Don't get that haircut?
Stay in bed on January 3, 1988?
Work Harder in school?
It is a hypothetical situation, of course, but it is food for thought. In writing this post for the first assignment during Compassion Blog Month 2013, I was reminded again of what every little girl needs to hear...reminded again of why I do what I do.
Dear Little Girl,
This is Kimberly. You will know me very well in about 25 years.
I am you.
Don't believe me??
Your favorite doll is a Cabbage Patch Kid named Gussy Odella. Your best friend is a teddy bear named Grussy. Last week, Jonathan Green taught you what the word "gay" means while in line for recess. You have a pretty yellow dress with jingle-bells sewn into the hem, and a few nights ago, you cried yourself to sleep when your big brother finally moved out of the bedroom you shared.
There is great news for your future: All your wildest dreams will come true. Right now, you dream of marrying Glen Burns, the local news network's weatherman, owning a zoo, and driving a pink-glitter stretch limousine with the word "Barbie" airbrushed on the doors. Those things will not happen. Sorry about that. But your dreams will come true; they will just be different dreams.
I know what you want most, little one. You want to feel loved. You want to be a part of a real family, with a mother and a father. You want to feel treasured. You want to be beautiful. There are going to be many times growing up that none of those things will seem possible.
I remember the letter you will one day write to Batman, asking him to be your father so you can have parents.
I remember the days in seventh grade when the kids will call you "horsetooth," and the girl who will tell you that you should never wear the color orange again.
I remember well the dark days when you have to see and feel things that make you want to rip your eyes and heart out so you won't see and hurt anymore.
I remember the entitled days when you will feel that the world owes you something because of the pain you have endured.
You will have to live through all of those days and so many more; I hurt for you because I know that you will hurt.
Little one, I can't take these things away from you. And now that I am all grown up, I wouldn't want to. I have the benefit of seeing where all of this leads.
I have one piece of advice.
Remember the bad, the crushing. Remember the embarrassment and the awkwardness, the foolish mistakes. Remember the good and the joyful. Remember the moments when you would rather have died and the moments when you wished you could live forever. All of these moments have a purpose.
There is someone who loves you very much--more than you could ever imagine. To Him, you are a beautiful treasure. You are a part of His family that will never break up or abandon you. And He has a plan for your life. He has a plan to use all the moments in your life, good and bad, to make you just who He wants you to be. And what He wants you to be is simply His.
And when you realize that you are His, you will spend your life telling others how they are His too. Some people will need to hear this message from a little girl who once wished her daddy was Batman. Some will need to hear it from the girl with a bad perm, braces, and freckles. Some people will need to hear it from you.
When you are my age, you will know lots of little girls who are aching to hear the same things that you so desperately wished that someone would say to you. And you will say all the right things. You will tell them that they are beautiful. You will tell them that they are important. You will go to their birthday parties and send them special treats just because. Here are a few of them:
Just so you know, one day, you will get married and live happily ever after. You will have a wonderful family.
And you will still love glitter and the color pink.
See you in 25 years, beautiful.
Older Kimberly ______
(Can't tell you the last name, can I? That would give away too much!)
Has this post inspired you to think about pouring encouragement into the heart of a young person? You may be the one who needs to tell them your stories--you may be the one who can tell them about a love that can change everything. Who knows...maybe you will see a kid with that same bad haircut you once had? Maybe you will recognize that mischievous grin? Click on the pictures below to see real children who would love to hear from you!