Doreen Wennberg
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Batter Up!
Thursday, July 27, 2023 by Doreen Wennberg

We carry many memories from our childhood; some good, some bad, some happy, some sad. The formative years are when we develop a sense of who we are. The positive and negative influence our thinking process, self-esteem, and self-worth.

How important for children to have positive role models and encouraging words spoken to them in their early growing-up years.

If you had that, consider yourself blessed. If you did not grow up in an encouraging environment, I still say, consider yourself blessed. Why? Because God does not waste anything that happens in our lives—even the not-so-good things we go through.

Born the youngest of three, I came ten and seven years after my siblings. I often remember the remark, “Don’t be strike three.” Four little words that I now know helped pattern my thinking and my fear of failure. I struggled with the fear of doing everything wrong. One, two, three strikes – you’re out!

In most homes, that would have been okay. That would have come across, try, try again; you will do better next time.

Watching a sibling practice piano, I clearly remember the sharp smack and red face for the mistaken note played. It’s no wonder I play by ear and never took lessons!

Years later, when I came to know God and began to study His Word, my heart was overwhelmed by the comfort and encouragement I found for my wounded soul. Instead of the tormenting distant voice that forever echoed in my ear, “Don’t be strike three,” I found beautiful verses to build me up and encourage me. 

 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with an everlasting kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.”  Spoken to the people of Israel by the prophet Jeremiah in 31:3-4, I found comfort in God’s Word speaking directly to me too.

I had to learn that God was good—and not a hard taskmaster. I had to learn to trust Him as my new coach. Maybe you do too?

My children were little when God called me to the plate to teach my first Sunday school class. I still struggled in my heart over the fear of failure. But love and patience from a loving heavenly Father helped me—reminding me of His Word. Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God whose Word I trust; I will not be afraid.” As God taught me a deeper understanding of His Word, I grew confident to teach the children. In everything God has called me to do since those early days, every time I get up to the plate, my eyes are on the coach. It’s only through Him that we can do anything anyway.

What negative voices still echo from your childhood? Will you choose to believe what scripture says about you instead?

If God says to trust him so that you can hit it out of the park, then believe Him and His Word.                

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13                                                                Believe God’s promises for you – they are true!

Father,

Thank you for the children that you entrust to us. Help us to be encouraging, positive role models in their lives, and more importantly—teach them about the promises in your word. I pray that our children experience acceptance and grace from us; and other adults in their lives. Lord, help us to build them up and not tear them down. ~In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

This post was originally published April 14, 2012 and has been updated. 

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