Last week I was able to spend a few days on the Illinois-Iowa state border. The Riverdale and Erie School Districts in Illinois invited me to spend some time with their communities and boy did they leave an impression with me.
A wonderful woman and her daughter viewed my episode on FarmHer on the RFD TV channel. Her daughter said that it would be great to have me come speak. Her mother agreed and took action to contact me. At that point I had only spoken to Missouri schools and just this year had decided that I wanted to start reaching out to the states around me. This was just perfect and fit both of our plans!
What I didn’t expect was the unbelievable hospitality and feel of this community. What I also didn’t expect was to give three school presentations and be asked to give a faith presentation for the community. At this point there was nothing that was going to keep me from traveling to their neck of the woods.
I am not asked to speak openly about how my faith played a major role in my recovery to often, even though many say they can hear it or feel it. I love speaking about my faith, that is the entire reason I am traveling the country riding on an emotional roller coaster! God kept putting it out there for me to hear and when I was ready, I grudgingly accepted. Now you can’t get me to stop!
Having a home cooked meal with the FFA officers of Riverdale High School and faculty was amazing. Like the food was Uh-Maz-Ing. Miss Casey is known for her glorious dishes. All three school presentations were intimate. Small school districts mean I am up close and personal during the assembly. Eyes meeting eyes. Head nods and of course tears. It’s not that I intend to make people cry, but they feel what I feel when describe the details of our family’s situation.
The presentation that would not allow me to sleep though was the evening community faith presentation. We were so close that I didn’t even use a microphone. I was on an emotional high anyway and with speaking about my faith, I knew I was going to be a hot mess.
After answering questions, it was asked if they could pray over me. Something I used to feel entirely awkward about because no one had ever done this for me until after my crash. Today I welcome it and use each and every prayer I receive. I walked down from the stage and stood by the lovely woman who asked. What I did not anticipate was that within seconds every person would move from their seat and surround me.
I put my hands on my mouth and told her I thought I might lose it. Everyone had a hand on another person’s shoulders and when she laid her hand on mine we were all connected as one. That moment, that small moment when I felt the warmth, energy and overall comfort come from this group through her hand was something I had never experienced before. Guess what happened next. Yes, I lost it.
Immediately. The kind where huge crocodile tears, hot as my bath water streamed down my cheeks. I did that thing that women do when they can’t control their emotions. I tried to catch my breath and instead of one nice long suck inwards it was four short clipped breaths and my chest heaved so big that I think it hit my chin.
Before long I didn’t know if they wetness on my lips from was the floodgates of my eyes or snot running out of my nose! Not kidding. It was the BEST experience ever.