Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wrestling to Make a Difference

Blow the dust off your yearbook, and take a walk down memory lane with me. Take a look at all those shining faces filled with promise, potential and hope. I scan these images of my past and let the memories wash over me. I wonder how many of us imagined we would be where we are today. I cannot help but notice that there are many faces I have not seen since high school, and I do not know where they are or what they are doing with their lives. It is amazing how time flies and how easy it is to lose touch with those we spent everyday with for so many years. There are friends I never thought would become memories, but sadly I have lost touch with them. This is life of course, and we all grow up and move on eventually. Yet, as a teenager you dream big, and see life with a sort of hunger and fire we tend to lose as adults. We think we will never grow old, we are invincible and we will always have one another's back.

I was privileged enough to attend a high school in a small town. I was a cheerleader who cheered loud and proud for the football and basketball teams, no matter the score. Which in hindsight was pretty handy considering we lost more games than we ever won, but the scoreboard did not reflect the valiant effort our guys and gals put forth every game.  I am also the teenager who played in the band, sang in the choir, and danced on the drill team. I was a Thespian, a volleyball player, and was involved with student council and Junior Red Cross. I was also that giggly,girl who sat huddled with her friends around bonfires, and gushed over the boys we were so madly "in-love" with.   I was sometimes the broken hearted teen, crying after a break-up with, "the one." I was also the teenager who was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. After all, I wanted to make a difference in the world, and as a teenager I believed life would be filled with opportunities to do just that; make a difference. 

Just as we lose touch with our "BFF's," life sometimes gets in the way of "making a difference" too.  However, you may not even realize when you have an impact on someone else's life.  You may not even know when you have touched the heart of another human being. In fact, you could be the saving grace for a total stranger.  People are placed in our lives for a reason. God places them where they need to be to inspire, teach lessons, and give hope. I know that as teenagers we did not recognize this as a reality, but as adults we all see that one life can make an impact. Sometimes that impact is negative and others it is positive, but when we face trials God always finds a way to send "angels" to the rescue. 

When we are dealing with hardships we must believe God has a plan; "For I know the plans I have for you,”  declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He always puts "angels" in our paths to help us get through the worst of times, and to help cope with the moments in life, which make us realize we are not invincible and we are fragile human beings with no control. We are not alone, as we were meant to be relational. God wants us to reach out to others and to give to our fellow man; to help them through the tough times. So, tonight as I am walking down memory lane, I am reaching out with all my heart, and begging you to take a moment to recall the teenage hunger and desire to fill this world with an all consuming fire. 

A friend from my past is in need of "angels." He and his family need prayers and some assistance that this world of connectivity can provide. If you notice in the top right corner of this blog there is a donate button for Loren Lettington. He is the baby brother of one of those great friendships in our yearbook. Loren was a wrestler in school, full of life and spunk. Now he is the proud daddy of two small children, and the loving husband of a beautiful young woman named Megan. This week, while working in Germany, Loren was involved in a work related accident. He is critically injured, and his brother, Richard Lettington, and his wife, Megan Lettington, have flown overseas to be by his side. They are reaching out to friends and family for prayers, as Loren and the doctors fight to save his life. He has some very serious injuries and the doctors are not giving him much of a chance to walk again. Their young family have a long road of recovery ahead, with daunting medical bills and travel expenses. Therefore, my husband Gavin and I are trying to reach out to our small town roots, and want to lend a helping hand. Many people want to do something, but just do not know how. So, we have set up a fund for the Loren Lettington family on this blog. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Loren and his family. 
"Once you've wrestled everything else in life is easy." Dan Gable

I am challenging each of you to send this blog forward to all the people in your contact list, and to all your friends on Facebook. Even if you have nothing to give that is okay. Prayers are always free and so is forwarding the blog site to those who might be able to lend a helping hand. I am not asking for a hundred dollars or five. I am asking for whatever you can give. Just one dollar can make a difference for this family. Of course, I am only one person and I only have a small circle of followers, but I know the Will of God is a powerful thing. I also recognize that God has placed people in our lives for a reason, and maybe this is the one way we can help. I am imploring all of you to reach out to your contact lists via email or Facebook, so that together we can ease the simplest of burdens upon this young family. 

Remember your desire to be "somebody" as a teenager, and take this moment to be somebody who makes a difference. We may not be teenagers anymore, but we can still dream big, and inspire hope. We were once teenagers who said we would never be separated, and we would always have each other's backs. Growing up has put miles between us, but our hearts are all still connected. Many of us have Facebook accounts and are able to stay in touch, and this has been one of those weeks when I am so thankful for this amazing tool of technology. Not only can we stay in touch, but we can reach a bigger audience and we can make a difference. So please consider forwarding this blog, reach into your own pockets and give what you can. Then send a note to a friend from the past. You never know what kind of impact you will have on another until you extend a helping hand.