By Lori Devaney | Photo by Christa Eskridge
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14
Ron and Ragen Egan are living this passage today. Ragen went to Catholic church 6 days a week growing up but stopped going after high school; Ron attended church off and on but then stopped going altogether as he got older. He became a father at 16, then married, and watched as his wife left their marriage multiple times before finally divorcing.
Ron and Ragen eventually met through her mom, and have been married almost 10 years. Life has been a curvy path for their family. When the recession hit in 2008, they both lost their jobs within months of each other. Even though they were struggling financially, they continued to care for family and friends who were living with them. It was also during this time that Ron broke his back when he fell into a deep hole in a neighbor’s yard as they were preparing for landscaping. Chronic pain over the last 3 years has affected so many parts of life for Ron and Ragen. “At our lowest point, we were physically, financially, and emotionally exhausted. We were so tired we weren’t even talking to each other anymore,” says Ragen.
In late 2013, things changed for the Egans. They were searching for “something”, anything to change their situation. While taking grandkids to gymnastics, they would consistently see Pathway Church next door. They decided to visit one Saturday. That evening, as they listened to the sermon, both Ron and Ragen felt like God was speaking right to them through the words. “We both almost wanted to cry,” says Ragen.
Ron still remembers the time, during a weekend service when he was in so much physical pain, he was hunched over, struggling to be there. A man he didn’t know came and laid his hand on Ron and prayed for him.
That set them on the path to bringing their grandkids to church with them. Now the grandkids can’t wait to come to church and are even inviting their neighborhood friends.
Along the way, as they’ve started growing in their relationship with Christ, they’ve changed how they act and talk. It’s meant the loss of many of their friends who continue in their past lifestyle. Yet, they’re committed to following Christ and sharing their story because they know others who are experiencing tough times.
Forgetting what lies behind…and pressing forward.