I received a unique spiritual blessing--a rough sketch of a potential life I might have, if you will--when I was 13 years young. Truth be told, I was too young to receive such a blessing. I had never met the man who gave me the blessing, and I believe we only crossed paths a couple of times after. We briefly spoke before I received it, and although I don't remember most of what we talked about, I do remember one thing. After talking about what I hoped to be when I grew up (I gave answers like a model, newscaster, doctor), he looked at me and said, "Well, I know you'll know what you need to do with time, but I think you will find your work is among the children." He went on to reiterate a similar sentiment during the blessing. It has stuck with me all my life.
I used to think it's why I eventually became a teacher. But then I went on a mission, and then I decided it was why I served a mission. But then I became a mother, and then I decided he said those words because he knew my greatest work would go largely unnoticed and without applause--it would happen within the walls of my own home.
As I get older, I'm coming to learn that that phrase wasn't really meant for one time or one role or one experience. It is meant for my whole life--for the apathetic teenagers I may one day introduce to Shakespeare, for those bright-eyed kids who clawed at my wool skirt as I taught spiritual lessons in Argentina, and for these beautiful souls I helped create.
And perhaps I could be satisfied with that, but I'm not. Today as I walked Blue and said my morning prayer, I had the weight of several women on my shoulders. I pleaded for them. I talked to God about them. And I prayed that I might know how I could better serve them. And it hit me. "Your work is among the children" is meant for so much more than just a few groups of people, it is meant for every person that crosses my path.
I may not know a lot, and I can attest that I do not, but I do know that there is a loving God of us all. We are His children. Me. You. Her. Him.
Perhaps that is why I have been given so many opportunities to listen to people as they open their hearts with me--perhaps it's because God knows I am willing to be with them and work with them, without judgment or bias. Whatever the reason, I am grateful. Each person who opens their heart with me changes mine in the process, and I believe my heart is much stronger because of them than I ever could've made it.