After Zach's pre-K closing program, the school director gave me a hug. With tears in her eyes, she thanked me for my friendship and involvement at the school and said she'd "learned a great deal about being a director" from me. I did not ask her what I'd done that taught her so much, but one situation that we faced stands out in my mind. There was a misunderstanding that could easily have led to Zach being pulled out of her school. Bryan and I were very hurt and had every reason to quietly just go away, but we knew that was not biblical. When the wound was still very fresh, I was too emotional to actually speak to her. Instead, I gathered my thoughts and sent her an email so we could "talk". We emailed back and forth a couple of times and then scheduled a meeting. She was very apologetic about everything and amends were quickly made. All of us were very happy to resolve this and move on with Zach's schooling and our friendship.
This could have turned out dramatically different. We could have pulled Zach out of school and never addressed the matter. While addressing it was no picnic, I believe the other option would have been far more difficult. Zachary loves his school, his teachers, his friends, his director... And so do we! Severing those ties and moving on like they never existed would not have been fulfilling; although we could certainly have had the worldly privilege of "being right" or "showing them".
Being able to address it took courage, faith and the knowledge of who and whose I am. My value doesn't hinge on someone's response to me. And being able to honestly tell her how I felt took vulnerability and intentionality. I wake up every day of my life with an awareness that I want to be vulnerable and intentional with everyone I know. When Miss Jennifer told me that she'd learned a lot from me, that was such a precious gift to me. Being intentional has made a difference in someone's life... She has been blessed through me!
This reminds me of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven" books. One of the things highest on my list of priorities is to live a life of purpose. To minister to others. To make a lasting impression on this world. To use my experiences to serve others. To be a blessing to those around me. Not for praise or recognition, but so that others can experience Jesus through me.
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19
Me with my good friend, Miss Jennifer