Tuesday, April 24, 2012

State Bank Pay it Forward... Winner!

“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?” 
 Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Winner... I'm not sure that word has sunk in yet.  I'm not sure anything has truly sunk in yet.  I have such a "heady rush" leftover from the events of the last 24 hours that I have not landed squarely on my feet yet. 

I am the State Bank Pay it Forward grand prize winner- because of all of you!  All those votes, counted and added up and multiplied and were sewn into 5,000-dollars.  But really?  Its 5,000 hugs, and 10,000 prayers, and 15,000 well wishes and its love to infinity and beyond.  

I simply can't wrap myself around the magnitude, the joy, the gratitude.  I can't settle on one moment, one emotion, one word or any string of words.  

I arrived at  State Bank yesterday a few minutes before 11.  The lobby was filled with people!  Everywhere I turned were friends who were surprising me with their presence.  And then the media started to stream in. 

And then I thought, good thing Dr. Panwalkar isn't here to see my heart rate, cause its about to beat right out of my chest.  

Then the ceremony started and I watched as one by one, each of the finalists stepped forward for their check.  And my name hadn't been called.  And my knees shook, as my heart raced and the reality of what that meant sunk in.  I won...  and part of me was still so caught up in the stories of the others... that I wasn't really sure it really was me.  

Because the other finalists?  Were all so deserving!  How do you pick?  One need isn't greater than another.  I am no more worthy than they.  They are no less worthy than me.  They all deserve.  

But then I feel the gentle hands around me usher me forward.  Some sort of autopilot sets in.  This is so much bigger than all of me.  Okay God, I'm trusting you.  I'm stepping forward in faith again.  

On the left in the picture is Jeanine Larson who is in marketing and coordinated the contest on Facebook.  Directly next to her behind the podium is the President of State Bank and Trust, Michael Solberg.  The three beautiful women surrounding Rick and I are from my book club where all of this began- Pam, Amy and Heidi.  

And then the next thing I knew, a reporter came and asked to talk with me.  And when I said yes, the rest of the media came and set up around me.  Thank goodness my book club girls, Heidi and Amy, were there with me.  I have no idea what gushed out of my mouth or if it was even coherent.  

Amy and I...

Heidi, Amy and I.

From left to right, Amy, Sue, Kim, Mike, me and Rick, Ben (Ben made the video!) just off of Rick's shoulder, Anne, and my sister-in-law- Missy. 

How cute are these two women?  Beyond sweet, and I was so happy to meet them yesterday!  They made me blush with their high praise.  Thank you Julie, thank you Amy!  Truly, the pleasure is all mine.

Whew, you can see why I feel a little at a loss for words. I feel the bigness of the moment, while still feeling like a tiny speck on the radar.  Because I am part of something so much bigger than me.  And that is my takeaway right now.  

This is about a group of people, who have embraced the mission of their bank, (State Bank and Trust) to "Pay if Forward."  And in so doing, they have sent out compassion and concern and 10,000 dollars that have undoubtedly made a difference in 10,000 ways in 6 people lucky enough to be on the receiving end.  And all of you dear readers?  You embraced their mission and sent it out into the world with all of your votes, and your cheers and well wishes and prayers- and turned 10,000 into "MORE" than anyone could possibly conceive.  

A few more places to read/ watch about our amazing event yesterday...

KVRR- really great write up by Kyle Johnson.

WDAY- video and write up. 

valleynewslive- video here

Inforum- write up here

A million "thank you's" from a humbled soul, doesn't even come close to covering all the gratitude this girl feels.  


  1. God was in this! Your post made me cry. I am so happy for you!

  2. LOVE IT!!! So very happy for you!
    So love your heart, truly bringing tears to my eyes. So happy to have connected with you - so blessed by who you are and your journey - it is an honor to pray for you, and to have voted for you!

    God is good - SO good!

  3. God has truly blessed you and everyone you come in contact with is blessed as well!

    Take care!
    Jan ♥

  4. I am very happy for you, my friend.

  5. Here I sit, weeping with the enormity and grace of it all...so blessed, even in the desert places. I will just go ahead and say it again, because it doesn't hurt for you hear it daily. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. He shines in and through you. I am thankful.

  6. Big, fat, sloppy tears and runny nose here that needs blowing! But all that with a big, happy smile (and I'm NOT a smiley person!). Vicky, I KNOW as only one who's been through it can know ---- I know what it means to be chosen, and like you said, not because you are any more worthy than another, but chosen because it was in His plan for you to shine His grace down upon all of us who have gotten to know you. I'm just thanking the Father and rejoicing with you today!!!!

  7. So thankful for you and your family.

  8. so tickled i can hardly stand it, and so thrilled to get to see you and hear you on video! your new 'do is so CUTE!

    thanks be to God for yet another GIFT!!!

  9. Vicky! It was so fun to SEE you and get to WATCH you speak and see your expressions, hear your voice. I know we've talked by phone but it was a wonderful experience to "flesh you out" as it were. :) I'm so thrilled for you and I hope this eases even a tiny bit of your stress. God bless you and I'm so grateful you won! BIG HUGS!

  10. Vicky--Tears abound as I read about your blessing! I admire you, your strength and your courage!

  11. Oh my Vicky, this is so wonderful, YIPEEE!!!!!!!! How absolutely exciting for you and your friends and family. Soak it all in because this is a God who firmly has you in his grip. Celebrate big time. And you SO deserve this, never forget it. Let the good times roll on. And you look wonderful and yes, slightly shell shocked. Much love from me here in Australia.

  12. Oh My God Vicky I am soo Happy For YOU!!!!
    Congrats Girl:)

  13. I am so HAPPY for you! You totally deserve it!

    God is so GOOD!

  14. Wow, Vicky! I am so very happy for you. You certainly have a lot of people that care for you.

  15. So happy to hear the news. Blessed to be a blessing ~ that's what I always say. And I think you are a blessing to so many!

  16. As I said on Facebook, Vicky, what wonderful news! I am SO happy for you, my friend!!!

    "Out of difficulties grow miracles."
    ~Jean De La Bruyere

  17. Hurray, hurray, hurray!

    I know that you have blessed your book club just as much as they have blessed you.

    Praying that you are having a light-filled week.

  18. Oh Vicky...
    This is just so wonderful! Reading all about it brought tears to my eyes.
    Thinking of you sweet friend!


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