Oh how the time does fly…  The kids in this picture are in high school now.  Crazy, that.

And when I spent my day at our high school career fair today, I saw them. And I knew them.  And they knew me.  And that’s not crazy… that’s crazy-wonderful!

Sometimes the connection was not by name, but by something more important….

“Miss?  …..  Do you remember me, Miss?”

“Oh, yes, Honey!  You wrote me a beautiful letter and gave it to me at Relay….  I still have it.”

…and this precious quiet girl dissolved into a hug.  

I knew her by her heart and the struggles that she’d faced in school.  She was one of those kiddos who worked so very, very hard, but tended to overthink and second guess herself … to the tune of failing standardized tests by 2 questions.  My focus with her in intervention was always on the social-emotional side.  

…and it worked.   On the second attempt, she passed with flying colors.

A few years later, she was in a youth group as I shared my story as a cancer survivor and Relayer and invited them to join in the fight.  Months afterwards, she charged me on the field at Relay and pressed something into my hands.  

“Read it later,” she said.

So I waited.  About a minute (!)… 

 I read it… and cried and cried and cried.  This young girl’s precious heart… it touched my heart!

But as I looked into her eyes and knew all these things today — I could not pull up her name.

But it didn’t matter….

“You always believed in me… so you should know… I struggled a little bit – with school and with boys – but I’m getting back on track.”

…and we talked about her goals and dreams and the steps to get from Point A to Point B… We reminisced about the lessons she’d learned years ago:  to stop, to breathe,and to believe in herself.

It all happened in a moment…  so brief,  so fast.

As the group transitioned on, she locked her eyes on mine and whispered to my heart “I can’t believe you remember me….”

I patted her shoulder and said, “not only that, Babe.  I believe in you!”

…. and 10 hours later, I’ve remembered her name.

Makayla.

Then sings my soul….

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