When I was growing up, my family moved every three or four years. That gave me lots of opportunities to be the “new kid.” To this day, when I find myself in a new situation, I quietly observe for awhile before I make any effort to join in.
As a child, I would hide behind my parents or my little brother and follow their lead. Thinking back, I realize I always thought my brother (two years younger than me) was braver than me. He would enter a new situation and make friends. I would become friends with his friends.
As I became an adult, the need to hide behind another stayed with me. For many years, my children were the ones I hid behind. I didn’t feel like I was “enough” on my own. I have grown more confident as the years have passed. I received counseling for some of my childhood insecurities, and studying the Bible helped me learn who I am in Christ. My years as a student at College of Coastal Georgia also helped shape me into the person I am today.
My mother and I lead a second grade Sunday school class. I enjoy watching to see how new children respond to us. Of course we always greet each child with a smile, and a “we’re glad you’re here!” My heart always goes out to the bashful ones who come in nervous. Mom and I do what we can to make every child in our room feel comfortable, and to feel they are an important part of the group.
This past Sunday our class was combined with the first grade. Not being very familiar with the first-graders, we didn’t know who was a regular attender and who was new. One of the first graders I will call Lana. Lana was very respectful. She also had a song in her heart and was almost constantly moving! She felt she just had to dance, and she would. Mom and I told her that in the Bible many people praised God by dancing.
I loved watching how comfortable Lana was with herself. I loved her even more when she told us she’d only lived here for two weeks! Talk about the new kid being ready to take on the world! I hope nothing comes up to squelch her self confidence. I hope she always praises God with her body, and her heart!