When Pam Mertz was a young, single mother of two girls, working long hours as a UPS driver in Omaha, and as she would say ‘searching for love in all the wrong places,’ she lived on a quiet street surrounded by providence. Among her neighbors was one couple who lived next door. They would show Pam and her girls' love through help and service. A few blocks away, there was also a pastor and his family. His oldest daughter babysat the girls from 5 pm until Pam got home from work every night. At the time, Pam was grateful for these neighbors but because she didn’t know God, she couldn’t see all these ‘little things’ as God’s handiwork.
“I didn’t know what it was all about,” Pam shared. “I was not a Christian at the time. I thought if I found the right husband, it would fill that void inside of me. I always felt anxious and unsettled. I was dating a lot. The couple that lived next to me, would love on my girls. They would take my girls to church with them and were always so kind and loving to us. There was a pastor who lived a few blocks away, he and his wife were great as well. They would ask me about my life and who I was dating. One time I got in an accident at work, a very minor one, and when I got home, they had provided dinner for us. They would invite me and my girls to church and to Christmas and Easter plays the church was putting on. They were all just doing what they were supposed to do. God had a plan, and I just didn’t know what it was or that I was part of it.”
About a year later, the couple living next door to her moved away, and she lost touch with her neighbors. Fast forward a few years later, Pam was still longing for more. She decided to go to church. The one she decided to go to was the one her neighbors had taken her daughters to. Through a series of visits to the church, relationships starting and ending, and events in her life, Pam’s eyes were opened up and a desire was planted for God’s truth.
“I realized that all along Jesus was the guy I was searching for,” Pam exclaimed with tears and joy. “He was the One who was meant to fill my life...not these other guys. After considering all these relationships I have been in while driving home one day, I just said out loud, “Lord if you are real, and you know my hearts desires, and that I want to be with someone who loves on my kids like you, I’m going to trust you with my relationships.” It’s like immediately I wasn’t boy crazy anymore. God took that desire away because I said I would trust Him until He brought that person into my life. And if not, I’ll be ok with my girls, and with my friends, and with my family.”
One year after that, God put Pam’s now husband Pat in her life, and they married not long afterward. After surrendering to the Lord, Pam’s eyes were open to purpose. Pam’s life had a purpose, and it was from God, and for God. She knew her purpose was to be a fisherman of men and women now.
“God opened my eyes to truth and made me hungry for more of Him,” Pam described with glee. “I knew God wanted to use my past for His glory. Even the stuff I was ashamed of most. I also realized the weaving of Christian families in my life was from Him. Those neighbors from years ago were always a part of my testimony because I always said how God protected me and my kids and brought Christian people into my life. And I felt safe. I would always start off sharing my testimony with saying that there was this couple next to me who showed the love of Christ.”
Twenty years later, Pam and Pat are happily married and leading a financial ministry, Crown Financial, together. They’ve attended Citylight for about three years and host a City Group at their home. Last year, after the summer baptism, one of the couples from their group invited another couple to come. They had met them at the baptism and found out they were looking for community.
"The couple, Bob and Julie, had previously joined us at a barbeque last summer.” Pam shared. “They were super sweet and Julie shared their testimony on how they became Christians. When they came to our house about six months later, I was talking to Bob, and I found out that they had lived in Bellevue. I always ask where people live in case I had delivered to them when I worked for UPS. Bob said he lived in the same subdivision I had lived in, and during the same time as me, so I asked him what street? He said they lived on the same street I had lived on, so I asked him where, and he said by this one single mom who lived next door with two little girls and who was a UPS driver. I said to Bob.. “I’m the single mom, the UPS driver!” I told him that he and Julie were a part of my testimony all these years.”
Pam started to cry as they all realized who each other was. Neither of them could believe what was being revealed. God had intertwined these people so strategically in their lives and they were seeing the full circle. For Bob and Julie, it was the ability to see the fruit of their prayers for the single UPS driver and her girls after all of these years. For Pam, it was not only a chance to say, ‘thank you’, but also a bigger understanding of God’s providence.
“I realized and understood so greatly how far God has taken me,” Pam declared. “From being a very lost soul, to now trying to live a life to be used by Him for His Glory. Wow! It's amazing to see how God has worked in my life and how He continues to grow me. The journey God has brought me through is so amazing. You don’t always see it when you are in it, but knowing where I was, and now, where He has brought me, is incredible. What a story of redemption."
All the little things we can choose to do for others matter, especially as Christians. What you do for somebody can have a huge impact in their life, just as Bob and Julie had in Pam's life and it was all for the Kingdom. Pam said this,
“We may be just a little piece of that big picture, but it can be significate in someone else's life. Please don’t think you are not making a difference with the little things you do for someone. All of those little things you do are the fruit of the Spirit and can have big Kingdom impacts, even when you don't know it.”
Pam is so grateful for these people, these sweet neighbors, who God placed in her life to show her His love and His care. Those little things you do to show Gods love as Christians; Pam would say to "do them."
“We don’t even recognize the impact we can have. It’s an opportunity for Jesus to shine through us. The not knowing can maybe be the best part. But God knows. We just need to be obedient and serve.”
What an awesome God we have! I’m delighted to hear your story, Pam.
What a amazing testimony. You have brought so many people closer to God. Including Dan and I. The Caldwells
Wow your story gave me goose bumps! Our God is one that moves mountains with just the faith of a mustard seed.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. I’m so happy to read your story and call you a friend.
I love your testimony and how our Father used His children to bring you to Him. So very encouraging for the loved ones I am praying for. Thank you! Gail