Back in June, I wrote about my uncertainty about my summer job. Now, three months later and a bit into fall semester, I’ve been able to reflect on my experience.
My work this summer was an unexpected blessing and opportunity. I worked with a summer reading program in a small, rural community about forty minutes away from my hometown. I was a mentor to eight elementary-aged children from Monday to Friday for eight weeks. Much of my summer consisted of read-alouds, art activities with LOTS of paint, mealtimes in which I spent more time cleaning up spilled drinks than actually eating, and learning cool tag games like “Giants, Wizards, and Elves.” We even had a lice outbreak toward the end of the program! Ugh!
More than any of that, I enjoyed myself. I was able to get to know my community better, develop some new friendships with some really awesome people, and I was able to help children improve their reading and creative skills. I think my favorite part was that I had the chance to take part in doing something for my community.
At the beginning of the summer, I was afraid that I wouldn’t like my job, that I wouldn’t be good with children, and that I wouldn’t be able to really contribute anything to the program. Throughout the summer God surprised me by providing ways for me to grow and stretch myself and to impact children’s lives, children that He loves and cares for.
In every situation we can learn and grow. There are people all around us, young and not-so-young, who we can impact. It’s not always easy to try to do things we feel unsure about or to try to work in unfamilar situations, but it is often in those places that we learn the most and God surprises us with opportunities to develop new friendships, learn new skills, and make an impact in the lives of others.
As another school year starts and new classes and new teachers can sometimes be scary and intimidating, think about ways you can grow and impact others, and remember that God is with you. As you think of ways, let us know what you come up with!