Hockey Boy used to be really outgoing. He was always the first to join a game or make a friend at the park. But over this last year, I have seen him pulling back, going into a shell of sorts. He has become incredibly shy. In August when we went to Supply Night at his school he wouldn't look his teacher in the eye at first. And this was the same exact, wonderful teacher he had last year. Many of his classmates are the same including his best buddy but he does not want to have to talk in front of the room anymore. He is terrified of everyone looking at him. It has been so hard to watch my social, outgoing, smart little boy become so quiet and withdrawn.
I really noticed it on the ice a few weeks ago. My tough, tenacious Hockey Boy was not going after the puck as much. He was not jumping back into line on drills so he could go again. He was shrinking. His equipment was bothering him more and he was not hanging out with his teammates as much. It was one thing to have him being shy in class but to see him slipping away on the ice where he has always felt so at home and been so happy was really hard. I was not seeing the Hockey Boy I know. He was becoming timid and timid does not work in hockey. But what do we do? How as parents could we help him? I really did not know.
And then I came across 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Hockey Boy was not given a timid spirit. He was not born that way. It was something he was learning as he interacted with the world. As he is becoming more aware of the people around him, as he is learning that people do judge each other, and that life is full of competition and standards, he seemed to disengage a bit. Not only is that not what God wants for him, but that is not who Hockey Boy is. He is a smart, hard working, really competitive little guy. He wants to win. He wants to do things perfectly. He wants to be involved.
So I sat him down a few weeks ago and told him the verse. I didn't say much beyond the actual verse but his eyes seem to light up a bit when I said it. "God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." That was what he needed to hear. He was not made to be timid. Hockey Boy was made by God to be powerful, loving and disciplined. What a great verse for him to hold in his heart and mind.
He is still shy. He is still struggling at times. I know it is part of growing up for him but it makes my heart break a little. We have been working on eye contact and talking to his teacher. He is doing better at ordering his own food in restaurants and looking his coaches in the eye when he says thank you. He is starting to talk a bit more in class. And this weekend, after I reminded him again of the verse, he went out and played a tough, aggressive hockey game against much bigger boys. He had a huge smile on his face and didn't let anyone get in his way. It was awesome to see Hockey Boy being who he was made to be.
I love finding Bible verses that seem written for one of my kids. Have you found a great verse for your kid that you can share with me? I am always needing more!