Do you remember taking those trips? I went on a few myself growing up. One in particular stands out to me in my distant (won’t say how distant) memory. I was in the 4th grade as I recall and we lived in a small town in the northern part of North Carolina, Henderson. My dad was a Methodist minister and pastored 2 churches in the area and we lived on the outskirts of town about 5 or 6 miles on a country road. My school was a few miles away. For some reason, I missed the bus to go to school which led to me missing the bus for the field trip as well. So, off we went, me and my dad. I have 3 siblings and one was in school a year ahead but he must have caught the bus that I missed. The field trip was to a Jewish Temple for a tour. It’s as if it was yesterday in my mind. If my dad gave me one thing, it was courage or at least he thought I was courageous that day. It took about 15 minutes to get to town and through town to the Temple. My class had already arrived and started the tour. Remember, I was about 9 years old but probably a little sassy then as I am now or at least I’ve been told as much. Literally he pulled up to the curb and I hopped out. He didn’t stop, walk me to the door or go in with me. Are you getting the picture? Hop out I did! I walked right up to that huge door and went inside. But my class was no where to be found at first. I was raised in church but a Jewish Temple and a Methodist Church don’t look too much alike and I was terrified. Lost, alone and in a very strange place. I remember the red velvet cushions on the benches, a huge curtain in red velvet and the amazing gold Ark and scrolls, etc. Don’t worry, I caught up with my group and rode the bus back to the school with my friends. My point in telling this story? Courage! I was fairly brave until I got inside and I kept going in spite of the unusual place I found my young self. I didn’t know a few years later the impact it would have on my adult life to keep going even if you find yourself lost, feeling alone or even terrified. I survived! Be “encouraged” and keep going…….

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