Once again, our lives were changed by the influence of a teacher. This time, it was Mrs. Faith, and she was Joshua's 2nd grade teacher.
By this time, Joshua had been at this school for 3 years...2 years of Kindergarten, and one year of 1st grade.
We were not "zoned" for this particular elementary school, altho it wasn't that far from our house. The elementary school that was in our zone was really close to our house. Holly had gone to Kindergarten at a private, Christian school, but we were planning to enroll her in 1st grade at the public school. She and Joshua are 2 years, 9 months apart, but because of how things worked out with Joshua...they ended up being one grade apart in school. So, it goes without saying that it would be wayyy more convenient for us to just tell Holly she was gonna go to the same school as Joshua, but we decided to include her in the decision-making process...and use it as a kind of "teachable moment" with her. We made it a matter of prayer for weeks. We always tried to take each child into consideration when making decisions that will be best for them individually...instead of just making blanket decisions for all 4 kids. Which, we have done that before, too. It's just case by case...and we live and learn, right? So, we prayed about it and when it came time to make the decision, Holly said that she would write it down on a piece of paper and give it to us. When she brought it to me, I was nervous opening it...because, let's be real...one of her choices would make things trickier for me, and one would make things easier. And, honestly, most of her friends from Kindergarten and from church...were going to the other school...of course she would want to be with them. But, when I opened the paper, written in the middle of the page was the name of Joshua's school! So, both of them would be going together each morning to the same place. Thank you, Lord!
While requesting a teacher was not openly acknowledged as an option, we did request a teacher for our 3 younger kids...every year (you write a letter of request and list your top two or three teacher requests, and send it in to the office at the end of the spring semester for the next fall...it was not a guarantee by any means). We had requested the same 1st grade teacher for Holly that Joshua had. I figure if they are kind when it comes to Joshua...then sign me up again.
We did not know Mrs. Faith, but she was a teacher that Mrs. Thomas recommended for Joshua for 2nd grade. We were told that Mrs. Faith also requested that Joshua be in her class. I was immediately put at ease after one meeting with her. We found out that we had many connections...we knew her brother, and one of her nieces was the same age as Holly. Mrs. Faith had the sweetest spirit about her and we heard she was a faithful Christian....which we knew would be a bonus in figuring out the best plan for Joshua's situation.
Well, it was love at first sight. Seriously. For both Mrs. Faith and for Joshua. They formed a bond and to this day it is such a precious memory. It was during Joshua's 2nd grade year that I became pregnant with our 4th child...and it was not an easy pregnancy by any stretch of the imagination. When I had Clark in February...over 12 weeks before his May due-date...things were uncertain with him, and unsettled with our entire family. I was in the hospital for several days, and Jim shuttled back and forth between the hospital in Little Rock...to our home an hour away. His Mom came to stay with the kids at home and she helped out so much. But even at an early age, Joshua was very sensitive. He knew things were serious. Mrs. Faith told us that she couldn't find him one day...he kind of just disappeared in the shuffle of kids coming back from a class. She thought he might have gone down to Mrs. Thomas' class, but he hadn't. Mrs. Faith ended up finding him in the bathroom...he was in there all alone, crying. He was worried about his baby brother, and he was missing his Mom. Joshua says Mrs. Faith said, "I'm not your Mom, but I'll hug you and take care of you while you're here at school."
Seriously. How sweet is that?
PAY OUR TEACHERS MORE MONEY.
We had to leave the hospital without Clark. He had to stay in the NICU for 7 weeks, but when I was discharged we headed back home. But we didn't go straight home. We went straight to the school...and we checked out both of our kids, and went home to Mammaw Jack, who was staying with Logan. One of the sweetest sights was Joshua running up the hallway to see me.
The story of Joshua in the bathroom has stayed with me all these years. I am so thankful that God placed Joshua in Mrs. Faith's class and that He allowed her to be his teacher. She taught him...she taught us. She went on to become a wonderful friend to our family for many, many years.
A good teacher makes ALL the difference.
"...who knows if perhaps you were made...for such a time as this." Esther 4:14