Sometimes it takes a crisis in your life to remind you of just who your friends really are. This happened to me last year when I was going through a bleak situation. For some reason, I got the idea in my head that I was all alone in the events and that my close friends and family might not understand or accept me for what I was going through. I couldn't have been proved more wrong and I found out when the chips were down, I had more support than I could ever know what to do with. Instead of judging glances and harsh words, I was met with hugs of support, words of wisdom, offers of help and, most importantly, ears that listened without judging and never said, "Yes, but we've heard this part approximately 17,000 times today."
Now, I wouldn't compare that situation I'm going through right now to what I went through last year, but I am being reminded of the same lesson again--that I do have an amazing group of friend and family members who will rally around me when I need them.
To say it's been an interesting 24 hours is an understatement. I've got several e-mails from parents of the youth in my class saying that they support me and that their teenagers liked the class. Also, they talked to their kids and found out that we actually did open up the Bible and talk about it during the infamous incident on Sunday. Mary Anne's blatant attempt to ambush everyone at the meeting has drawn attention to her pattern of not having a kind word to say about anyone or anything. One of the nicest guys I know, who could find something good to say about Hitler, mind you, has come out and said he think she is just a mean lady and he she never has a kind word for anyone.
I talked to my dad and told him that I'd sent home a note, which I've provided him with a copy of. He said he intends to go to the next SPR meeting and calmly tell Mary Anne that her criticisms weren't accurate and that she didn't have all the details. He intends to present notes of support from the youth and parents and ask Mary Anne to apologize to the Sunday School teacher publically for these unfounded accustations. I took it one step farther and said that he could tell her that my Sunday School door is always open and that I understand her concerns and if she'd like to visit the class and see what is going on, she is welcome to do so.
I don't expect her to take me up on it, but part of me hopes she does. I want her to see what I see in these young adults as people.
I've given it a lot of thought in the couple of days and I've decided a couple of things. One is that I am not going to step down as Sunday School teacher. The second is, I am going to keep going with the study in question. As many negative comments as it's raised, it raised a lot more positive ones. And I had young people who enjoyed it. Now, I am not niave enough to think that next week they could be bored by it, but for now, I am going to go with what is working and getting some good response. The third is that I am going to talk to the education committee about getting some help for me in teaching the class. It's not that I don't love it, but I think having another adult, maybe a female, might help. I can relate well to the teenage guys, but I think the teenage girls might feel more comfortable having a female as a leader that they can relate to. Plus, it will be helpful should either of us have commitments and want or need to go out of town on a Sunday--as I will have to do a couple of times this summer for weddings, family reunions and the corporate day out at the zoo. A lot of the the youth I have in my class are kind of in and out, due to divorce and visitation, travelling in the summer, etc., so I think it'd be good for them to at least know who will be teaching Sunday School week to week.
And make no mistake here--when I talk about those who rally around you, I am not just talking about people I know in the "real" world. I am talking also about all of my blog-friends who took the time to thoughfully comment on what I had to say here. I can't thank you enough for the words of wisdom and support yesterday as it meant a lot to me.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/21/2005 07:59:00 AM