"You have to meet John Patenaude!" Became a common phrase from about everyone I knew! Now, although, I had seen him as Peter in the Passion Play, I had not seen him again. The following December we decided to visit my great-aunt's church, also John's church, Christ Community Church (CCC).
At that time were home churching, and searching for what God wanted us, as a family, to do as far as church involvement. I was speaking and traveling with my book, and God was keeping me busy!
Anyway, that Christmas Eve my aunt suggested that the three of us girls go and cook at the church's camp: Camp Zion. We thought that would be fun and that night at the Christmas Eve service we talked to the camp director about volunteering. (John was at that service, but I had no idea what he looked like, so I don't remember seeing him.)
For the next few months we'd head up to Door Co., WI and cook at the camp. It was always so much fun to go there! Us three girls love the community of the church and became close to many of the church members.
Sometime in all of this I did see a picture of John. My grandpa and his wife were in Florida for a visit and they asked us to watch their house. One day, me and my two sisters went to check on things and saw a photo church directory. We all three grabbed it and flipped to the P section. I'll never forget seeing his picture, my thought, "Well, he's not ugly (I mean why would a 29 year old Chiropractor be single, right?) actually, he's kinda cute!" I laugh as I think about me and my sisters looking at his picture that day in my grandpa's dining room! Fun memories!
I also, saw him at a Michael Card Concert at CCC. I was with my cousin who knew him and of all places to sit, John sat two rows ahead of me. So, I saw the back of his head all night. My cousin was going to introduce us, but the timing did not work out!
During this year of hearing about John, my heart struggled. It seemed that everything everyone said about him was just what I wanted in a husband. He also fit the discription of what my dad had told me about my husband. My head and heart where in a constant battle. I would cry out to God to help me respect his future wife and my future husband. There were some tough battles.
In the summer we were cooking for one of the church's camp periods and us three had so much fun. On the way home we all three agreed that we'd love to attend CCC, but we figured it would look like we were going there just to get to know John (and Kevin, who Lesli did meet at camp that summer)!
When we got home us three shared with my parents what an amazing time we had at camp and how much we loved the people of CCC. My dad inturrputed the three of us and said, "Since you girls were gone this week mom and I had a lot of time to talk. We've decided three thing: 1) I am going to get a new job 2) We're going to start attending CCC and 3) we're moving to Zion!"
We were all shocked! God was at work! In the matter of 10 days my dad got a new job, we bought a house in Zion, and sold a house! God was moving fast!
As a side note, during this time (these 10 days) John turned 30! One of his patients at work told him that it was time for him to go to a new church because there were no single women at CCC. He told this patient, "I don't really go to church to find a wife, but for worship." Good thing he never took her advice!
Some of you have asked questions in previous posts. On Friday I'll answer all questions from this week!