Before Monday, I knew maybe three of the two hundred people from our church alone. Those who know me, know that something like this is WAYYYYY out of my comfort zone. I hate being uncomfortable and feel awkward around people I don’t know. The last few weeks I’ve been filled with anxiety while planning and praying for this trip. I’ve been asking God to please explain to me HOW IN THE WORLD he wants me to lead these girls when I’m so lost and broken myself?
I say that I’m broken. Who isn’t? Who DOESN’T have some sort of “brokenness” in their lives?
God uses our brokenness, our faults, our imperfections, and our fears to tell His epic story just like He uses our victories.
Maybe broken isn’t the word. I’m not sure. All I know is that with all of the stupid mistakes I’ve made in my life, I wasn’t confident coming into this week that I was the type of influence these girls so desperately needed.
The first night, I figured out why I’m here. The kids were instructed to take the biggest lies that the world has taught them to believe about themselves and write it on the bottom of their shoes. This way they could walk around on them the rest of the week. The lies they came up with instantly brought me back to myself ten years ago.
Ugly. Fat. Freak. Slutty. Different. Misunderstood. Useless. Stupid. Weird.
The list went on.
These girls are me. We are the same. Ten years later and I STILL struggle with these same insecurities. THIS is why God made everything line up perfectly so I could be able to be here. I was here to show these girls that God is so much bigger than their insecurities.
I could feel my heart breaking as they were listing off these insecurities without pause. Why is it that we as human beings are so full of negativity and judgment that we can cause a young girl to hate herself and be so insecure before she has even started high school?
In that moment, I realized that I’m not as broken as I tend to believe I am. One of my girls suggested that we make a list comparing how we sometimes view ourselves and how God sees us. This is what they came up with:
Think before you open your mouth to call that quiet girl beside you a “weirdo.” Maybe she’s just too shy to make friends. Pause before joking about that “fat” or “ugly” girl, your words will follow her for many, many years. That “freak” you commented under your breath about? She’s beginning to believe that being different is a bad thing instead of believing that she’s fearfully and wonderfully made to be unique by her Creator.
My girls are about to enter their first year of high school, so I’ll leave you with what I left them with after our small group discussion tonight:
“I will show up and take care of you as I promised. I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)