I’ve been embraced by Lutheran schools my entire life. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way [she] should go and … [she] will not depart from it,” is certainly true for me. I was blessed by God to grow up in a loving Christian family.
When I was a student at Valparaiso, I was convinced that God wanted me to teach in a public school and serve His children there. However, it seems God had other plans.
Upon graduation, Valley Lutheran High School (VLHS) in Saginaw, Mich. contacted me, and I went for a visit. Immediately, I knew this would be my new home. Although far from family, VLHS became my adopted family. The staff welcomed me and being part of their Sunday evening faculty Bible study sealed the deal. VLHS was a place where God was over all—and in all. Today, almost 38 years later, I am excited to say that I’ve been blessed by God to have such loving VLHS families who support me in many ways.
The painting in the school entranceway depicts Christ as the foundation of all we are and do. To me, teaching in a Lutheran School is like working with extended family. Although apart from my immediate family, I am part of a bigger one composed of faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni who love and support me and each other in many ways.
Two incidents almost thirty years apart illustrate what I experience on a regular basis.
I am a single parent, and shortly after adopting my son I thought moving closer to home was what Josh and I both needed, so I sought out a position. When I was offered the new job, one of my VLHS parents helped me see the impact I had on over 300 students. She reminded me, that at VLHS, I had support of a large, caring “adopted” family.
This past October, my mother went to heaven to celebrate Reformation with Martin Luther and Jesus. Because my sisters and brother live close to each other, they had each other nearby to lean on. But I was not alone. My VLHS family—faculty, parents, and students—were there with encouragement and support all along the journey. Students made cards, the faculty sent flowers and memorials; but, perhaps most importantly, they lifted me up in prayer. Today, parents continue to pray for me and to check-in with me on a regular basis.
I love serving in a Lutheran school because we are family—a family brought together by our Father God and Brother Jesus Christ. As found in most families, we have the same struggles but our common bond and love for God and one another helps us each and every day to forgive and start new in loving and serving one another.
Photo (c) franckreporter/iStock