I teach my students about the power of perspective and getting out of their comfort zone all the time, but sometimes I need to listen to my own “preaching.” Gavin and I have been preparing for a major move 4700 miles away from our cozy Alaskan home. Gavin has earned a position as Director of Medical Simulation at the College of Medicine for the University of Central Florida, and I will be teaching at the most academically prestigious high school in Florida, Hagerty High School. We are actually enroute on our newest adventure from the Alaskan Tundra to Florida beaches. It will be quite a change in scenery and climate, but after the -17 degree temperature we had last week, 75 sounds heavenly. Outside of the weather, I have had mixed emotions about the move, but have cast my burdens upon the Lord.
I have been keeping this move quiet for a while in an attempt to transition my students, families and to help prepare my replacement at school. However, as it all began to pick up in speed with movers, working through the stress of getting a new teaching license in another state, and finding a job for myself, I began to feel scared, worried, fearful and anxious. My heart was clouded with emotions and I was despondent that I would be leaving my students in the middle of the school year. I found myself unable to sleep, having nightmares, and sick to my stomach. I even started losing weight and having headaches daily.
However, just as I started to feel flooded with fear of the unknown, and worrying about the details I was given a touch of perspective. Not only from my students who have been very helpful, kind, and caring through everything, but also my colleagues who were constantly bringing me warm wishes throughout the entire process. I keep reminding myself there are people who need much more than just relief from stress found in moving a family of five and a classroom across the country.
There are many people who do not have jobs, or family and friends who care for them. There are families out there without their health and the resources necessary to get through the month. I know there are families who do not have enough to eat or adequate money to provide warm clothing for their children. I know this because I see it daily in my profession. Many of my students, past and present, come from impoverished homes and need more than just an academic education. They need their basic needs met, and more often than not, this becomes my first priority in my room. How can you teach about the degrees of adjectives if the child is thinking about a rumbling stomach?
However, this was not the only perspective I have been given the past few weeks. When I felt overwhelmed I thought of all the love pouring out around the world for Loren Lettington and his family. This young family needed prayers and support and we wanted to help in any way we could. The response has been breathtaking. There are over 5000 views on my blog and this is coming in from all around the world. 12 countries have viewed the blog and about 30 individuals have sent in donations. My own children handed Gavin and I cash they wished to donate from the money they have worked hard to earn. The selfless acts by many have been awe-inspiring, and the love radiating from this family is truly remarkable. I hope that we can continue to raise money for Loren. I know that God is in control as He has carried this family this far in this terrifying journey, and will be with them daily.
Loren has made it through so much already, but the prayers cannot stop now. He and his lovely wife flew home on Monday and are in Iowa City at the University of Iowa Hospitals. They are receiving excellent care around the clock and family support is definitely more hands on now that they are back in the United States. However, Loren has now developed pneumonia and needs continued support and care.
The family wanted to relay a message to everyone out there praying and sharing in this arduous journey with the family.
“ At this point we just ask that people continue to pray, as a family we have begun to understand the power of prayer. Even though we believed in His love before we just have come to see His great glory over the past two weeks. So many amazing things have happened over the past two weeks and we know it is because of prayer and our AMAZING God! Loren is getting settled in Iowa City, but has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Megan and the kids will be staying up there close to him during this time. The rest of the family will be making trips to visit and will continue helping with the care of Briar and Hadley. We are very thankful for all the prayers and support that we have received. The love and support is simply overwhelming and very humbling. Loren is an amazing young man and we are so truly blessed to have him in our lives. Also, we ask that you continue to pray for Loren's coworkers who were with him at the time of the accident, as this has been extremely difficult on them as well.”
I am reminded of the verse in James 1: 2-4, “ Dear brothers and sisters whenever trouble comes you way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For you’re your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when you r endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” This family has had their faith tested, endured much, and have developed a character that can be admired. They are struggling with their own needs, but seek prayers for others. I am amazed at their humbling faith in the Lord and reliance on prayers.
Their entire family is out of their comfort zone, and the unknown is scary and daunting. The traveling between the hospital and home is very taxing on the budget as well as on their emotional and physical well being. So, get yourself out of your comfort zone and share this link. Let’s raise even more and give a gift of compassion to a family in need. I am imploring you to please, look inside your hearts and see if you can meet the challenge, and give a dollar, five or ten.
OPEN YOUR HEART, and spend time in prayer, and I promise as soon as you hit the donate button your perspective will be altered. I know this because God is living and breathing through the followers of this blog. After all in 1 Peter 4: 10 the Word tells us; “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” So, manage your gifts God has given to you this season and allow generosity to flow around the world. Gain a new perspective that spreads comfort and joy to a family who need peace and the gift of miracles.