When I was in the fourth grade I started an inch worm rescue mission. It started one day during recess. We were outside and I had discovered this group of inch worms that I just thought were the cutest things that ever existed, besides kittens.
My friend helped me gather the inch worms into my little coin purse for safe keeping. As we were gathering them up this girl who would tease me on a daily basis came over to see what we were doing and I guess she thought the inch worms were adorable too, and she began to help us. Then recess ended and I took my little coin purse into the classroom with me, FULL of inch worms.
I’m not really sure whatever compelled me to put those inch worms into my coin purse that day. Maybe these strange stories have a message not for the moment, but for times like right now.
This story is so fresh in my memory right now, and I’m not sure that after I tell the story it will still be there, but as I remembered these events The LORD spoke to my as if to say: remember when you were strong?
Being a fourth grader is tough.
Being a fourth grader that gets bullied on a daily basis makes life even more confusing.
When this girl who would tease me on a regular basis decided to have a moment when she was nice, it kind of took me back for a minute and I do remember being very happy about it.
But in my heart I was skeptical, especially when it became time to get on the bus.
She and I lived in the same neighborhood and rode the same bus. She had a friend who was older than us and who rode the bus, too. So getting on the bus always made me anxious because that’s where most of the teasing took place.
As I got on the bus that day I had a thought, a thought of what she might say. It almost became predictable, but my heart wanted to believe that the inch worm rescue mission was a turning point. But something kept ringing in my heart, a sense of knowing of what was coming.
As soon as she got on the bus she said exactly what I thought she would say:
Hey Heather, what’d you do with those inch worms? Eat them? (Hahahaha)
I remember just looking at her blankly. I kind of scoffed on the inside and thought about how stupid her comment was. I mean, I KNEW what she was going to say!
Typically her words would have stung and I would’ve had tears well up in my eyes, but in looking in her eyes I could almost see that she didn’t even mean it.
That day The LORD guarded my heart, and even though I hardly knew Him, He was writing my story and molding me into the woman I would become today.
After I got off the bus I walked home and released the inch worms (back) into the wild. My rescue mission was over.
I don’t remember what happened next, but I know what I know now.
We guard our hearts by doing what is right and by knowing who we are in Christ.
This is how we stay strong.
That day my heart was guarded because I could see past her insult into the reality of her own insecurities, because earlier that day she revealed a little bit of who she really was.
My heart was also guarded because I saw the arrow coming and when it hit I knew it wasn’t real! They were just empty words.
The enemy is always looking for ways to tear us down, with empty words and false accusations.
Today, I feel like this story is there to remind me how to guard my heart against the empty words and the false accusations the enemy throws my way on a daily basis.
But also to just remind me that even if there seems to be a target on my back, and life is not working in my favor, that I can still guard my heart and be strong by doing what I know is right, and to cling to the knowledge of who I am in Christ.
During that season of my life I just wanted someone to take me out of that situation, being bullied every day is not something that is easy to endure for a child.
Praise God, I wasn’t in that school for very much longer after that. It was truly just a season, but it was a season in which I learned some very valuable lessons, like: how to be strong, and how to endure.