By: Mr. Tyler Heugel, MS Principal
As adults, we might find ourselves looking at our childhood and wondering which people in our formative lives significantly shaped our God-given gifts. We can think back to a comment by a parent, a lesson from a teacher, or an encouraging word from a pastor that helped shape our thoughts about the gifts that God has given us. But as we think about those gifts, was there ever a time that we viewed them as burdensome or as a liability?
When I was in 3rd grade, I moved houses and schools in the middle of the school year. I was certainly nervous going into Mr. Moore’s 3rd-grade classroom in early January. I received a warm welcome to the class and one of the first assignments that we did that day was a practice math worksheet. However, this math test was full of math problems and symbols that I had never seen before. Panic started to set in. The students in this new class were doing long division when I was still working on subtraction.
I didn’t know what to do. I stared at it for a long time, feeling very overwhelmed, and I started to cry. Crying was my usual default response to overwhelming situations. From an early age, I can remember having strong feelings in many different situations and I sensed when others were sad or stressed.
As you can probably imagine, the students in my class did not let go of the fact that I cried the first day that I was in school. I was labeled a “crybaby” for the rest of my elementary school career and well into middle school. I looked at my sensitivity as a kid as a liability more than an asset. I viewed it as something I was going to have to push down and ignore, rather than embrace and celebrate.
It took me almost two decades to realize that the sensitivity I had toward people and situations was one of God’s greatest gifts and that it could be used for His glory. There was a long and difficult process in unlearning what I believed about myself and to begin to see myself how God sees me. Our God-given gifts are not always easily recognizable or readily accessible, nevertheless, they are there. Ready to be discovered and refined. More often, they need a shift in our thinking to move away from the way the world looks at our gifts, to understanding and embracing the Creator’s good design in our lives.
It is my prayer that each student at Rosslyn and around the world be supported in discovering and developing the unique and amazing gifts that God has bestowed on each of one of them and to recognize and celebrate these gifts for the treasures they are.