Saturday, May 20, 2006

Praise the Lord....and pass the blessings!

Race over to MomRN2 for the amazing update! Then sing along with me:

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

****************************

A post by Holy Mama has me thinking about something. Point number four of what she wishes people knew reads like this, "I wish my high school English teacher and former friend knew I still think of her fondly. (I know, I know, but could YOU contact your high school English teacher if you punctuated stuff like I do?! Gah.) Holy Mama's post always leave me smiling, happy, and THINKING! If you haven't added her to your daily blog reading--do it now!

I was reminded of a time when I, too, was apprehensive about contacting an influential teacher in my life. It's a long story, but I will do my best to shorten it--however, if you know me--you better get comfortable in that chair you are sitting in! :)

When I was 16 years old, I was kicked out of school! Yes, Ms. Pat Hill, the Dean of Girls at my high school asked me to come into her office following an incident (not the first) where I was caught smoking pot while walking away from school mid-day. (This is where I will shorten the story and not go into further details--on this post anyway!)

Ms. Hill notified my parents and we were suppose to arrive in her office the next morning at 8:00 a.m. Neither my mom or dad attended that meeting, however, I dutifully entered her office at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Attitude in hand, I sat before her ready to give her a piece of my adolescent mind.

Ms. Hill: "Diane, do you know why you are here?"

Me: "Duh--that stupid bouncer needs to get his eyes checked! I wasn't smoking weed--it was a cigarette! O.K., I know you think I was skipping school, but I wasn't--I just don't need to go to that stupid class --when will I ever need to use Statistics anyway??????"

Ms. Hill: "Diane, we have talked before. I wish you could see the potential that I see in you. I don't want to have to do this, but I have given you fair warning."

Me: (thinking, offering only a blank stare) : "Potential-HA! My father's a raging alcoholic, my mother is home quivering, readying herself for the next beating. What kind of potential is in that?" "I don't need this sh*t!

Ms. Hill: "It is not often that I see someone in my office in your situation that I want to extend just one more chance. It's about choices, Diane; you are just making the wrong choices. I am here to help you make better choices. "

Me: "I have no choices, you don't know my life. It sucks. I hate it. The only way I can muster through it--is by numbing my mind." More blank stares and an occassional grunt, "Hmph!"

Ms. Hill: "Diane, what can I do to help you see that you don't have to throw you life away like this?"

Me: "My life has been in the garbage pit from the moment of my birth." "Ms. Hill, seriously, I don't need this sh*t!"

Ms. Hill: "Diane, I am going to give you one more chance. If you can tell me what else I should do besides suspend you, I will reconsider. What else do you think we should do?"

Me: "I don't know what to do, do you think I'd really choose this. Do you think I haven't tried every thing I can to make things better? Isn't it enough that my mom and dad don't care enough to even be here--how stupid do you think I am...I'm in this alone."

"I guess there's nothing else you can do. I don't want to deal with this sh*t anymore either."

Ms. Hill: With a literal tear in her eye, "Diane, I know you are going through tough times, I want to help you find your way. Please know that I am always here for you, I beleive in you, I want so much more for you. But unless you are willing to fight for yourself, I cannot do it alone."

Me: "I understand alone Ms. Hill--maybe you're not so bad!"

Ms. Hill: So because this is your third infraction, I am required to tell you, you are suspended from school for the rest of the year. You will have to petition your re-entry next Fall. (Me: "You won't be seein' me again." ) Please take my number, call me if you need anything."

Me: "See ya!" ("What a nerd! She's almost as stupid as the pigs!--I'm outta here!")

That was December of my Junior year. Another story follows; but suffice it to say that God was watching over me. (Shortening the story again---) I did return to school (Oh--how I want to share this part--but brievity, Diane, brievity!) and Ms. Hill was proudly attending my commencement ceremony, June, 1972. She even attended my Graduation Open House. A couple of years later, having had no contact with Ms. Hill, I desperately wanted to invite her to my wedding. I was ashamed of my behavior, embarrassed by my lack of respect, yet, her influence in my life was partially responsible for the hope I had found in living. I sent the invitation to her.

While she had a previous comittment and could not join us on June 7th, 1974, Ms. Hill sent a gift with a card that I still cherish. Her belief in me, in who I could become, was no small feat. She was a significant model in my life and I have been priveleged to share just that with her on a number of ocassions. I must have made her job a difficult one those high school years; but she handled it with ease. I cannot tell you the joy I felt as I told her the difference she made in my life! Her model is one that I live by.

So Holy Mama--write that teacher! People who make a difference are not concerned with poor grammar--or in my case, past failures; they will be thrilled to hear from us. Let's bless others....as they have blessed us!



26 comments:

Granny said...

I'll go over to her site now. Just letting you know how touched I was by your post.

dawn said...

My high school English teacher was the most influential of my life - she had my younger brother, sister, and myself three years in a row, some of us for more than one class. She still remembers all of us, as we do her. I was privileged to visit with her during two class reunions. She is now blind and cannot do what she enjoys most - read. It is sad. I am so glad I met with her before it was too late. She's still alive, so I have more chances. I've learned the hard way to not delay getting in touch with someone who is on my mind.

I wanted all the mothers of prodigals out there, and anyone else who cares about prodigals, to please pray for my son. He is about to finish (in one month) an 18-month program in Teen Challenge. TC was begun by David Wilkerson in the 50s. It is mostly men 18 and above who go there now, but there are still some teen settings and some women's. My son almost died 5 times in the last two years. A very long story (Diane, I know what you mean about trying to shorten). He is graduating on June 30 and we hope to go with his wife to this very significant milestone in his live (if we can get decent tickets, so far no such luck!). Then he comes back here to face some legal stuff he left behind when he landed in the hospital and ended up in TC. He is a different person than he was then, but has huge things to face - getting an apartment was next to impossible, because everyone does background checks now and doesn't want to rent to anyone who has drugs on their record - fear of meth labs is rampant in our state. Getting a job will be a challenge for the same reason. He was getting straight A's in college when he lost his way, and has high goals for ministry and service to God. He has credit card bills and school bills, and a wife he hasn't lived with for 18 months. It will be huge for everyone. After what we've read today about the little girl, I know the power of your prayers is amazing. I don't have a blog, and probably won't any time soon, but am enjoying reading others'. I used to think I could write well and had lots to say. But I'm overwhelmed with what comes out of everyone's minds every day and gets posted. I have faith in your prayers. Thank you. If you want to know more, please feel free to contact me at dcarlson@cahs.colostate.edu.

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Diane...thank you for stopping by my site and leaving a comment. I left you a reply comment to your comment that you left. You have already been a blessing to me.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

DAWN!!!!!!

I am so glad you posted...so that others can begin praying for your son. Yes, I will pray for your son. I will also pray for you--as you continue to stand in the gap for him. Keep petitioning God--keep reminding Him of His promises! Keep resting in the character of the One who created your son! We have such a strong foundation to stand on--yet, the wait can be exhasting.

June 30th! What a day it will be. However, we will pray for that day and beyond; and for the days before--that God will ready your son's heart and will!

I'll keep in touch--you do the same--o.k.?!!!!!!

Diane

Yellow Mama said...

Good entry...Thank goodness God sends people into our lives. Ya never know who or when that might be.

As a mother, it was hard for me to let another adult into my eldest daughter's life which was stormy in high school because I thought my husband and I and the church folks were enough.

When she said she felt called to go to Marine Boot Camp (where she is right now), we knew it was right even though I didn't want it to be right. The letter we got from her today was wonderful! She loves going to church. She loves reading the Bible. She was excited when four girls got saved this last week. She is reading a Joyce Meyers Book. I've heard pluses and minuses about Boot Camp, but for her, she has been stirred up by God, by Drill Instructors, by Chaplains to be the woman we always knew she was to be.

Thank God for His butting into our lives through other people!

violet said...

I loved this story!

And thanks for dropping by the blog and leaving a note. :)

MugwumpMom said...

Great post....I felt like I was with you in that office. Would love to hear more about the parts you had to brief about.

Rena

HolyMama! said...

thank you thank you!!!

i did! i wrote. and i remembered that hello? she's now the school counselor and might be of help with my own little prodigal.

your story is so surprising, and your candor is beautiful. i hope Ms. Hill knows how great you turned out!!

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Wow, that was a wonderful entry. I got tears in my eyes, well, that's not really a hard thing, I cry at the drop of a hat! But, I loved your story.

Brenda said...

And this is why we blog. Diane, your story is encouraging. Thank God for people who live by His example and reach out with grace and mercy to help those who have lost their way.

Dawn, I will be praying for your son.

Jade said...

That's a very inspiring post, Diane! :-)

Your Sister in Christ,

Jade

theresa said...

Awesome story, and thanks for the kind words about my blog. I too had a lonely childhood void of emotional support. It is amazing how good God is to us, isn't it? Even though our formative years were disfunctional, we can break free from those chains and have a blessed rest of our lives.

jessica said...

Love the story. I have a couple of teachers like that in my life. My husband on the other hand was so mean to his teachers that when we ran into his Spanish teacher at the mall he went up to her and apologized for his behavior.

Liz said...

I was a real pain in the rear to a LOT of my teachers. I also grew up in a similar situation as you it sounds like. Very rough.

I wish I could apologize to all those I treated so badly.

God Bless you!

Come by and visit me any time!

If you would like to be my Blog Buddy, please sign my guestbook!

OneCoolMama said...

Thank for your comments. We had yet another graduation day today full of thoughtful tears - this time High School Senior Sunday. Wow - I can't even think far enough ahead to imagine the string of emotions at College graduation. Your daughter is beautiful. Congratulations on her wonderful achievement.

Morning Glory said...

Diane, what a wonderful story. Thank God for the people who come into our lives and lead us along. We just never know where our influence goes, do we?

Janet Rubin said...

Love this post. I shudder to think of the people I hurt in my years of rebellion. Cheryl always comes to mind- my youth leaders wife. i can see her tearfully begging me to come back to youth group, knowing that I'd slipped into a bad relationship and was having sex and drinking. Only months earlier I'd been the most committed youth group member they had, in love with Jesus. Not sure where she is now. I did get to see her at one point though and tell her I was sorry and thank her for praying for me.

kpjara said...

What a wonderful story! I totally agree..never sit on a thank you due to someone that has changed the course of your life or reminded you that angels do exist!

Jan said...

Diana, thanks for your message on my teacher post. And thanks for sharing your story. I e-mailed Dawn just now, with prayers for her son and her family. Isn't blogging just amazing, the way we all link up and share and make connections?

Paula said...

I loved the photos and post about your daughter!!!

C. H. Green said...

Dawn,
Teen challenge is a wonderful program with a very high success rate. I will put your child on my prayer list. Miracles still happen. We are praying for a victory in his life as well as in Diane's prodigal's life. What a wonderful ministry Diane has started here. Isn't God good!

Juliabohemian said...

that's a great story.

Danielle said...

Diane,

Praising God for your post tonight. Who hasn't been there? AND I'm going through a lot with my 16 year old son right now who is struggling to stay in school. I needed this!!!

Ladies, I'll be praying for your children. Great loving comments everyone! Great blog!

Danielle

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