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Your name is Antwan!

Last Thursday, after finishing story time a little earlier than expected, I decided to do an activity with the kindergartners. I gave them a sheet of typing paper and crayons. I asked them to draw a vertical line and a horizontal line, intersecting in the middle. In their windows, (four boxes), I asked them to put the first letter of their first name in one box and draw three pictures that begin with that letter in the remaining three boxes.

As I walked around and observed, I noticed that some were doing this with ease while others struggled. Most of the struggles were drawing random pictures rather than pictures that matched their letter. I assisted when necessary.

This one student in particular listed a T as his first letter. I said, “Your name does not begin with a T.” He looked at me with droopy eyes and did not say anything. I continued, “Your name is Antwan.” Does Antwan begin with a T?” He looked at me; he still did not say anything. I asked, “What letter does Antwan begin?” He mumbled, “A.” I then said, “Great job. Flip your paper over and start over.” He did.

As I continued to walk, I noticed he had written the A as instructed and had three well drawn pictures that begin with A in the three remaining boxes.

Stay with me...I’m going somewhere with this...

Yesterday, we finished story time earlier than expected again. I decided to do the same activity. Instead this time, I used the first letter of their last name. Because I know none of their last names (it’s 60+ kindergarteners ), before we started, I asked everyone their first and last name so when I started to walk and observe, I could correct when needed and to be sure that all knew what letter to use.

Anyway, the kid, “Antwan” who listed T as his first letter, last week, when it was his turn to say his first and last name, he said, Tomorrlan, and proceeded with his last name.

My light bulb came on.

His first name is INDEED Tomorrlan. Where I got Antwan from? I have no idea. I had FORCED that baby to accept a name that was not his and he accepted it without a fight. I then said, “Your name does begin with a T. Why didn’t you tell me I was wrong last week?”

He looked at me, humped his shoulders and said, “Because you said I was Antwan.”

When he responded, I could not help but to think...

How many times do we allow people, the enemy, and even life’s circumstances to “tell” us who we are?...and what’s even worst, we accept those names and labels that we are given without a fight. That is why it is so important that we know who we truly are and whose we are; only then are we able to speak boldly and confidently against when we are told anything differently. For years, I did not know who I was so I became who was given to me....and now I realize why I never felt fulfilled and so empty because I was living a script that was not mine, written by man...and WE WILL NEVER BE FULFILLED WALKING IN SHOES THAT ARE NOT OURS.

As I end this, I want you to think....

Do you really know your name? I mean do you really, really know who you are? Not the title that you have been given...not your success...not who your parents say you are....not what your mama did or who your daddy was...not your failures....not your insecurities...not your past...but do your really know who you are?...and whose you are? When you do, you are unstoppable...you are a force to be reckoned with!!!!❤️

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