Updated: Oct 4

The Toronto School District decided to give Intelligence tests to all the Grade 3 students. I happened to be a Grade 3 student at that time. I was sitting in the classroom one day shortly after the testing and someone came into the room, asked me to take all my stuff out of my desk, and follow them. I don’t recall being told why—so it was scary. I felt like all the other students were staring at me—and I wondered why this was happening.

I was taken to another part of the school I didn’t know existed to meet another group of students. Some of the kids in the room were ones who had bullied me on the playground. I definitely didn't want to be there.

Shockingly, we were told that because we were a “clever group”, apparently we must have scored well on the tests, we would be doing grades 3 and 4 in one year and would be going into grade 5 the next school year. I felt confused—why did they think I belonged with that group?

Surprisingly, I loved the classes. They were so creative. We watched videos about nature, explored, wrote stories, painted and drew. We weren’t learning from textbooks as much as learning from movies, lectures, and hands-on stuff. School was suddenly very interesting and exciting.

But—one day—a teacher asked me to solve a math equation in front of the class. I froze by the chalkboard. My mind went blank. The teacher obviously didn’t believe I couldn’t do the problem. She must have thought I was being stubborn and rebellious.

After being asked several times to solve the problem, the teacher seemed enraged that I dared defy her. I was asked to bend over. She hit me over the backside with something—a yardstick or a pointer—in front of the class. It was humiliating. I am sure I must have wanted to sink into the floor. I thought again it must be a mistake for me to be in that class. Why was I there? I obviously didn’t fit in with the "clever" kids who could probably do math equations on the board.

After that, I'm sure on some subconscious level, I felt like it was dangerous for people to think I was clever. I decided I didn’t want to have to be smart. If people didn’t think I was clever, they wouldn’t expect as much from me, and I wouldn’t disappoint them. I decided to hide who I was and self-sabotaged some things in my life because of that experience.

And then—one day—quite recently—God reminded me of that humiliated little girl standing at the chalkboard. He showed me He loved and accepted me and made me the way I am. I already knew that in my head—but it was like I knew that deep in my heart for the first time. So, I’ve informed that little girl she was treated badly—unjustly—and isn’t stupid because of that situation. She is now free to be who God created her to be for His glory.

So, I am actually sharing this story for you. Please do not be afraid to be who God made you to be. I pray you will be the best you that you can be for Him. May His highest and holiest purposes be fulfilled for your life. I am blessed to know He loves me and I am accepted by Him. I fit in His Kingdom. So do you—if you have invited Jesus to be Your Savior.

God has such a sense of humor. I became a school teacher. That experience helped me determine to love and encourage and never shame or humiliate a child—ever. God will take the difficult places in our lives and use them to help and encourage others if we let Him. Trust Him. He loves you. Blessings, Beloved of God.

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