Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heroes Part 2

Mary Cryderman:
It seems I haven't known Mary for too long. I suppose the first time I can recall us meeting was when I was a Sr. in High School down in florida with my parents (and emily) for some church conference they were attending. We were going out for dinner with a bunch of my parents friends when Mark and his wife Mary offered for us to ride in their rental car with them: a convertable. Boo-ya.

It wasn't until years later that Mary and I became connected in a much closer and heart intertwined way.

When I was offered the job of Director of Student Ministries at CrossRoads, one of the first families to welcome me with open arms was the Crydo clan. The kids were all excited and wanted to get to know Jared and I, Mark was critical in our lives as he did our pre-marital counseling, and then there was Mary. You see, when I was in college, I had been prompted in a chapel service that I needed to have a life mentor. Someone a bit older and much wiser then I was. Someone who could not only hold me accountable, but who could challenge me in life just by their own lives and character. Each place I have lived since college, I have asked someone different to step into that role, and I could tell within the first few weeks at CrossRoads, that Mary was supossed to be that next person for me.

Mary and I had plenty in common, which helped us to get together. We would often meet at Lifestyles for Ladies Only in Lambertville for a good long walk and talk on the treadmills followed by a good prayer time. Or we would go over to her house and spend some time just talking, eating and praying together. And then what began to happen led to one of the best times of my life. Slowly but surely I would spend more time at their house, and then Jared would get off work, and they would invite us over for dinner...and then we did the Daniel Fast together, and in order to share our fruit and veggie concoctions with each other, we ate together...a LOT!!! It was immediately following our daniel fast together that we had the blessing of traveling to florida together. And I had begun to notice that my time with Mary was effecting who I was...more patience, more appreciation for life, more appreciation for my beloved husband, more affection for the Lord.

And then, one fateful day in May, Mark and Mary offered for us to live with them for our last month and a half that we were in Michigan. That time in my life can only be described as one of the most joyful, hilarious, fun-loving, God-filled and on and on. It was actually a pretty difficult time in our lives for all of us, and yet the relationships that we shared brought out the good and lessened the bad.

Moving across the country from Mary and the rest of their clan has left a huge hole in our hearts, but Mary and I do manage to talk several times a week on the phone. It is so refreshing to have someone who knows your faults, and is not your family, and yet they choose to love and care for you. Mary is one of my true life heroes. She has survived cancer and has spent so much of her time devoted to encouraging others who are in the midst of it. She went from being a "walker" of like 3-4 miles a day, to being able to run 5-7 miles daily in less then a year! She is kind, funny, prayerful, compassionate, she is a lover of Christ and desperate for His touch, an awesome mother, wife, friend, and mentor. Thanks Lord for my dear friend Mary.

~Angela M.


kool kenna said...

Ahhh i miss you guys!!!

Chaffin Family said...

Thank you for sharing another one of your hero's with us. You are making me think of the hero's in my life and I just may need to do the same thing or at least tell them how important they are to me. tell your honey hi for us and let me know what you are doing Friday. I am going to a girls thing at my neighbors and I was wondering if you would like to come with me. give me a call. Kim