My alarm went off this morning at the ripe, early hour of 10:15am, but I still groaned as I turned it off and rolled over, trying to stay asleep with the desperate hope that I could sleep off the still-existing exhaustion of a 3 day weekend full of junior high girls.
But even as I attempt to sleep away the exhaustion, I can’t sleep away the questions.
Sleep will not return to me. I climb out of bed and put on my glasses, sit on my floor and open up my green duffel bag to empty out my clothing from the weekend, all in desperate need of a good wash. And as I do, I think of those girls, their words, their hearts, their hunger for more to life than what they have.
I always find when I do some act of service, it changes me more than it changes the people I serve. This weekend was no exception. My seven quirky, fun, broken, honest, loving girls changed me and the way I see my world. Their youth made them less afraid to be vulnerable, and their honesty about their pain turned my heart inside out.
Why, Satan? Why must you strike when they are so young?
I remember Anna’s brown eyes that filled with tears as she tells me that she’s not pretty enough to ever have a boyfriend. Sweet, gentle Savannah as she said the kids at school call her short and fat. Quirky, petite Gabrielle as she said that she was too crazy to have friends.
And they believed every word of their lies.
It made me want to draw a sword and go to war. I know I’m no mother, but as each girl spoke I felt a sliver of what a mother must feel for the safety of her child. Really, Satan? You don’t want to do battle with me.
But then I remembered the words of Mordecai: “And who knows but that you have come to this place for such a time as this?”
There is nothing the Prince of Lies fears more than the Truth.
So I spoke it. I spoke every word of Truth that I knew, to fight their lie with everything I had in me. We prayed and we encouraged and we cried, and in that short weekend, something new was born. We were no longer Hannah the Church Girl, Allison the Flirt, Katie the Anorexic. We were warriors, patriots, lights of God to the world and to each other. We became something more in those moments of tears and love.
Those moments changed them, but they also changed me. The girls trusted me, they confided in me, they looked up to me and respected me and followed me. The realization that I could be those things changed me. And I will never be the same.