I talked to a girl the other day, and that talk gave me hope and encouragement for life. She was sitting on a couch, sipping some water, pouring over her journal as though she was writing her final goodbyes. Tears were streaming down her downcast face. Her countenance was broken, her eyes determined not to look up.
As I sat down next to her, she closed up her journal. She was soft spoken. Timid. I couldn’t find a trace of hope as I studied her expressions. I asked her what she was writing about…what was running through her mind.
She was silent.
The silence was saddening. It wasn’t a shy silence. It was more a silence of distrust.
I told her I understood.
Little did she know, there was something about her that was so familiar, yet I didn’t recognize her.
After what seemed like an eternity, she spoke.
“I thought I was invisible. Out of all of these people, what made you notice me?”
“There’s something special about you. You stood out to me.” I said, being completely honest. There was something about this girl that gave me the impression that there was mighty potential in her. If she only knew.
She went on.
“There’s nothing special about me. I’ve tried to do everything right, but it’s never been good enough. Someone has always been better, smarter, funnier, prettier, more outgoing, more talented, more progressive, more creative. I’m not good enough for anyone. No one wants me on their team. No one cheers for me. I’m not important to anyone.”
“Did someone tell this to you?” I asked.
“No. But you can see it in their eyes. In their actions. They don’t want me. They think I’m a burden. I’m the trouble child. I’m the girl next door. I’m the sidekick. The fact that you’re even talking to me is a rare thing. I’m not good enough to be talked to. Why don’t you go talk to that pretty girl over there…or that intelligent guy over there. I’m a nobody. Why are you wasting your time on me?”
My heart was breaking. If she only knew. She WAS beautiful. Not only inside, but outside as well. If she could only see what I saw. I continued to ask her about her reasonings for these responses.
“Don’t act like you know me.” She snapped.
I wanted to tell her that I knew her more than she thought.
“The more you knew me,” she continued, “the more you’d probably realize why everyone else hates me, too. Why everyone leaves me. Why people abandon me. Why I’m all alone. Did you know that not one single guy has ever called me beautiful? Not one has ever told me a characteristic they liked about me. Not one. And my friends, they’ve always got better things to do. They never want me around. I’m such a burden for them. They just don’t….”
I stopped her mid-sentence. I reached for her chin, lifted it, and looked her straight in the eyes.
“YOU are the most beautiful person God has ever known. He made a masterpiece when he made you. I can tell that you are funny, caring, kind, compassionate, talented, creative, and you…listen to me….you are STUNNING. It doesn’t matter what guys have or haven’t said to you. It doesn’t matter what they have or haven’t done for you. And I guarantee your friends adore you. You are your own worst enemy. Don’t believe those lies. You ARE wanted, you ARE loved, you ARE beautiful, and you are SOOOOO valuable.”
She sniffed, and her eyes began to dry up. And then she whispered, in the softest audible voice possible, one of the most profound life questions ever….
“Yes,” I said, confidently, “you are.”
And in that split second, I faintly saw a glimmer of hope in her eye and joy in the crack of a smile. She nodded her head, as if she would finally allow this truth to sink in this time.
For the first time, in what was probably a long time, I think she finally trusted someone again. I think she trusted me. I think she trusted the truth that I spoke about God being the source of her value and hope and joy and security and love and comfort and affirmation.
And I knew in that moment that she was going to be okay. She was going to make it. Sure, her circumstances probably won’t change overnight, but her outlook had changed. Where there was sorrow and brokenness, there was hope and joy. Where there was doubt and hurt, there was confidence and beauty. And I know that someday, this girl will make a difference in somebody else’s life because today I reminded her of God’s truth.
God is cheering for that girl. I am cheering for that girl.
God believes in that girl. And I believe in that girl.
I am that girl.