If you didn’t count the mandatory masses at my Catholic school, I hadn’t gone to church in over a year. My friend Taylor had tried to convince me, Sunday after Sunday, to come with her to Seacoast, singing its highest praises as a church and a community. But I had little to no interest in turning back to God, as upsetting as it is to reflect upon now.
I hadn’t found a church that I felt comfortable in. I had searched for guidance many times only to receive a tone of superiority rather than openness, or simply views that I did not agree with.
“I hadn’t found a church that I felt comfortable in.”
Like a lot of people who lose sight of God, I had questions and no answers. So bringing me back to church was a tough task. But Taylor knew that I liked working with kids—something I picked up from my mom who is a Kindergarten teacher. Taylor told me about how she served at Kidscoast before church every week.
My First Day
Near the end of my junior year of high school, I went to Seacoast for the first time. Immediately, I was intimidated by how many kids there were. But this one little boy grabbed my hand and showed me exactly where to go and where to sit. He led me to the green circle mat to sit crisscross-applesauce next to him. He was small for his age, but the gel in his hair was a clear indication that he saw himself as a grown-up.
Showing the New Lady Around
The little boy told me his full name, while motioning to the nametag out of reach on his back, and then asked for mine. “I’m Hannah,” I said, knowing he would never remember it. He played with the small plastic dinosaurs for a bit, but when the clean-up song came on, he was all business again, showing me where all of the toys and bins went. When he looked up at me, I could tell he was proud of himself for showing the new lady around.
“When he looked up at me, I could tell he was proud of himself for showing the new lady around.”
After that, we were supposed to watch a video in Kidscoast. I assumed it would be a Disney film, so I was surprised when “Bible Adventures” began to play and the boy knew every word to the songs in the video. After the lesson, he leaned over to explain who Adam and Eve were, like I didn’t know. I played along and asked questions about God to test his knowledge. He told me how much God loved him—oh, and me, too. His look of absolute certainty made it hard not to believe.
Why I Came Back
Serving in Kidscoast with the 4-5-year-olds opened the door that gradually led me back into a relationship with God. To be honest, the actual service scared me at first with all of the bright lights and instruments, but I kept coming back.
One Sunday, months after my first introduction, it stopped being just about the kids. I started actually believing the bible studies we did with them. I realized that we don’t just teach the kids; they definitely teach us. It was the kids in Kidscoast who helped bring me back to God.