Sierra woke to the chiming of a Grandfather clock that rested on the mantle above the brick fireplace in her parent’s living room. It was nearly morning. She had fallen asleep in the recliner with all of the lights still on. ‘It’s still dark outside, I had better try to go back to sleep before the sun comes up or I never will,’ she said as she stumbled to the back bedroom.
Still in her clothes from her trip to New Orleans, Sierra fell into the bed and was asleep before she even thought about changing into her pajamas.
‘Sierra...Sierra honey, the phone is for you,’ her mother announced as she came to the bedroom door. ‘You slept in your clothes. You must have been tired,’ Judith said as she handed her the phone.
‘Hello,’ she said attempting not to reveal that she was still half asleep to the person on the other end of the line. ‘Hello, Miss Bradley?’ Sierra heard a woman’s voice. ‘Yes, this is she,’ she replied as she sat up in the bed. ‘My name is Lucille Watson, I am calling from Trust Savings Bank about a job application you filled out at the temporary job office earlier this week, are you still interested in a job?’ ‘Yes – actually I am, I am glad you called,’ Sierra replied anxiously.
‘We have an opening for a position in our vault if you would be interested. It is a temporary position; however, if the person we hire is efficient and knowledgeable, it could become more permanent. If you would be interested, we would like to meet with you tomorrow at ten a.m.’ she explained. ‘That sounds great,’ Sierra said in response to her offer, ‘Can you tell me where you are located?’
‘Yes, we are in the double towers off of Main Street, two streets over from the Capital building in downtown Baton Rouge. Are you familiar with the area?’ ‘Yes, I am sure I can find it with no problem, thank you,’ she said respectfully. ‘Just go to the receptionist when you walk through the main doors of the first building and she will direct you. We look forward to meeting you tomorrow,’ Lucille concluded. ‘Thank you, I look forward to meeting you as well,’ Sierra said before she hung up the phone.
‘That was a lady from that big bank downtown by the levee. She said they have a position open in the vault and want me to come for an interview in the morning.’ Sierra told her Mother as she scurried into the kitchen. ‘What in the world would I do in a vault,’ she wondered. ‘I thought all they put in there was a bunch of money,’ she said. ‘Well, in a bank that size they probably have safe deposit boxes, deeds, important papers, and stuff like that locked away so that no one can bother them, and – in the event of a fire - they would not burn up.’ Stan explained as he grabbed his lunch before heading out the door to work.
‘Yes, I guess that makes sense,’ she agreed and told him to have a great day. ‘So, what are you going to do today Mom?’ Sierra asked. ‘I don’t know – I thought about going into town, but I think I have just about decided to sit in the living room and do a lot of nothing today, we have church tonight, so I may just take it easy,’ she said as if she had been considering it all morning and had finally come to a decision.
‘That sounds good to me,’ Sierra said, I think I might just take myself right back to bed for another hour or so. ‘Well there is nothing stopping you, unless the phone rings again,’ Judith joked. Sierra responded with a quick ‘if anyone else calls - take a message’ and made her way back to the pillow-top. ‘Hmmm, I will just lay here for about an hour, then I will get up,’ Sierra pondered as she quickly nuzzled into the covers and went back to sleep.
Three hours later Sierra was jolted awake by the sound of a slamming door, and someone rushing down the hall. ‘Get up and get ready, we have to go to the hospital, something is going on with Andrea and the baby,’ Judith said in a panic. Sierra flew out of the bed, jumped in the shower, and was ready to go in less than twenty minutes. ‘What’s wrong,’ Sierra said as she raced to the car with her Mom. ‘They don’t know. She was cramping really bad this morning, so Josh called the Dr. and they told her to get to the hospital immediately. They are afraid she may be having a miscarriage,’ she sadly announced.
‘Oh man, Lord please, reach down and touch that little baby right now. Please – whatever is going on inside of Andrea’s body, calm it and settle her storm. They need you right now God, more than they need doctors. You are able to do far and above what we can even ask or think. Thank you Lord!’ Sierra prayed as her Mother drove quickly toward the hospital.
By the time Judith and Sierra arrived at the hospital and inquired about Andrea, she was already being admitted into a room. ‘The doctors said she was trying to go into pre-mature labor, like her body was rejecting the pregnancy. They are going to give her an IV with magnesium in an effort to stop that from happening. She is thirteen weeks, so they think it may work, if she was farther along it probably would not. They did an ultrasound and the baby looks fine, so pray they can get her contractions stopped.’ Josh said with fear in his voice.
Andrea cried as she lay in the hospital room with the IV hooked to her arm. ‘It feels like fire is burning through my body,’ she explained. ‘But if it will save the baby it will be worth whatever I have to do.’ she acknowledged. Sierra held Andrea’s hand and prayed for the calming presence of the Holy Spirit to fill her room and comfort Andrea and Josh as they faced this trying situation. She was glad; more now than ever, that she had made the decision to come home rather than stay in the service and take that job in Greece.
Judith called Pastor Allen to have him add Andrea and the baby to the prayer connection so that the congregation could be praying for them. He prayed with her over the phone; then told her that Grayson was on his way to the house and they thought it would be a neat thing if Sierra could come for an early dinner with them before church at around four o’clock. ‘I will let her know, I am sure she will be happy to come,’ Judith said with a smile.
‘Let who know what,’ Sierra said inquisitively as she recognized the grin on Judith’s face was directed toward her. ‘Grayson is on his way to the Allen’s house. Sabrina is cooking dinner and wants you to join them at four o’clock before church. I guess everyone is in the matchmaking business these days.’ She laughed.
‘What was that all about,’ Andrea said with a grunt as she attempted to adjust her pillow so she could see who she was talking to. Judith explained to Andrea that a lot had transpired since the Sunday evening service. She told her about Sierra’s meeting in New Orleans, about Grayson’s giving up the Olympics to follow the Lord, and about her invitation to dinner with him this evening. ‘Sounds serious,’ Andrea declared as she tried to muster a smile through the medication that was making her head feel dizzy. ‘Yes, it does,’ agreed Judith.
Sierra was bubbling in the corner of the hospital room, but tried not to seem too excited, after all, it was a serious time for Andrea. Sierra had strong faith in her prayers; however, and when she prayed for God to calm the storm inside of Andrea’s body and save the baby, she just had no doubt that was going to happen. It wasn’t too long before Andrea fell asleep. Josh lowered her bed and adjusted her pillow in an anxious effort to help out, then sat nervously by her side. ‘At least she isn’t hurting anymore. I was really afraid she was going to lose the baby,’ he divulged.
About that time the nurse came in to check her vital signs and IV. ‘If you had not come when you did, this would have turned out differently. It looks like they were able to get the contractions stopped before any damage was none,’ she announced. ‘Praise the Lord,’ Judith said as she let out a sigh of relief. ‘The doctor will be in later to give you more details, but for now, she needs to rest, so we won’t bother you – but if you need anything feel free to call. Just hit the nurse button on this remote and we will answer you.’ She explained to Josh. ‘Thank you so much. We really appreciate it,’ he said in reply.
Josh encouraged Judith and Sierra to go on home. He said there was no need for them to hang around the hospital since all Andrea was going to be doing was sleeping. He told them that her parents were on their way, and he would call when they heard from the doctor. ‘Okay then, we will go, but if anything changes, you let us know, and if you need us for anything at all we will be here as quickly as possible.’ Judith insisted.
‘Okay Mom, I love you, and thank you for being here,’ Josh said as he hugged her and walked her to the hallway. ‘Thanks Sierra, I appreciate your prayers!’ he said to her as she followed Judith out the door. ‘I have a job interview downtown in the morning, I will stop when I am done,’ she said. ‘We will look forward to it,’ Josh replied as he slipped back into Andrea’s room.
‘It’s almost one o’clock. You wanna go get a hamburger or something?’ Judith said with an inviting look in her eye. ‘Sounds like a plan,’ Sierra replied, ‘Let’s go!’ ‘There’s a great little restaurant in the mall,’ she continued. ‘It’s like a smorgasbord where you choose a meat, two veggies, bread, and a dessert out of several choices. Aunt Eva and I go there all the time when we are out.’ Judith suggested. ‘Okay, that sounds really good to me. I don’t want to eat too much though, remember I am supposed to go dinner at four o’clock at the preacher’s house.’ She said giddily.
‘Fried chicken or hamburger steak,’ they both look really good to me Sierra thought as she passed over the red beans and rice that was the special of the day. Fried shrimp for Judith, there is never a question what she will order if that is on the menu.
Once their trays were loaded down, Sierra laughed. ‘So much for not eating a lot, this is enough food for two people,’ she joked. Sierra could not resist the mile-high coconut pie with perfectly browned meringue on the top. Judith could never get out of the line without a hot, fluffy yeast roll to go with her shrimp, and of course a huge glass of iced tea and another with only ice. Some things never change and Sierra was glad!
Once they were stuffed, they decided to walk around the mall a bit before going home. They still had about an hour before they would need to head back for Sierra to get ready for her dinner. She was glad she already knew what she was going to wear, but as she looked around the mall she picked out a few more things that would have been suitable. She bought one dress that would make her feel good about herself on Sunday morning. Having been in the service for so long, and not attending church the way she should, Sierra’s inventory of dress clothes was slim to none. If she was going to date a preacher, that would have to change.
It was a classy looking dress, navy blue, fitted, but not tight, sleeveless with a light sweater to go with it. ‘I guess I need a pair of shoes that will go with this. Do we have time to look for some now or should I come back tomorrow?’ She asked. ‘Ummm, it looks like we have about thirty more minutes before we have to head to the house. If you can look quickly, I think we have time.’ She encouraged. Sierra looked in the shoe department of the very store she bought the dress in and found a perfect pair of dressy sandals with a silver strap across the top. She was ready.
‘Okay, so let’s get home so you can get ready girl,’ Judith said looking at her watch with haste. ‘Sounds like a plan to me,’ Sierra tittered as they rushed toward the exit.