Our first week at PTM this summer “God created me therefore I am valuable” was our theme for the week. However, that first week one of our fourth grade girls was struggling with this concept. Karen* is a very kind and compassionate 4th grader who was sitting across from a fellow 4th grade girl, Dominique*. Dominique informed Karen that she had no taste in clothes. Karen was hurt deeply because she had been named by others that day as tasteless, ugly, and different. For a fourth grade girl being different is not necessarily a compliment.
She ran out of the room as tears rolled down her face. She didn’t want to talk to me or anyone else at that moment. All she could do was draw a picture of how she felt. She drew a picture of her on one side of a table and all the other girls on the other side of the table, a door, and herself crying on the other side of the door. This comment had cut to the heart of this young lady and she was made to feel like she was not valuable. We talked about her picture and I reminded her of the the verse for that week which was Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know this full well.” As we talked about how God saw her I began to see a softening and return to peace.
As the day went on Karen was able to write a leadership speech about who God saw her to be and affirm in herself her great character, and her kindness towards others. At the end of her class she came and showed me her leadership speech and was beaming with pride. That day I was reminded that we serve a big God who affirms to us who he sees us to be when we listen to his word and plant it in our hearts. I am thankful for many volunteers who continue to plant these seeds in the hearts of our students to remind them of the “God-inspired dreams” he has for them.
*Names have been changed