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LIFT America

Who’s My One? 
M. Hicks 

     It was a normal day as I drove across town to the high school where I worked. Christian music on the radio ushered me into the morning, while my mind wandered forward to things yet to be done before students arrived. I pulled into the parking lot, turned off the music, and started to get out of my car. But then the Holy Spirit nudged me with a gentle reminder to pause and pray. That seemed like a good idea, so gazing upward through the windshield, I breathed these words, “Lord, is there anything You want me to do today?”
     Immediately, a new teacher on our campus came to mind. I had seen her at church, so I was pretty sure she was a believer. I had also heard from colleagues she was struggling under the weight of four preps and a difficult teaching assignment. Though we were several months into the school year however, I had unfortunately not had an opportunity to speak with her yet. That was about to change.
     In those moments with the Lord in the parking I felt another clear prompting. I was to go find her before school that day and offer to pray with her.
     Yikes! Comfort Zone alert.
      What if there were students in her room? What if she was busy? What if she wasn’t in her room at all, but in the pod chatting with other teachers? What if she thought a virtual stranger offering to pray with her was weird? What if….?
     Despite all my “what ifs” one thing was very clear. I had a choice to make. I could ignore the Holy Spirit, or I could trust Him and obey. So, a bit anxious and apprehensive, I made my way to her classroom. Standing outside her door, I peered through the long vertical window and sure enough, there she was, sitting alone…no students…no teachers, just her. I took a moment (and a few deep breaths) before sheepishly poking my head inside. “Good Morning,” I said. She looked up with a smile and responded, “Good morning Mr. Hicks. What’s up?”
     Well now, these can be awkward moments for me; moments where I think the Lord has prompted me to do something, but a pesky voice inside my head all the while telling me it wasn’t really Him. Never-the-less, with a lump in my throat, and a few butterflies dancing in my stomach, I approached her and said, “Well, um…you see, on my way to school this morning I was praying and you came to mind. I think the Lord wanted me to stop by your room and offer to pray with you as you start your day.”
     Her response was immediate. She didn’t stand up, or say a word, but simply shot both hands straight out across her desk and bowed her head. That seemed like a pretty clear yes, so I took both her hands in mine…and prayed. I can’t remember my exact words, but the prayer was heartfelt. I asked the Lord to keep His hand upon her, bless her, and give her strength. It was a short prayer, summed up with the traditional “in Jesus name, amen.” But when I opened my eyes, I saw that tears filled hers. Suddenly she stood up, came from behind her desk, and extended her arms again, but this time to give me big hug. I’ll never forget the words she spoke, “Mr. Hicks, you don’t even know how much I needed that today. Thank You!”
     As I left her room that morning, and headed off to my own, my heart was full of joy. I don’t recall all the other things that happened that busy day, but I will never forget those few special moments orchestrated by God to encourage and uplift a struggling colleague.
     The truth is, every day has opportunities for moments just like these, but unfortunately, I’m not always watching for them. Sometimes they come with another staff member; other times with a student, or even a parent. I think the reason I’ve missed so many of them in my career is because I tend to look for God to do big things; things that shake the world around me, when in fact, He just wants to touch the world right in front of me.
     Jesus told the story in Matthew 18 of the shepherd who left ninety-nine sheep on the mountain while he went searching for one that had gone astray. I know as educators it often feels like this story is upside down. Our reality at school can feel more like one is safe on the mountain while ninety-nine are lost and straying. Never-the-less, I’m encouraged, because I’m learning that God is not usually asking me to reach the multitudes, but just the one; the one right in front of me; the one He has arranged for me to touch in a special moment that He has provided.
     With all the demands, responsibilities and pressures heaped upon educators these days, I find this to be a comforting thought. So instead of trying to lift the heavy burden of reaching all the needy people around you today, I encourage you to stop and try something new. The next time you pull into the parking lot at school, turn off your Christian music, pause for a few moments, gaze upward through the windshield, and breath a simple prayer, “Lord, who is my ‘One’ today?”



March 3rd: Southern California Gathering in Anaheim.
March 18th: Central Connecticut Gathering in Hartford.  
April 7th: The first Ohio Gathering in Cleveland
May: The first Gathering in Dallas 

Multiple Cities in
Every State!

This is our dream.
So far, 16 cities in 9 states.
That means we have a long way to go.
Is your city next?

Would you pray about being a partner to help us make this dream come true? 

Contact: Mike Hicks
 The first LIFT America Gathering of Christian Educators in Central Florida took place January 14th. One hundred and forty five attended and it was an awesome evening of encouragement. I love the email I received a few days later:
"I was so encouraged by your testimony and by the LIFT gathering I attended in Orlando.  I live across the state on the west coast, and the two hour drive was totally worth it!  As a result, I am going to start our first LIFT gathering at my high school this Wednesday.  Our local Chick-fil-a has offered to give us lunch as well.  I'm also meeting with some other teachers in the county to see if small groups can get started at other schools.  My vision is for Hernando County to have it's own LIFT gathering."
Yes Lord.
Thank you Karen Seddon and team for all your hard work. God was honored, and people blessed!

January 29th a great group of Christian Educators gathered in Sheboygan Wisconsin. So many awesome things are happening in the schools there. Many campuses already have regular prayer groups and strong support for those seeking to love children in Jesus name. God was so faithful to encourage and uplift His people at this gathering.
     "I could feel the energy in the room last night after the LIFT event.  Thank you so much for bringing light to Sheboygan County."
Thank you Kaylee, Courtney, Tim, Kim and others for all your work putting together a great night of encouragement.

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