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Your Complexity is Your Super Power - Jantsen's Gift

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2019

I'm so excited to welcome you to Camille and to our new weekly blog, Noteworthy!  Each week, Lee, Carolyn or I will share with you a book, movie, Ted talk, mentor, something or someone that is, or has, impacted our life. 

I have to admit, it's a little intimidating to me because I want to make sure that what I'm sharing will resonate with you.  I've started and stopped so many times:  maybe this movie, or that article, or here's a great podcast.  Ultimately, I kept coming back to a book I read a decade ago.

I ordered a signed copy of this book - something I had never done before - because when I saw it advertised I felt called to hear this woman's story.  I truthfully don't know why, but it has stuck with me and changed the trajectory of my life from the moment I picked it up.  Little did I know at the time, how much I would connect with this book and it's message.

Jantsen's Gift, is Pam Cope's story.  It is a story of a mother's love and her unbearable grief when her teenage son, Jantsen, dies from an undiagnosed issue with his heart.  How could any Mom recover from this?  Her dilemma is magnified when she is left with trying to figure out what to do with the money that had been donated into a fund established at Jantsen's funeral.  Twenty-five thousand dollars!  Pam became obsessed with making sure this money did amazing things - and it did.  Within a year she had rescued thirty children from the danger of living on the streets of Vietnam.  And she was just getting started.  In the years since she has rescued hundreds of children from unspeakable horror all over the world.  Today her charity, Touch a Life, rescues at-risk youth, with a focus on pulling children out of slavery in Ghana. 

"Touch A Life has rescued over 100 children from slavery and built the Touch A Life Care Center, the only long-term rehabilitative care center in Ghana for formerly trafficked children. It is here that these former slave children can live, receive an education, and have a chance at restoring and rehabilitating their lives."

I did not know at the time that I needed to know, deep in my heart, that no matter what life you are leading now, the impact you can make is limitless.

I needed to know that when grief strikes, no matter what darkness you are under, the pain can be endured and conquered.

I needed to know that at any age, we have the power to dig deeper into who we want to be and effect great change in our lives.  The pressure for immediacy was lifted.

And I needed to know that without intense training, lots of money and impressive connections, one person can change the lives of many.  

Jantsen's Gift is a beautiful book of heart-wrenching grief and soul-soothing triumph.  For me, it's power lies in this one woman's willingness to believe that she was capable of living a life outside of the boundaries she placed on herself.  Towards the end of the book she writes:

"I know now that it's in the moments when we are stripped of everything we identify with that we're forced to consider who we really are.  It wasn't just my son that I lost; it was my ego, and my fears, and the labels I had allowed myself to be defined by: hairdresser, stay-at-home mom, wife.  Yes, I am and was all of those things, but I made the mistake of believing that that was all I was.  Only when I was forced to abandon those labels, and the limitations I put on myself, was I able to discover a sense of peace and purpose I never thought possible"

The beauty of reading something that moves you, is that you are able to be transformed by what you have read.  It is possible to gain the wisdom from someone else's experiences.  To relate to their story in a way that can influence your own.  You are not a set of labels.  You do not have to experience great loss to learn to remove the shackles that can keep you living a smaller life than you are capable of.

You are way more complex than you recognize - own it!



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