I recently spent two afternoons at Fairmount Pines, the apartment complex that Christ Church has partnered with. The first day I was invited to lend a hand helping kids make valentines for their classrooms at school and for friends and family. While there, Miss Chelsea (Chelsea Hamerlinck, from Christ Church, is the service coordinator at the Pines) gave instructions regarding the valentine’s crafts and how “only adults can use the hot glue gun, so if you would like hot glue, ask an adult”. As it would turn out, I’m an adult, and was placed on “hot glue gun” duty. It was so much fun watching the kids craft their designs and present them for gluing.
Midway through my duties, the glue gun betrayed me, causing me to let out a not-so-inside-voice scream and gave me a battle scar. My pride was deflated. Plus, there was added pressure as I was scheduled to return the next day to present a program to the youth there (my first time ever presenting the program on my own), I was more than embarrassed. After all, the Pines kids know me as someone who is strong, smart, and fearless and here I sat, nursing my wound.
How does one redeem themselves after letting out the biggest scream and requesting a band-aid as fourth-graders console them? I was unsure. You see, the next day, I was supposed to be the leader. I was supposed to be in charge of the program. I was supposed to walk into the Pines with a big smile and a great lesson planned, but after this, I was nervous. I was fearful. But I couldn’t let fear stop me.
I had already committed to leading the program (all about healthy hearts, it is February, after all), so I put fear in the passenger seat, put on my big-girl pants and did my thing! The event went well, we discussed what it meant to be healthy and what the word “health” means. Then we worked on our physical health by dancing to a fitness video. The kids could not believe the video was ONLY three minutes long! It was hilarious to watch the kids as they really got into the dance moves. Then, we learned about love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and jumped into heart-crafts galore.
My favorite station to watch is the notes table, where kids get to write notes to people they care about. I loved watching them pour onto the pages their feelings of gratefulness and joy for the people in their lives. The afternoon was perfect. Unlike the story I had written in my mind about how it would go, the actual event was perfect. We danced, learned, crafted and laughed, a lot!
Because I was there the previous day, the kids showered me with valentines. If I had skipped, they wouldn’t have had the chance to build a deeper relationship with me. If I had skipped, fear would have won and I wouldn’t have gotten to see the creative dance moves the kids had or the sweet valentines cards hand-written to Miss Chelsea.
I had been so caught up in thinking the kids wouldn’t see me the same way (strong, smart, fearless) after getting burned by the hot-glue gun. I thought perhaps they might even make fun of me. Today let’s make room for our stories to get written on their own, for new adventures to take place, and for God to move in new ways. His story, the plans He has for us, are always better than the ones we pre-write for ourselves.