Bullied? Don't give up!

drawing of a child's backpack

In third grade, my best friend, whom I knew from kindergarten, was in my class. We were very happy. In the beginning all went well, but then she’d often say mean things to me. It all had started when I was elected to be class representative. Maybe my friend was envious. Anyway, she stirred up the other kids against me.

By fourth grade it was so bad that all the kids in my class were against me. I felt really lonely and started to feel as if something was wrong with me.

One day I couldn’t take it anymore, and I talked to my mama about it. She comforted me a lot. When I stopped crying, she told me that God loves me and He loves the other kids. His love keeps me safe from envy so that nobody can cause trouble against me. She also said it is important that I stick with the Golden Rule and not fight with the same “weapons” as the others.

I knew the Golden Rule from the Christian Science Sunday School: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12, New Revised Standard Version). I tried very hard to really follow this rule. My mama also talked with my teacher and with the mother of the friend who’d been bullying me.

At first nothing changed. During recess, I would stand around alone. Groups of kids from my class would come over to call me names, insulting and pushing me. One time they accused me of stealing a hat. But I hadn’t. The hat showed up the very next day.

At home, I cried a lot. It was good that Mama was there. We prayed together and talked about things, especially about God, and how He is always my friend. Also, that God is there in school, too, and He is with the other kids. And in my Sunday School class, we talked about how with God’s help we can deal with and stop bullying. God protects us, and we never have to be afraid.

Mama and I prayed some more to see my friend as God’s child, with only good qualities. I did that as much as I could. And I noticed that I was not really mad at this friend. I still liked her. And suddenly I realized that she needed a friend more than ever. Mama also said that the other kids would realize they could find a true friend in me. “Don’t give up,” she said. “Your life is determined by God, not by others.”

Soon more and more kids played with me during recess again. And then my friend was all alone. But I did not want to let that happen. With all those good thoughts I’d been thinking over the past months, I walked up to her. And then all my anger was gone, just like that, and we made peace.

Do you know what is really nice about this? I have not become weaker, but much stronger, inside. And I have realized that you can really solve bad situations like this with prayer.

Carolin’s article was originally written in German and was published in the April 2014 German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish editions of The Herald of Christian Science.

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