Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More Sadness at My School

I just couldn't bear to write this last night. When I arrived at school yesterday morning, staff members received news that once again a student passed away the night before. Two different students, two separate incidences, 5 days apart.

This time, the student was a senior. It was quite unexpected and shocking. The cause of death has not been revealed to us. Yesterday we were told that an autopsy would be performed.

Please pray for our students, his parents and his siblings.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Path of Pain and Forgiveness

I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting this past year about my life, and I believe that I have come to peace with painful events of the past. Today I stumbled upon a poem by Amy Carmichael which explains my journey during the past 29 years pretty accurately.

I have come to the conclusion that the illness I suffered in college was planned by the Lord and that the subsequent events that followed this illness were all supposed to happen. It all went down according to the plan. This idea was first presented to me by a Christian psychologist that I went to see about 15 years ago. I thought that sounded impossible to be true and so I rejected her words. Consequently I wrestled with pain and unforgiveness for several more years. I reasoned that something so wrong and terrible couldn't possibly be part of God's plan for me. However, I have come full circle. By saying that it was all a mistake and that it wasn't supposed to happen implies that it somehow slipped by God, that He was asleep on the job, or that He really isn't in control of the world. If He is in control, but I still think that it was all terrible, then I am forced to believe that God is actually quite cruel.

No. I believe that God is good and that He is in control. I believe that we are given trials to develop our faith and character. It sounds so cliche...but I see its truth in my life. I believe there are certain paths that we are destined for....but I also believe that the Lord gives us choices along that path. I don't profess to have it all figured out. There is a certain mystery to it all. This is where true faith develops. I'll never totally understand the answer to, "Why did that need to happen?" Accepting that I won't understand it during this lifetime and deciding that it is okay that I don't understand has helped.

The other "aha moment" that brought about this change was learning to see my mother as human. One who makes mistakes. I recognize that she carried a tremendous amount of pain in her heart about things that happened in her life too. She was also someone who was good. She was a godly woman who was mostly a blessing to me. I was far more blessed by her than the opposite....but Satan wants to cloud my memory regarding her. I am also a human who make mistakes. God's grace is sufficient enough to cover my own sin. He has forgiven me and He has forgiven her. For me to not forgive her (or anyone else) is to have the arrogance to believe that I know better than God does. That is just more sin on my part.

This past winter, I went to Prayer Central at my church. It is a room that you can go to after any of the services to ask for prayer. I went there to ask for prayer regarding my unforgiveness towards my mother. I didn't tell them my entire story, but I told them that I felt very angry towards my mother because 28 years earlier, she had hurt me very deeply. It took me several years to put all of the pieces together in order to figure out what happened all those years ago. So I went to Prayer Central and told the woman there that I needed help getting past this. It seemed to me that this was the last ugly black talon that Satan had my heart pierced with. This woman prayed for me. She prayed that the Lord would help me get to the point of acceptance...that I would look back on my life and see this as something that just simply happened, and that I would no longer have the bondage of anger that came with it. I thought to myself, "Yes, Lord. This is what I see it as something that simply happened...without all of the anger about it."

I believe that I have finally reached this point. I am not fool enough to believe that the enemy won't attack again, but he has lost this battle. I shared this, because I know there are many people who have hurts and anger over things that happened to them that were not entirely fair. I hope I can encourage at least one other person to find acceptance for what happened to them and to be able to forgive those who wronged them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sad Day at Wayne

This morning I got to work to find out that one of our students died early this morning from injuries sustained in a car crash last night. He was a junior...age 17. He was 2 months younger than my own daughter. I'm heartbroken for his family. He was new to our district. I don't know if he had any siblings, but I only saw his mom listed as a parent. He was driving the car that crashed. No one else was in the car at the time and no other vehicles were involved.

I just talked to this student last week when he came into our library and signed out a book. I remember our short and seemingly insignificant conversation. You just never know when you will talk to someone for the last time. It's a reminder that the way we treat one another is so important. I'm glad my last conversation with him was not scolding him for something really trivial. I try not to do that with students anyway, but sometimes I've disappointed myself. This is a good reminder regarding that. Librarians can have a reputation for being crabby. I try to break that stereotype all the time.

Upon hearing the news, I immediately went into our circulation system, marked the book as lost, and removed the fine. I just don't want an overdue reminder or bill to be accidentally sent to his mom. Who cares about a book in light of this tragedy?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beaver Camp Fun-Summer of 2016

This is the camp my daughter worked at this summer. Check her out at 1:38-1:43. She's also at 2:38-2:40...and a few other minor appearances that are quick. I'm really grateful for this camp. My kids went here as campers and 2 of them have worked here. Beaver Camp has made a profound impact on them spiritually.