I am sure you don’t remember me. I was a student at Northstar Christian Academy some where between 1978 and 1979.
From what I remember I did not graduate from your program, I am sure I ran away at some point as I had run away from home several times before being enrolled in your program. In other words I was not one of your star pupils.
Once I left Northstar I purposely put that part of my life behind me preferring never to look back. Except for a few forays into looking for some of my friends I never thought again about you or the school.
Recently I ran across a classmate and got curious and ended up finding the Northstar facebook group. WOW talk about memories long buried.
I stayed up until 3 in the morning going through posts and pics of the community wondering why it brought such a mixture of pain and anger.
Then I remembered. I remembered the day you caught me smoking upstairs in the girls bathroom, and I remembered the things you said to me that day that have followed me and reminded me of my lack of worth for 35 years. Yes, your words were that powerful to a 15 year old girl.
You told me that afternoon that I was worthless. That I would never be anything in my life, accomplish anything, mean anything to anyone in my life. You told me that NO ONE would EVER invest in me the time and the money that you and your school had invested in me in the last 6 months. You told me that I would never find anyone again to give me the things that you and your school gave me.
I want you to know something. I forgive you. I make no excuse for your words or the hurt they unleashed in my heart, wounding me so deep. I just forgive you for those words and wounds. I know that you love the Lord and so I know that all is under the blood. I no longer have to live with your words or your wounds.
I want you to know something else. I found someone to love me. In fact, I found two people who love me wholly, unconditionally and forever.
The first one is Jesus Christ. He saw my sin, my brokenness, my ugly and my dirty and He loved me in it. He saw my worth because He is the one who created me. He did not just stop at loving me, He redeemed all of those parts in me that were deemed worthless by others. He invested His son, His very life for me and in me.
The second one is my husband of 27 years. I have been married to an amazingly loving and faithful man for 27 years. He is a man that saw me in my humanity and looked past it for a hidden treasure and found it in me. I know! it amazed me too. But here I am married and loved for 27 years. My husband has invested tens of thousands of hours and dollars into me because he loves me.
I have four amazing kids. Kids who love me no matter what mistakes I have made or will make. I have five beautiful grandbabies who think I am the best nana in the world.
You were wrong Bill. You were wrong when you said I was worthless, you were wrong when you said no one could ever love me enough to invest in me. You were wrong.
But God knew I was more than your words and what you saw. Just like I know you are more than the words you said to me that unforgettable day. I read the words of the young men and women that you have impacted in a beautiful way, and I know the Lord is pleased with that.
I hope your health continues to improve and I hope that you reap the beautiful harvest that you have sowed.
Beth Heyniger Connell.