Over the summer, I asked my pastor from my home church for ways I could help in the children’s ministry at church.

He asked me to oversee the children’s time on Wednesday nights. I was surprised, honored and excited to get started.

I knew I enjoyed working with kids, but I didn’t realize that God would use this opportunity to show me my passion, calling and career.

The privilege to work with the 10 to 15 children who showed up every week was a blessing I didn’t see coming.

It was a joy to see the innocence and true joy in each of these kids, like when one little girl showed me her “castle” that she built out of wood, or when one little boy told me all about his favorite characters in his Super Mario video game.

Most kids have a lot to say but few people take the time to listen to them. I loved talking with them and hearing what they were interested in, seeing how excited they were to share their passions with me. Even if what they talked about seemed trivial, like the book they were reading or their newest LEGO set, seeing the joy and excitement in their eyes was something that cannot be matched.

I enjoyed spending time with one young boy in particular. In the time I knew him before, I had not seen any side to him other than his wild and enthusiastic side.

As I got to know him this summer, I saw him mature and realized that he had some great thoughts. He enjoyed life as it is, and he lived in the moment.

One night he was just blown away by the sunset. He was so excited about the beauty of what God had created and he wanted to share his excitement with me. The sunset was beautiful, but often we take those little moments for granted.

Seeing his excitement made me reevaluate my outlook on life, helping me to live minute-by-minute and to enjoy the little things in life.

Younger kids look up to the “big kids.” Children have big eyes, they are always watching and they don’t miss much. We have a much bigger impact on them than we realize.

I had a responsibility to be an example to them, a responsibility and a blessing that I didn’t take lightly.

Spending time with children is very rewarding. Putting a smile on their face is an experience that cannot be explained in words.

The privilege to be an example of Christ to a young child is incomparable. And they do teach you things. Just because they are younger than you doesn’t mean that you cannot learn from them.

A child’s innocence and insight on life is a beautiful thing.

Generally, children are much more eager to learn than those who are older. That is why it is crucial to take every moment spent with a child seriously.

Ultimately, this experience over the summer caused me to change my major from humanities to nursing so that I can work with children in the long term as a pediatric nurse.

This career seems ideal to me because I will be getting paid to do the thing that I love: investing in the lives of children.

And the payment will be in much more than money. I’m ready to follow God’s leading to work with kids in my career.