Pastor Jeremy Kalous
I was born in Olympia WA, and spent my youth in and around that area of our state until I went off to college. Growing up, my Mom did her best to lead the family when it came to Christ, but it was a tough road for sure. When I was 12 my parents let us know they were divorcing, and things really got tough. At the age of 18 I moved to Bellingham, WA and enrolled in the four-year (okay maybe closer to seven-year), psychology program and received my BA. And just like that, the first quarter century of my life flew by.
I’ve quickly taken you to this point in my life because it was around this time that I really started to work on my life by imperfectly letting go and turning things over to Jesus. This work really began once I met my lovely bride Rachel. I thank God for her and her heart for Jesus, along with her ability to put up with me every now and then. For me there was no dramatic “road to Damascus” type moment. I recalled the time when I did ask Jesus into my heart as a young man and I know He came on in, it’s just that after that I never really lived like my heart was His. Thus, the long and never-ending path of sanctification really started for me in my late twenties. Rachel and I began attending church together and later I chose to be baptized, because, well, JESUS!! We attended and hosted small groups/community groups/home groups (a bit of a tough thing for this introvert) and became members at the last church we attended in Bothell, WA.
Fast forward to today. I’m 46 (I literally had to do the math), Rachel and I have been married for 18 years and God has blessed us with three wonderful girls: Ava (14), Harper (11), and Claire (9). We now live in the Spokane Valley/Greenacres area, and have we’ve been attending Redemption Spokane for about two years. So, how did I get here you ask? And perhaps more relevant—how is it that I’m now a pastor/elder at Redemption Spokane? Great questions, I’ve asked them myself. The best way that I can answer them is as follows: I don’t know much, but I know, as in really, really know, it has nothing to do with me and anything I’ve done or accomplished. It is only because God is God and He will do what He will do. I think Job chapters 38 - 42 are great at making this clear, and I thank God for His word.
I will share two key moments that I can remember from over the past seven or so years that stick out to me now as times that illustrate God’s sovereignty. Not that there were not others here and there, but these have brought me where I am now in my story.
The first is a late-night prayer when I was, well, cooked. Things were rough and I had no idea how to fix them. In fact, I really could not fix them on my own. I remember now, in that moment, just opening to the Psalms and being taken to Psalm 25. I read it and I then prayed and asked our good and gracious God to help me because I was broken and in trouble. I asked God to help me not be about me, but to be about Him. If you think about it, that is kind of a big and scary prayer, and it is something that I still need His help with. Every. Single. Day.
The second time that comes to mind are the circumstances by which Rachel and I ended up bringing our family here to Spokane, and ultimately to Redemption Spokane. Rachel and I were having a conversation and for some reason I blurted out something like “you know, my same job is posted in Spokane…” Why I said that was not because of something that I had been planning, Rachel even asked why I was bringing that up since we had not talked at all about moving anywhere. That said, after more conversation and time in prayer, a mere 6 or so days later the deal was done and we were officially moving to Spokane. God is always at work!
Sometimes when you look back at your story you can see what God has been up to, when in the moment perhaps you could not. That said, it is not always clear. God’s plan often times has us in places, not just physically, but way more importantly places with our soul, with our hearts, that we don’t understand. Places that at times really hurt and are very difficult, and at other times may be overflowing with joy. I now am beginning to see more clearly than ever how my story reflects God’s will for my life. It is with that in mind that I know I can fully trust in Him as I go about doing, as imperfectly as I’m sure I will, what God has in store for his church with me as part of it.
I have one final thought that I hope you will take comfort in. God’s word, His bible, really is one big rescue mission. Our rescue is told through men and women who were far from perfect—sinners like you and me. They tell of the coming of God’s son, Jesus, who came down from Heaven and lived the perfect life, doing the will of the Father, so that we, only through faith in Jesus, can be justified before our great and glorious God. While that does not guarantee a life on this side of heaven free of pain or hurt or sorrow, a life of ease and comfort, it does guarantee an eternity with God, in heaven, free from all that. Thanks to His love we’ve been rescued by God, for His glory!
I’m looking forward to sharing life in His kingdom with you and I’m humbled to be His servant, and your pastor/elder.