Hopefully, into each and every life people come into our lives and change us completely. Without them, we'd never be who we are today. Think for a moment, who has came into your life and made a difference? Possibly a grandparent, parent, teacher, friend, sibling or another relative.
It has been said, "You have two hands. One to help yourself and one to help others." If you ever want to be fulfilled, to heal, to accomplish the purpose you were planted on this earth - reach out.
Anytime throughout my life when I have suffered a loss, lived through a real life nightmare or just craved purpose, I found it as I attempted to reach out to others. My husband and I were given a unique opportunity this past week. A guidance counselor at the middle school in Elkins asked us to come and talk about grief. At first, I thought, "Can I really do this?" I was going alone, but wishing, but not wanting to ask my husband to go with me. I mean, the poor guy sees enough grief with me nowadays grieving my daughter. However, he said that morning that he'd like to go, and voila, a team is born. We had an absolute blast! Those kids were amazing. You parents didn't tell me your children were perfect. Well, at least they were perfect in our class.
Jamie is a professor at Davis & Elkins College, so I called him Professor Morgan and he played the "clown" basically complete with a bag of tricks! It was just the balance the class needed to offset the grief education. It was such fun. And, as you can tell by reading this, guess who was helped more than anyone? The kids? I hope they were helped, but I was the one who received the blessing and was rewarded by their attentive and sweet faces.
And, so it is happening again, it is in the reaching out, that God reaches in me and mends up my broken heart little by little. Kristin's birthday is coming up. It would've been her 26th. My sisters offered to come up. My husband offered to help me put flowers on her grave. I thought, "What would Kristin want me to do for her birthday?" It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. She'd want me to help someone who needed help.
Kristin's Hope is up and running now, and we will be helping others in our area through it as well as helping those in human trafficking. But for this birthday, I am asking every person to please "pay it forward" to someone else on Nov. 9 this year. Some random act of kindness to someone who is hurting is a great way to honor Kristin's life. She literally spent her entire life, worried about and caring for other people. Could you help me celebrate? She'll be celebratin' in heaven, but I want to do more than mourn on that day.
I'm thinking of some different ways, and no doubt, you will have many creative ideas as well. It may be a phone call or visit to someone who is hurting. Kristin's heart cried for those no one wanted: the outcast, the broken, the dirty, the drug addicted, the prostitute and so many more. Please, let's all honor the memory of my angel by having "angel day." It may be you do an anonymous gift. She and I loved to do this when she was little. We'd leave bags of groceries on the porches of needy people and run. She'd pick out her favorite doll at Christmas (she started this at age 3) and give it away.
By the age of 12, Kristin began Kids Helping Kids in Webster County and wanted to give out toys to needy children. Some men in Pennsylvania heard about her and brought a tractor trailer load of toys for her to distribute. She continued this for a few years, and now Kristin's Hope is having a Kids Helping Kids to assist those in need this Christmas. It will be headed up by children. For Kristin's Sweet 16 birthday, she asked that we not get her anything. (Like that was really going to happen.) She asked that everyone buy Bibles to give to people who do not have them. Donations came in from everyone who would have given her gifts, and she bought about 150 Bibles and gave them away to kids and adults who did not have one.
This kind of selfless giving continued throughout all her life as the job she had as counselor at the time of her death allowed her to give of herself, but I happen to know she used what little money she had to buy extra food for the children who came hungry. She was determined to feed their souls, but also to feed their tummies nutritious food.
So, will you help celebrate her memory on her birthday, Nov. 9, by doing something for someone in need?
(Editor's note: Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is also a counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling, and co-founder with her husband, Jamie, of Kristin's Hope. She can be contacted by phone at 304-637-1109 or at her office at 300 Railroad Ave., Suite 304, Elkins, W.Va. 26241.)