Lessons Learned from My 8 Year Old Cousin

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“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

The past month has been a swirl of activity since my cousins visited from the Philippines. Unlike many people, I rarely get the opportunity to see my relatives. Being the youngest in my own family, it’s also rare having a child stomping around the house; it was quite the experience having an 8 year old around for weeks.

If I were to describe my cousin to you, I’d say she was nothing short of BOLD. Seriously. No joke. She knows exactly what she wants, exactly what she’s good at, exactly what she’s worth. She knows she is special, without a doubt. But past her crazy, hyper, and sometimes demanding attributes, there was something very profound about her:

She wasn’t afraid to speak because she expected to be heard. She wasn’t afraid to stand because she expected to be seen. She wasn’t afraid to give because she expected to be received.

It sounded simple at first, but I realized it was so rare. How many of us stopped speaking because we felt voiceless in a crowd? How many of us stopped standing because we feared our presence wouldn’t matter? How many of us stopped giving because we were told we had nothing to offer?

Maybe once upon a time we all started out like her, never doubting our self-worth and absolutely certain that we were loved. But somewhere along the way–through the inevitable struggles of life–we lost it. We lost the certainty that once gave us that childlike BOLDNESS.

So how do we get it back?

Maybe the answer isn’t found by consulting the world for our self-worth; some voices are uplifting, yet others are damaging. Perhaps the only way to get it back is by remembering what our Creator says to us: “I hear you. I see you. I receive you.” — even when no one else does. Maybe His opinion is the only Truth there is.

Like my 8 year old cousin, let’s return to that childlike BOLDNESS, having faith that our voices, presence, and gifts do matter and are meant to be shared.

Jeremiah 1:5-19 

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