Westmont Magazine Encountering the Unexpected
When Stacey Padrick ’88 graduated from Westmont with a degree in economics and business, she never thought she would end up as a writer. In fact, she says she strongly disliked writing in college. But she knows better than anyone that plans and expectations change.
Stacey’s life underwent an enormous change five years ago when she was diagnosed with systemic lupus. She had just received her master’s degree in international studies at the University of Warwick in England on a Rotary Foundation Scholarship and was working with World Trade Press in San Francisco doing research and writing for a series on doing business in Asia.
Previously, she had spent a year at Shaoguan University in China teaching English. When she returned, she worked with an organization in Berkeley that trains people to go into China as teachers. Her love of learning and world travel began at Westmont. She participated in the Europe Mayterm trip, the International Business Institute in Europe and Russia, and the Asia Project, a summer mission trip to the Philippines, Hong Kong and China.
The physical strain lupus placed on her body forced her to discontinue working. “I still went out and interviewed for jobs like everything was okay,” she said. “I was offered jobs that were very difficult to turn down, but when it came down to it, I knew I did not have the physical strength to work a 40-hour week.
“The Lord really taught me about learning to be still in Him,” she added. “I learned that His love for me is not based upon what I do for Him, but solely upon what Christ has done for me.”
Stacey started writing out of her home because it was something she could do at her own pace. “I never would have pursued writing if I hadn’t gotten sick,” she said. She free-lances mostly for Christian devotional magazines and has published recent articles on contemplative prayer, idolatry in the church today, suffering, and issues of faith.
Looking at unexpected change from a Christian perspective is the subject of her first book, which she is writing under the title, “Living the Mystery.” The book is intended especially for women, and she says she hopes her readers will gain a better understanding of God’s working within the challenges and questions that face young women.
“It’s about lessons of faith, about embracing life in the midst of questions,” she explains. She is hoping to publish the book with Bethany House Publishing.
Stacey says her health is improving, and she puts much of her energy into serving the San Francisco area through involvement in her community and church. She coordinates the Crown study, a 12-week Bible course reflecting a biblical perspective of money management and stewardship, for the San Francisco area. She also leads a small Bible study group in her church and a citywide prayer meeting dedicated to praying for a larger Christian presence in San Francisco.