Today, I want to tell you about an extremely personal project I’m working on. I’ve written a children’s book about one of the most heroic acts of courage I’ve ever witnessed, and how similar acts of heroism can wipe out bullying from our schools.
This story used to be a source of deep shame for me, but today, I’m proud to share it with you, because it gives me the opportunity to give credit to someone whose act of kindness changed my life for the better.
The hardest year of my life was when I was in fourth grade. For months, I’d come home each day from school and curl into my mother’s lap, crying my eyes out. And every morning, when I woke up, I dreaded the day to come, because I knew I had to go back, where each day I was bullied emotionally, and on a few occasions, physically. It’s hard to describe what I went through, except to say that I felt completely alone, and every day felt worse than the day before.
When I look back on it now, the worst part was the shame I felt. Like most bullied children, I felt deep shame about what I was going through because on some level I thought I deserved it. Otherwise, why would it be happening to me? And if it was wrong, why would everyone else go along with it?
I prayed every night that the bullying would stop. I prayed that the children who were hurting me would find something else to occupy their time, so they would leave me in peace. And I prayed that I could make some friends, so I wouldn’t feel so alone every day.
Thankfully, I’m here to say that God answered my prayers. The Bible says that God works through ordinary people – and in my life, God worked through a popular girl in my class named Stella. One day, when things looked particularly hopeless, Stella stood up for me. She told everyone within earshot that I was her friend, and that the way I was being treated was wrong.
And then something miraculous happened. The bullying stopped. Completely. No one picked on me again. And kids who had ignored me before began to play with me at recess. Life got a lot better for me after that day.
Even now, I am in awe of the courage it must have taken for her to speak out. Most ten year olds are desperate to conform to their peers, and few will risk standing outside the crowd to do the right thing.
When someone in their class is bullied, the majority of kids don’t speak up, because they are afraid of being labeled a tattle-tale, or worse – becoming victims of bullies themselves. And sadly, the result is that the child being bullied is ostracized, making a bad situation almost intolerable. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I want to share my story. I want to share Stella’s amazing heroism – because her actions can be taken by anyone who is inspired to do the right thing. If every kid being bullied at school had just one friend stand up for them, life for that kid would get better.
It’s hard to take a risk and do the right thing, but when we do, we have the power to make miracles happen. Jesus said that anyone with faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains. Acts of kindness and justice that seem small can affect the whole world, and our kids need to know that they have the power to bring light into dark places.
That’s why I’ve written a children’s book about my experience that I’m crowd-funding with Inkshares.com. Stella’s heroism needs to be shared with the world. Please support the project if you can, and share it on your social networks! You can find it here:
Thank you for your support!!!