When I was little, I always played with baby dolls, loved to play house and pretended to rule the world. I would also imagine what to name my children one day. I just knew I would be a mommy.
When I started babysitting, I learned that children were devious. They schemed, played tricks, and would just go crazy. But at the end of the day, they loved on me and all was right with the world. I always agreed to babysit the next time too, but in those crazy moments I remember thinking about changing my mind about having kids. I wanted to burn the baby dolls and just become a dog mom. Of course, I then went back to loving children the next time I was around them. I’m not even a mother and kids still make me want to tear my hair out sometimes.
Even though I have been a certified baby sitter since 2010, Vacation Bible School is where I have spent most of my time around children.Vacation Bible School is hosted by many churches during the summer and is similar to a one week long camp where kids can learn about God through music, crafts, recreation, missions, and bible study. Ever since I was too old to be a participant in Vacation Bible School, I started volunteering as a worker. During my first few years as a volunteer, I spent my time at the recreation station as most youth group kids did.
After a few years, I became an assistant teacher to the third and fourth grade class. Each year I loved to get to know the kids and I still remember all their little faces. The past three years I have taken a more active role in teaching the bible story to my class and I learned how much I love to teach. While I have no desire to teach as a career, I love to teach that one week out of the whole year at VBS. At the end of the week, I’m more than happy to wait again until the next year.
This year will be my third year as the assistant director for my church’s bible school, and instead of teaching just third and fourth graders, I will be teaching preschool through fourth grade as the bible study station teacher. I’m super excited for what this year has in store! Last year was a huge blessing and it was when I learned how children could teach me something too. They may be mischievous at times, but they are so loving and have the biggest hearts.
Since I am taking a break from writing for The Odyssey Online, I wanted to re-share the article I wrote through that platform from last year. I wrote about those sweet children I had the honor to teach last summer and how they taught me to keep going during a trying time in my life.
How A Group of Children Taught Me to Keep Going
Who gets the bigger blessing, the kids or the teachers?
Children are not for everyone. It’s true. Some are born with a love for children and others not so much. Whether you are someone who fully loves children or someone who simply appreciates them, keep on reading.
I happen to be someone who loves being around children. Teaching Bible school is something I always look forward to every year. This single week each year brightens my spirits and I always leave more blessed just because of the kids. This week isn’t even for me, it’s for them. They are truly something special and this year was no exception.
This year was different because I normally teach 3rd and 4th graders, but I ended up with some younger ones in my class as well. I never had to teach anyone younger than the 3rd grade, so I was a little nervous. But those kids came at the right moment in my life and I am forever thankful.
The Friday before the week of VBS, I received the horrible news of the death of my friend Chayce, and I had no idea how I was going to make it through the next week. On Sunday morning at church, the day before VBS would start, I began to cry as soon as I walked through the doors. It was so hard to get myself together, and my mom pulled me out to try and calm me down. I knew the kids wouldn’t understand what was going on in my life, and I needed to get it together so they could have a great time. No one wants to be around a depressed teacher!
It was one of the hardest weeks of my life, but it is one I never want to forget. Although I was hurting on the inside, the kids placed a smile on my face every day. I stayed strong until Wednesday. Our group had Bible study at the end of the day, and I had to tell them I wouldn’t be there on Thursday. Originally, I wasn’t going to tell them why and just let them know I would see them again on Friday. But those sweet things, of course, asked me and I had to respond that I would be at a funeral. I tried to say it in a way they would understand, but I began to cry when I promised myself I wouldn’t.
My kiddos gathered around me and prayed for my friend’s family. They loved on me before they went home and brought more tears to my eyes at how sweet and awesome they were to me.
I really wish I could have seen them the next day. I could have gathered strength from those precious babies, and I missed them so much on a day I hope I never have to relive. When Friday came, they ran up to me with adorable smiles and loving hugs. They asked me how it went and told me how they prayed all day for me and everyone else who went to the funeral.
Those kids entered my life at the exact moment I needed them. When my world felt like it was falling apart, they helped hold me together and I give God all the glory. It goes to show that if we let the right people into our lives, God will show us a way. We never know what the person beside us is going through. We never know when we might be the one to help someone else.
Those kids had no idea how they would touch my life that week, and by the cards and hugs I received on the last day, I had no idea the impact I made on them.
I received one of the biggest blessings ever that week at VBS, and I am excited for the rest of the summer. My summer internship allows me to help out with other churches and their Vacation Bible Schools as well. I can’t wait to meet more kiddos and see what God has in store.
Children have healing hearts and even though I was dreading VBS, they made it all worth it. Now, I am back at work and I am ready for more adventures. I may be labeled as a teacher, but I think I learn more from the kids than they do from me.
Vacation Bible School may be exhausting because we don’t have the same energy the kids have, but it is so worth it at the end of the week. A huge shout out to teachers who do this every week during the school year! It’s an underappreciated job, but one that leaves your heart full. God bless the little ones and children ministries. I could never get tired of working with children, and I am blessed with having awesome kids each year.