This is my dear friend Dalene. She’s a missionary wife in Germany. Her birthday was this week and that had me thinking about her and how special she is. I met Dalene when 2nd man and I moved out here to Oklahoma in 1998. She and her husband were doing their internship at out church and had been there only a few months by the time we arrived. We had much that was not in common; she was already a mother, her background in a Christian school and Bible college weren’t anything like mine. However, we had something that was in common, we were both young and new in the ministry. This is a tie that can bond greatly.
I remember sitting in her driveway one night years ago. We had been to some sort of event (I can’t even remember what it was). Anyway, we both started opening up and sharing about the insecurities, and the challenges and criticisms of being in the ministry. It was like a breath of relief for me that night. I’ve said it before, but I’m really stunted one on one. So when I do find dear friends in whom I can relate, I just cherish it so much in my heart. I felt like she was affirming all of my new shocking awareness of being in the ministry.
I also remember being at summer camp in 1999. Dalene was there with us and we had our bunks next to each other just like the teen girls do. It was then that I realized I might be pregnant for the first time. We somehow got off campus and into the local Wal-Mart to get a test. Back at the camp, we snuck into the nastiest abandoned bathroom there to take it and I found out that I was pregnant. Somehow sharing that moment was again, so special to me. I also miscarried that baby and Dalene was there to cry with me.
When I was pregnant again with our oldest daughter, Dalene also played a special role. She was pregnant with her third, which made my pregnancy so much more fun, being able to share and compare. The day I had Katie, I was up early and feeling the pain. I called Dalene first, (scared that if I was just overreacting, others would laugh at me). I told her what I was feeling, to which she replied, “It sounds like you’re starting labor! Just relax and take a walk, though, it’s gonna be a while before anything happens.” I remember hanging up the phone and dropping to my knees in pain. “Wow!” I thought to myself, “She must be like a super-hero momma or something. Walk?! I can’t even stand!” Katie, arrived just a couple of hours later and Dalene and I both laughed about that one.
Three months later her daughter, Kyndall, was born and not long after that, they boarded the plane for Germany. I respect Dalene, for her bravery and willingness to follow God and her husband wherever they lead her, away from her parents and family, and away from friends and familiarity. She studied all about the culture and had to learn how to cook differently. She even gave birth to two more kids over there! 2nd man and I have often prayed that we’d be willing if God should lead us into missions. So far, no calling. However, if He ever did, I hope I have the bravery and gusto of Dalene Clark.
I don’t get to talk to her much anymore. We sometimes keep in contact via emails and such, but, I do miss her camaraderie and vigor.
Happy Birthday, Dalene. I pray that God blesses you beyond measure this next year.