“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Hebrews 12:1-2
She was my English teacher, my drama director, my classmate’s mother, but most of all, she was someone I was honored to call not only my teacher but a friend. Yesterday morning, Mrs. L lost her battle with cancer leaving a void for all who know and love her.
I am the wordsmith and writer I am because of this dear teacher. She saw promise in me before I even saw it in myself. I remember one year in particular when she was prepping for the one act play competition. One of the actresses had to drop out and Mrs. L came to me and asked me to be in the production. I didn’t quite know it then, but I definitely know it now. That moment in time is where I was bitten by the acting bug.
My love for reading also was honed by this amazing teacher. I can’t pick up a book without thinking through its plot line, its audience, and its message. These were all characteristics that I learned from an amazing teacher. In addition, who I am as a writer, comes from all that she taught me about language and words.
But Mrs. L was so much more than a teacher to me. She was one of the many who showed me what it meant to be a woman of faith and to love unconditionally. She wouldn’t put up with bullying in the classroom and for that I am extremely thankful. She was a woman; a teacher; but most especially a mom to some amazing children and grandchildren who she also taught to be world changers.
I remember looking out at my consecration service and seeing Mrs. L sitting in her families usual Sunday pew. She had come to share in this special day with my family and I. I will never forget how many times she told me how proud she was of the woman of faith that I have grown into.
Mrs. L was a world changer in all essences of the word. She taught her students, her children, and her grandchildren to sit with those who were sitting alone, to encourage others, to be a friend to the lonely, and to look for the good. Today, as I reflect on Mrs. L’s memory, I am so incredibly thankful that she blessed my life. She taught me that sometimes life is hard, but that it is always worth it.
Today, as I reflect on the many lives she has touched, I vow to continue to be one of her beloved storytellers. Barb, thank you for being my amazing teacher, a faithful witness to the gospel, one of the best storytellers I know and a beloved mentor and friend. I wouldn’t be who I am without what you taught me. I am who I am because you weren’t afraid to show me; to love me (and all of your students) unconditionally. Thank you doesn’t even seem enough. But know that I am one of the many lives you touched.
I’ll be linking up with these lovely ladies–Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Porch Stories.