This year, our Middle School girls club, Thank God It’s Girls Club (TGIGC), has been exploring the fact that each girl matters and so do their stories. On Tuesday evenings, we share highs and lows of the week over a delicious snack, we play fun games, do crafty activities and have girl talk related to our theme.
Tuesdays are easily one of my favorite days of the week because I get to spend time with these sweet girls; they are full of life, energy and lots of fun, very giggly and silly, smart and kind; they’re precious, they’re priceless, they’re full of potential, and they matter.
Looking back, there is so much that could be written about our girls, and especially, about the countless times God has been with us. The best part is that He relentlessly continues to show up at Hope House week after week, and today, I was overjoyed to see Him again.
With Easter around the corner, the sponsor team (aka the friends I get to lead TGIGC with) put together a fun time coloring eggs and a more serious time discussing the last days of Jesus’ life, leading to his death and resurrection. We used the resurrection eggs to do this which was how the founders of girls’ club (Becky and her friends from Brighton) shared this story a few years back; if you’re wondering what these are, well, allow me to tell you. They are a set of twelve plastic eggs each containing an item that symbolizes a piece of the Easter story. For example, the first egg had a plastic donkey in it representing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey; another egg had three nails in the shape of a cross, and so on. My favorite egg is the last one representing Jesus’ resurrection; can you guess what was in that egg? It was the first time the girls, and even the sponsors, had seen these eggs and they had the best reaction to the last one.
“Oh wow, It’s empty!”
As we sat on the rug in the middle of the living room and opened each egg, I saw God over and over again through the discussion about the unique contents and their meaning. Each girl was moved by the story in a different way and expressed it so.
“God sent Jesus for me? His only Son?”
“He died for me?”
“I didn’t know what Easter was about until last year when we did the Easter story book with notecards; I still have it hanging on the wall in my room.”
The girl who made this last remark has been coming to girls’ club for almost two years; I’ve had the incredible privilege to watch her blossom and display her natural leadership talent with the rest of the girls. She led most of the discussion by sharing what she remembered from last year.
“How do you feel knowing that God loves you so much that He would send his one and only Son for you and me?”
“I feel special… that I matter.”
I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm, “YES, YOU MATTER!”
God says it best in Isaiah 43: 3-4 (NLT):
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. […]
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
Every single one of these girls matters a great deal to the Creator of the World, and therefore, they matter to us at Hope House. Isaiah 43:3-4 is exactly what Jesus was showing our girls today from the moment they walked in and shared snack, to the time they spent coloring eggs, to the time sharing the story of His last days on earth, his death and his resurrection. Whether it is through playing a game, sharing food, or having conversations, God’s real, radical, and unconditional love displayed in Jesus Christ is exactly what I pray every young person, girl or boy, knows and experiences every time they come to Hope House.