Gina and I had both made it a long way since the accident, since the months we spent in Rehab, I was now teaching, and she was working towards getting her law degree. I was grateful that the Lord had worked in our lives the way he did. I knew that we would have not made it this far without him. I was grateful for his unwavering faith and all that he had given me. The Lord had blessed me and as I sat in front of my class each morning I knew that I had to take the time to acknowledge that, and appreciated it.
Lord thank you for everything, thank you for getting me this far. Thank you for letting me get past the fear that paralyzed me in more ways than this accident ever could. Show me that you love me, and care. I appreciated your hand in my life Lord, thank you.I knew that the Lord had carried us this far, and without him we would not have come to where we were at. Seven years have passed since the accident, but I still find myself learning from time to time that I do have my limitations, but the Lord is never faithful to help me through anything I may be going through.. I knew that the Lord was faithful I was seeing his faithfulness in more and more ways everyday.
I found myself once again looking at the students in front of me, grateful that I had this class. I believed that in time I would be able to reach to Kyle and I was grateful that Helen and Heather were back to school, although they did not say to much. I could only pray that they had not gotten in trouble because I had spoken up in my fears, because they had not said anything, but I sensed something was not going as it should.
The Lord had blessed me in many ways and I saw that now. I saw that I had so much to be grateful for, but there were times I lost ttrack of that, and I needed to make sure that I moved on with my life. That I was going to not let these things become a stumbling block. I was blessed, and I needed to remind myself that even when I was feeling down. Especially when I am feeling down.
Help me Lord to serve you better, to live for you. I am not perfect Lord, I am but a sinner and you died for my sins, but I am asking for your guidance. I need your help in reaching out to these children, I need your help in being the best teacher I can be. I want to reach out and do something for these children, but I don’t know how I can, when they shut the door on me. I am so lost sometimes Lord.“I want you all to understand that I am your teacher, and I am going to demand respect. Some of you are great about being respectful and I am glad for that, but some of you are not doing so good. “ I said kind of looking over at Kyle.
“We are trying our best.” A student in the middle row said. Her name was Renee and she was a good student, she had never got in any trouble as far as I knew. If I had more students like this my job would be easy.
“Renee you are doing great. You are a great example for the other children, but some of us aren’t doing so good. It’s important we all help each other to be the best students we can be, so we can learn.”
“Okay teacher, I will do my best to help.”
“Thank you Renee.”
“You are welcome. I want to be a good student.”
“You are a great student Renee, you do so well on your homework and you like to speak in front of the class. I am sure your parents are very proud of you. You are definitely going to be ready for the third grade.”
“Thank you teacher.”
“You are welcome.”
I was glad that these children wanted to help each other. At least for the most part. I still was struggling getting Kyle to behave and getting Helen and Heather just to take part. I thought I had been making progess with Heather, but she had closed up once again. I could only pray that me saying something had not brought this about, but I had to speak out. These children may be in danger, I could not sit back and do nothing. I was there teacher it was my place to speak out. If I didn’t and something happen to them, I would not be able to live with the guilt. I knew Gina had been right on that count.
“I want you guys to help each other. I don’t want to see meaness or rudeness. You guys need to know the importance of team work.” I said. Focussing once again on Kyle. I needed this little boy to see that he could do things without being mean and hurtful. The other children did not deserve his teases or taunts. No one did.
“What if we don’t help each other?” Kyle asked. Trying to stir up trouble once again.
“You need to do it whether you want to or not.”
“Whose going to make me?”
Lord give me the patience I need.The bell rang, and I found myself dismissing the class, with instructions for them to think of ways they could help each other and reprot back to me on Monday. When the classroom was empty, I pulled out my Bible and began reading 2 Timothy 2 before I headed home.
1 Timothy 2
Instructions on Worship
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
11 A woman[
a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.After reading the word and praying, I was able to focus more and found myself thinking of more ways I could help involve all these children. Kyle may be a trouble maker, but that did not mean he was a child that did not deserve a chance. Kyle deserved a chance just as all children did.
“Gina I don’t know what I would do without the Lord.”
“Justine believe me I know that’s true . I wouldn’t be where I am without the Lord.”
“Neither would I.”
“But for the Grace of God, there Go I.”
“How did your class go today?”
“It’s going better, I just wish I knew how to reach out to Kyle and Helen and Heather more. Kyle just seems bent on making sure everyone around him is miserable, and Helen and Heather have shut down once again. At least Heather has, Helen never opened up to begin with.”
“Justine you will get through to these children. I know the Lord has a plan for you in this.”
“Thank you Gina, I know that too, but I feel lost sometimes. I feel like I am just hitting my fist against the proverbial wall.”
“I know Justine, but don’t give up on these kids, and certainly don’t give up on the Lord, he is using you.”
“That sounds familiar.” I said smiling. Remembering that after she got out of the hospital I had told her that.
“Someone wise once told me that.”
I started laughing, the silly banter and teasing did my heart good. I needed to distress and talking to my best friend was a great way of doing just that. I needed to laugh and I needed to have a few moments where I allowed myself to enjoy the joy of the Lord and the joy of friendship.
Lord thank you for allowing me the joy of the Lord. I am grateful for the blessing of friendship. I know that I am blessed to have Gina in my life, and that I am blessed with the children in my life, a family who cares. I am rich in the ways that truly matter. I am more than grateful for that Lord. Thank you.
“Thank you Gina, I needed that laugh.”
“Laugher is good medicine.”
“Amen to that. The Lord loves a joyous heart.”
“I truly am grateful for your support though. Gina I needed your friendship and you have been there for me and I appreciate that.”
“Justine you do the same for me.”
“I hope so, I try.”
“Don’t question whether you are a good friend or not Justine, because in my eyes you are the best.”
“Thank you Gina.”
“No I think I owe the thanks to you, because you have helped me in more ways than you know. I would not have had the courage to go back to college, and keep going for my law degree if it were not for you.”
“Gina you helped me too. I would have given up had it not been for you. The Lord really used you to show me that I was going to make it. That my life did not have to be defined by the accident. I know that now because I took the time to listen and you took the time to show me that with the Lord we can get through something so life changing.”
What if Daddy hits us again Heather? I don’t want to get in trobule. I don’t want to be dead like Kristine.
“Did you guys think of ways you could help each other over the weekend?” I asked as the bell rang Monday morning and my students were settled in to their seats.
Renee was the first to raise her hand. No surprise their really. “We could help each other with homework if someone is having a hard time.”
“We can share our lunch if someone forgets there’s.” Megan added. I was grateful that Megan was getting more involved because it showed that she was getting past the stage of being mean and just doing what Kyle was doing to knowing that there was something more than that.
“These are good suggestions. Can you think of ways kids have made a difference before?” I asked.
“My big sister told me there was a girl named Anne Franik who was a kid who died, and she kept a book, we watched a movie about her once, my sister and me, and it was sad. But she made a difference that’s what Jordan said.”
“Jordan is right.”
“Why does your sister have a boys name?” Kyle asked. The meaness evident in his voice.
“Jordan is a girls and boys name, why are you being mean to me now? I thought we were friends.”
“You just want to be the teachers pet.”
“I am not the teachers pet. I just don’t want to get in trouble all the time.”
“Kyle and Megan please stop the arguing now, it is disrupting the class.”
“I’m sorry teacher, he is being mean.”
“And he is going to get in trouble for it.”
“What are you going to do to me? I don’t care if you suspend me.”
“Kyle you are going to start behaving and you are going to tell Megan sorry, then you are going to the office, and your parents will be called down here.”
That seeemed to capture his attention, because finally he got quiet. Not coming back with a smart mouth answerer. He just walked to the office.
Lord I feel I am going in circles with this boy, and I want to reach out to him. But I have a classroom full of students who need my attention. I can not get through this without you Lord. I know that. I need your help in reaching to these kids, all of them not just Kyle.“I’m sorry class, let’s get back to talking about how kids can make a difference okay?”
An echo of okay’s and head nods told me that was fine with the class.
“ When we get allowance we can give money to the places that help poor kids.” Renee offered.
“That’s a great way to help.”
“Teacher can’t we have a fund raiser and help kids that don’t have a lot?” Renee asked.
“Renee I like that idea, I will talk to the members of the school board and we can work on that.”
“Maybe we could get them presents for Christmas. My Mom says some kids don’t even get presents.” Renee offered again.
Lord thank you for this precious child she has such a good heart.“You know what Renee, that’s a great idea. I bet you Jesus is smiling down at you right now.”
I was no longer afraid to mention Christ name in my classroom, because even if I did get fired for it, I was going to say what I had to say. I was going to live my faith, I should have the right to share Jesus with others. I knew that now, and I outgrew the fears I had experienced. The Lord was really working on my heart and I was glad for that.
Lord thank you for showing me how to get these kids more involved, help me to reach out to Kyle and the other students as well. And let these children become lights of your love, I ask these things in the name of your precious son Amen.
Daddy’s not going to hurt us Helen, we are not going to be dead like our sister. Aerial, Melody and Jefferey are going to protect us.
But what if he kills them too. He is getting mean again and I am scared.
He was nice for awhile, but everyone said he was only pretending.
I wish he would for reals be nice.
Me too Helen.
I wish someone would help us.
No one can no Melanie says, or they will make us go in different places. I don’t want to have to live in a different place, and not have you with me.
I don’t want to either.
We can’t tell our teachers anything.
We have to be extra good.
I am Heather. I really am.
I know Helen.
I am scared to Heather, Daddy is very scary.
I know he is. He is scarying than the monsters in story books.
I know cuz he is for real. And the monsters are only pretend remember Jefferey told us that.
I know he did. I am glad that he did cuz I was scared of those story book monsters.
Me too, but not as scared as I am of Daddy.
Let’s try and do our very best and be extra good, so Daddy doesn’t hurt us or Melanie and Aerial or Jefferey.
Why did Daddy have to make Kristine die?
Cuz he’s sick in the head, that’s what Melanie and Aerail told us.
What does that mean?
I don’t know Helen, I guess it means he doesn’t think right and does mean things.
I’m still scared Heather, I don’t wanna die like Kristine did.
We aren’t gonna die okay.
Okay Heather. I hope not.
But if we did die we would get to see Kristine again and get to see Jesus.
I know and I want to see Jesus, but I don’t want everyone to be sad cuz more little kids died.
We are going to see Jesus when we are big.
Melanie and Aerial and Jefferey are going to help us okay?
We aren’t going to be separated. We won’t let anyone take us away from each other.
Okay, but we are only little kids, how can we stop them.
We just will.