Compassion's Tell Us Your Story

Wess Stafford from Compassion International asked the following:

"Do you remember the words and kind acts that encouraged you when you were young? Who was the adult that spoke into your life? Hopefully, they spoke words of love and acceptance that encouraged you to explore an interest or talent that is uniquely yours."
As I think back over my childhood, I cannot remember one instance where kind words were spoken that changed my life.   My family was the love, acceptance, and support that got me through all of the ups and downs of life that come with growing up.   But there is a moment in life when the trajectory of my life change.   It was a change that I had never dreamed of and because of that, obviously had not seen it coming.  
For most of my years growing up, I was involved in piano lessons.   I began lessons when I was in second grade with an older woman who had two pianos in her living room and lived just down the street from the elementary school I attended.  She was the teacher that taught me the basics of piano and music.   After a couple of years of playing, she encouraged me to play in a recital as many piano teachers have for their students.   Performing was something that I was really nervous about, but I decided to try it.   Recital day fell on the same day that we were returning from a girl scout camp, but the return time was before the recital time, so it was all going to work out.   As happens with many trips, the return time was delayed and we ended up getting back into town late, and as you have probably already guessed, the recital had already started.   We still had time before the recital was over, so heading to the recital hall, we slipped in the back to sit down.   As we were finding our chairs, my teacher noticed that we had just arrived and asked me to come down front and play my piece.   As I sat at the piano, my mind was blank.   I could not remember one note of the piece that I was to perform.   The longer I sat there, the more the anxiety built.  I began to cry and could not perform my piece.  This experience haunted me for many years.   I continued in piano lesson until my junior year in high school, but never performed again.  I could not bring myself to play in front of anyone again.  
Six years later, a very good friend of mine asked me if I would teach her children piano lessons.   Her daughter really wanted to learn to play piano, but the current teacher that she was taking lesson from did not want to teach a student who was as young as her daughter.  I had no idea where to begin to teach someone how to play piano, it had been so long since I had been a beginning student.  Along with that, there was the fear of playing in front of her children.  Sure, the pieces were going to be beginner pieces and if at home I would have no problem with them, but what if I couldn't play them in front of her children if they asked me to?...  We agreed to begin lessons for her three children about a month later.  
It is now eight and a half years since my friend asked me to teach her children piano lessons.  Because of my friend's faith in my ability to play the piano, I have a career as a piano teacher.   I love my job, and I love my students.   I have had the opportunity to talk with some of my students about God, share Bible stories with them, and I have made some great friends.   Above all of this though, I am so very thankful for what each of my students have brought into my life.   I have learned from each and everyone of them.  My friend who got me started as a piano teacher gave me a gift that I would never have discovered on my own.    It has brought so much into my life.   
That is my story of how my life changed, what is your story?  I would love to hear it. 

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