The Breath of Life

The community was shocked when their school superintendent, my husband, suddenly died. Another tragedy took place when it became apparent that a piece of our 16-year-old son Jeff seemed to die with him.

As I was able to re-engage by using life tools gained from the seminar I attended, I could clearly see that my son was disengaging. Jeff was unable to eat and his 6 foot frame was thinning; there was a heavy sadness that seemed to be etched into every aspect of his young life. I was told it was situational depression and that it would go away. But he continued to lose weight and the sparkle that had once been in his eyes was almost gone. In the past, I would marvel at the way Jeff and his dad would work together on projects, anticipating each others’ needs without a word… they had been so close...I didn’t know what to do....

Then I heard about a teen camp. I told Jeff I would buy him anything if he would just go. He asked for little and went. His sister Jill and I both attended along with him—her to continue grieving and me to help the training team.

At a one point in the program, I was called over to him. The leader said, “Jeff, tell your mom what you just told us.” He looked deeply into my eyes and said,”Mom, I forgive God for taking away my best friend.” It was as if life was “breathed” back into him—soon he was able to eat and the twinkle in his eyes returned. This process is one of many life-changing processes teens will experience during the Inspired STEPS training.

For Jeff, his anger at God was holding him back. What holds back others will be unique to them; it might fall under the category of peers, family, or a wide range of circumstances that are too many to name.

Let’s Take It into the Schools!

I was asked to help facilitate for the seminar which had such a positive impact on our family. In the adult classes, I continued to find myself drawn to the younger people who still had so much life ahead.

At the end of each seminar Duncan and I would hear, “Why couldn’t I have known this 30 years ago?” “If someone would have cared enough to be honest with me, I might have made some changes.” “I wish I could have had a plan for my life when I was young—it could have made all the difference.”

One evening we were talking with a fellow educator and his wife. I said, “We should do this for high school kids—catch them before they make unhealthy decisions that change the course of their lives.” They enthusiastically agreed. The Inspired STEPS vision became a reality. That’s when Duncan and I began laying the groundwork.

We knew of several teen programs done once or twice a year, but it was just not in a format that reached enough kids. And that’s when it hit us, “Let’s take it INTO the schools!”

Now we partner with any organization wishing to inspire engagement, hope and achievement in their teens!.