I started today’s post the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. I did so because my husband was editing pictures. I’m amazed at how less distracted I am when not staring at the computer screen. I think I’m going to have to do more writing like this. While I was worrying over what I was going to write about, two precious friends came to mind. While one is already in heaven, the other is newly retired from teaching school. Both of these ladies hold a special place in my heart because they taught me so much. I’m going to share just two lessons from these two friends.
Two Lessons from Two Friends
Susan was the first teacher to visit me in my classroom on the first day of teacher orientation. I was scared to death because this was my first year with my first class. Susan knew this and was such an encouragement to me that day; she was excited about me being there since she knew my brother.
Susan and her family were missionaries to Papua New Guinea for many years. She was full of wisdom when it came to all natural healing and home remedies. I still drink a cup of orange juice with hot sauce for a sore throat. Yep, you can imagine! I even double up on echinacea and elderberry during cold and flu season.
During the last couple of years of teaching with Susan, I was taught to be faithful to God no matter what was going on. While watching helplessly I saw the decline in Susan’s health. During many months of searching for answers while her health declining, Susan always had a smile on her face. When asked how she was doing, Susan would smile and say, “Oh, I’m alright but isn’t God good? He gave us another day to serve him.” For a while, everyone thought Susan would have to retire, but the Lord answered many prayers and led her to a specialist who could help her.
The last time I saw Susan was in 2002 at a teacher’s convention. We both were teaching in new schools and were able to spend time together in several workshops. I’ll never forget the last words she said to me before leaving, “No matter how dark a situation you will go through, God is there - he knows, he sees, he feels your pain and he hears your prayers. Don’t ever give up on God because he will not give up on you.”
Nancy is my kind of friend. She is as honest and down to earth as the day is long. Nancy is not one to put on airs or change her beliefs just to fit in. If you really don’t want to know the truth about something, then Nancy is not the one you want to talk to about it.
Nancy was my classroom neighbor, I was teaching 5th grade and she taught 6th grade. The first year of 5th grade was full of questions; thankfully that 6th grade door was welcoming enough for me to ask for help. She comforted me every morning the first six weeks of school when I cried my eyes out for leaving my precious little boy to return to the classroom.
While I only taught 5 years with Nancy I learned to live for the Lord no matter what, hold your head high when you know you’ve done the right thing even if it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped. Just because your children choose to wander from what they were taught doesn’t mean you didn’t do your job or have been a bad parent. It means they had the freedom to choose the life path they take as adults. I just pray I can remember this lesson if my sweet boy walks a different path in his adult life.
While I was relieved to move down to 1st grade, I was a little jealous of the new 5th grade teacher who would be my special friend’s new neighbor - we would no longer share lunch and break times together while laughing at crazy things that happened in the classroom or at home.
After 34 years of teaching there have been hundreds of lives touched by Nancy. While some only think about the students who walked through her door, there have been many parents and staff members who can say, she left a lasting impression on me. I know, because I am one.
While I learned many more things from these ladies, I am thankful for these two lessons from two friends.
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