “baby” boy, all grown up. Andrew had been a tool to bring us together.

I don’t remember any of the conference sessions and workshops. My notes are long gone. But I do remember recognizing that God loved me enough to send me someone I knew and trusted to help with my baby that busy day. I got to know Mrs. Cundall better in those six hours than I ever had in the six years I attended her church.

God not only gave me a friend to attend the conference with, 
He gave me a friend for life.

I'm linking up with my friend Jennifer for 


  1. What a great testimony. God cares so personally.

  2. Great story and yes, a great testimony of God's love for us.

  3. Isn't it cool how God cares so much for us that he makes something like this happen, not only for you but also for your pastor's wife! What a blessing for all of you.

  4. As they say, it's a small world! How fun you found each other again. glad you had a good time. :-)

  5. What a neat chain of events that led you both to the same spot in that line!!! I am heading to the Allume conference in a few months and I can tell you that I'm already nervous about heading there on my own!

  6. God delights in giving good gifts. And oh boy ... did He ever give you a gift-surprise that day! I love this, Angie. And you're such a gifted writer.

  7. Gosh... don't know why this got me all choked up, but I am SO thankful that God cares about the "little" things! So grateful that His timing is perfect! What a wonderful "God-incidence"! :)

  8. Wonderful story, it's amazing how the Lord always works things out for us.
    As far as our move, it will be difficult being 1200 miles away from family, but we will spend eternity in Heaven with them. I have to remind myself of this, b/c we are here on earth to serve Him and others, not ourselves. I hope the Lord will use our family in a mighty way to bring Glory and Honor to His name in the North! Thank you for your encouragement and ministry!