The One Thing I'd Tell Her

The high school girls small group more than doubled when last year's eighth graders moved into ninth grade.

I didn't know how going from three or four girls each week to 8-9 would go. Would we have to start over the book we'd been working through during the summer? How would the new girls and older girls get along?

That first night we sat down, all squished together on the sofas that have been in the youth room for as long as I can remember. About five of the new ninth grade girls squeezed together on a couch made to hold three people. I've known most of them for two or so years, but some are brand new to the youth group. I make sure to remember all their names though. Names are important.

We start off with an ice-breaker. Age, school, favorite book, kind of shampoo. A few times, I want to get on my soapbox and rant about how they really ought to read more books, but I hold back. I probably shouldn't traumatize the newbies on the first night.

Once the fun parts are over, we start discussing the book we're going through. It's at this point I start really watching the girls faces. I imagine what they've been through to reach this point, though I don't really know much of their stories. There's so much I want to say to them. So much I want to learn about them. So much their hearts need to know.

I let the actual adult leader in the group do most of the talking. For now, they don't need to hear me ramble on about how much God loves them, how beautiful they are, how much they matter, how amazing they are as they are. Later, yes. But right now I just want to know them, know where and who they are, know what they're passionate for, who they love.

But what if I had only one chance to speak to these girls? No chance to hear each of their beautiful hearts? What would I say?

I think I would start with you are loved. You are valued, accepted, treasured, and wanted by God. Your worth is not based on your grades, the the number of inches around your waist. Your beauty isn't defined by your height, weight, clothes, hair color--your beauty is made up of the life inside your soul, the heart behind your words, tears, and smiles. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of acceptance. Not because of what your friends think, what a boy thinks, what your parents think, or what your grades are, but because of what God made you to be.

You are valuable because you were made valuable. That will never change.

Hopefully, I'll get more than one chance to tell them that.

This post was inspired by this post. Check it out :)