Do you remember being in Grade 1? It has been quite a few years since I was in grade 1. Unfortunately, I don’t have very fond memories of that year of my school life.
When I was growing up, going to Kindergarten was optional. My mom didn’t think it was necessary for me to attend Kindergarten. She had my oldest sister teach me the alphabet, how to print letters and numbers and how to count to 10. My oldest sister also taught me how to print my name and phone number.
When I started grade 1, everyone else seemed to know each other from Kindergarten. Since I didn’t attend Kindergarten like the rest of the class, the other children treated me as though I was not smart. So, I was bullied because I was not smart and I was the smallest in the grade. Also, it seemed like no one wanted be my friend. Being bullied and not having any friends made me very sad and I cried a lot the first few days of grade 1. Not only was I dumb and short but I was also a cry-baby. Not a good way to start my school experience.
I also had to ride the school bus to school. Another painful experience. More bullies just because I was so small.
Despite the bullying, I liked my teacher and I enjoyed learning. So, there were two positive things about going to school.
At recess I kept to myself or walked around near the teacher that was supervising. If I stayed close to a teacher, then I wouldn’t get bullied.
Part way through grade 1, I was moved into a different grade 1 class. I’m not sure the reason, maybe it was to even out the amount of students in the classrooms. I felt like I was starting over again, hopeful that maybe someone would be my friend and I would no longer be bullied. A person can hope for something better, right?
One Sunday morning, in Sunday school, my teacher made a comment that has stuck with me all these years. I don’t remember her exact words, but she said something about, you have no reason to be bored. If you find yourself getting bored, pick up your Bible and start reading. One day I did just that.
I started reading the book of John. I don’t remember exactly what I read but I do remember reading about how much God loves me. He loves me so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for my sins…for my sins. He was the ultimate sacrifice for me…for little, dumb, cry-baby me. WOW! That is mind blowing and very humbling (John 3:16).
God’s Son, Jesus, died for my sins, and the sins of the world. Thankfully the story doesn’t end there. He died, was buried and rose again and then ascended into heaven. He is in heaven right now preparing a place for me in His house (John 14:1-4). Let me say that again…He is preparing a place, in His house, for me. Remember, little, dumb, cry-baby, no friends, me.
Jesus left everything in heaven to come to earth. To live here, die a cruel death with the sins of the world on Him because He loves us. Knowing that God loves me that much encouraged me. Having that knowledge continued to help me through many other tough situations. So, even though I was bullied and had no friends in grade 1, I knew that God loves me and that, is a beautiful thing.