Many years ago, when I first started teaching homeschool art classes, the young ladies in this picture, Rachel and Jana, signed up for my class. I think they were 5 and 7 years old...maybe a little older. They were in my class for a few years, till they moved away. I always stayed in touch with their mom, Joy, because her family was an inspiration to me and one of the godliest families I have ever known.
They were coming back to Charlotte for a wedding, and called to ask if they could drop by. I was delighted to see them again, after many years of their absence. I have followed them on Facebook, but it was still a shock to see my beautiful students all grown up.
A huge delight was Rachel's decision to pursue a college degree in art, and hopefully a career in illustration. I had seen her artwork in high school through the blessing of Facebook. Her talent is stupendous.
"I owe a huge part of that to you," she told me, "And I just wanted to say thank you."
I could barely contain the overflowing joy that statement evoked. When her mother told Rachel she was considering coming to Charlotte for the wedding, Rachel told her, "OH please can we go, and can we see Mrs. Kaseorg?"
I am humbled, and floored that this lovely family thought of me, remembers me so fondly, and made so much extra effort to visit with me. It had been a busy day. We are beginning to look at downsizing, and I had some appointments to see some condos in the morning. I also had promised my cover designer/book formatter I would have the final edit on my new book done by yesterday. I raced home from the real estate appointments only a few minutes before my friends arrived.
And then time stood still. It was as though they had never left, that no time had elapsed, and the beautiful relationship I had shared with them years ago flowed seamlessly into the present day. Joy prayed for me before they left to visit another special friend. I felt like heaven had cracked open for a moment, and God's presence was very real.
I am so blessed. God is so gracious in bringing me people who love Him and love me. I never thought about what kind of influence I might have on the young people I taught art to. I just thought about showing them they had talent and they could indeed draw, building their confidence for that day. It is hard for me to be in the moment and concurrently visualize what each decision and action may portend for the future.
However, after Rachel left, I had conflicting emotions of joy and despair. Joy for the actions in my past that led to encouragement; despair for the times I caused pain and discouragement. Sadly, there were plenty of times when I failed others.
I wish I were better at foreseeing repercussions of every word, action, and thought of mine. My only solace is I have God, and He sees the past, present, and future perfectly. The moment I asked Him to be Lord of my life, His Holy Spirit entered me, and guides me. I may listen imperfectly, but I do have a source of wisdom. I just need to learn to tap into that incredible gift more consistently. When I fail, God is always there, and unlike me, always encouraging and reminding me I can be better and He will help me. His mercies are indeed new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.
How wonderful that despite my flawed nature, God has given me the privilege of seeing not only my failings, but some of the blessings of my stumbling efforts as well.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.