I spent every other weekend in High School traveling to a different village. Our sports teams use our School Districts personal plane for travel. I enjoyed traveling to different villages and always met wonderful people. A lot of natives have a certain addiction to soda pop. There was a basketball tournament in Tanana, Alaska and the classroom our team was staying in had a livestream video from the gymnasium. I was trying my best to make impossible shots from way beyond the three point line. Shots I’ve seen one of my favorite basketball players from an adult tournament in Unalakleet called the jamboree make in game winning manner. I had a lot of favorite players and loved to observe each one. I was thirsty so I went to the soda pop machine and bought one Hawaiian Punch and one Sprite. I didn’t know that my team was watching me through the video footage and they witnessss me drink both cans back to back thinking they were both soda pops. Unhealthy I am sure but what happened next was a fiasco. The senior girls, which most except my cousin, were mean willed toward me, played a prank on me. They put a sign on the soda pop machine and it said “if you see Gertie Johnson with a soda in her hand take it away. She is not allowed to have pop.” It was a cause for concern because some adults thought I was a severe diabetic or something having to do with health issues. I laughed it off and let my one senior friend take a picture of me next to the Gertie sign. It was made very clear who Gertie was but the reasoning behind a simple joke was unfounded. Certain aspects where I failed in my values are where I struggle most. But where I struggle and through my struggles Jesus has a plan. Not just for me, for every single one of you. We are tasked to be beaming rays of love, so consuming everyone wants it and they ask about it and in turn accept the love of Jesus. God does the work, we are simply the workers. We get what we give out as far as matters of the heart go. We go through what we are capable of, so if you had a very tough upbringing or your adult life has more rough patches than you can count, God has a plan for you beyond great measure. A testimony is the life you lived before you were saved, the life while saved and every struggle had reason. When my brother commited suicide I ran into the woods and fell to my knees crying. It’s as if my tears were melting the snow around me. I was yelling and screaming “why” why why why. My heart could not take it. Then I heard it clear as day “only God knows why” I was tasked to not ask questions I’m not going to get the answers to. So I stopped asking why. Then the chickadees came and surrounded me and sang a beautiful song. I knew I had to be strong. My family would need me as much as I need them. He is a constant on my mind, how can he not be. But I remember him in love, the same love I miss my older sons with while they are at school in Ohio. Don’t give up on your story, make it beautiful through Christ because that is the only happy ending. God has a plan for you. The baby I begged for to fill a void in my heart is my son Duke. Love and be beloved.