I have grown up in church and have been on plenty of mission trips and helped out with numerous camps an I have found that it's normally one child that changes my life. And that's exactly what happened this week. His name will remained unmentioned. But he was not my easiest child, he was actually my most difficult. He didn't behave, he had a bad attitude, and he didn't have a respect for authority. All three of those things clash BIG time with me. After the first day I was pretty frustrated that he was on my basketball team with 6 other 2nd/3rd graders. The Lord spoke to me while attempting to punish him and told me to not give up.
I began to disect and pick apart his actions and behavior. After he bit my assistant coach, I decided it was time to chat. I began to ask him about his home life.... and it finally hit me. He was always acting defeated because he grows up in an atmosphere where no one believes in him. Tears were at the edge of my eyeballs and instead of making him sit out, I made him hug me. Not a short hug. But a hug. A hug from your g-ma that hasn't seen ya in a while. I hugged, hugged, and hugged the poor child. He looked at me and said, "Miss. Brennen, why you hugging me!?" And I told him I loved him and believed in him.
Everyone needs someone to believe in them. Everyone needs someone to love them.
That's what this precious child taught me. I ended up bribing him to behave. I have no idea if that was the correct thing to do, but he was amazed that I would spend a dollar on a yellow snickers. Bless his heart, he couldn't make it the last day and didn't even get it. But, I hope that I left him with something way better than a Snickers. (You know that's gotta be good.) I pray I left him with hope and that he knows someone believes in him. Even if they live in Ky. You better believe that on our last day together when he improved 17 points on his "HotShot" score I was jumping up and down like a proud momma.
Who are you believing in? Who was the last person you hugged and told them how much they meant to you? Reach out. Three days of playing basketball with a child who doesn't behave changed my life.