For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the girls who are living in the long-term therapeutic home were able to learn about a different character trait each day. Some of the included character traits were love, joy, peace, bravery, and finishing on Christmas day with forgiveness. I had the great privilege of speaking with the girls about bravery.
What's kind of ironic about the situation is that I was scared to death to speak. And I was supposed to be sharing about bravery. For me, speaking in front of a group generally means shaking, sweating, nausea, and watery eyes. But I wanted so badly to try to encourage these girls so I tried to get over those feelings.
I was asked to share about my history with cancer and what made me feel brave during those times. But as I was trying to rehearse what I was going to say, I realized that looking back, I didn't really feel so brave. But how would that be an encouragement to these girls who are also struggling? So instead of telling them what made me feel brave, I told them what I felt made me brave. On the days that I felt like giving up, that meant relying on the ones who cared about me to help me not give up. Pushing through each day. Surviving. Ultimately I know God is the one who healed me and He is the one who got me through each and every day. I pray that these girls will also know this truth one day.
I honestly don't know if the girls took away anything from what I said to them. But I know the Lord can use anything, even if I was a nervous wreck and spilled out 2 years worth of words in 3 minutes.
After I was done with what I had to say, Maggi and I took some pictures of them that they will be able to have printed and put in their life books that they received this week. Spending the afternoon with the girls was great, but also so sad. Sad that there is a need for a home like this. Sad that there are so many hurdles for organizations to help the girls. Sad that this is still a problem that people either don't know about or don't acknowledge. And sad that there are so many who are still out there, needing to be rescued or just needing the help that is very needed after coming out of something so horrible. The girls are so sweet and such normal kids. They have had a piece of their childhood stolen away from them. But there is ways we can help improve their future. We can let them know that they are brave, they are special, and they are loved. I still look back at those years with cancer with such positive memories because of all the selfless people who invested their time and money to help my days feel a little bit brighter.
As I said at the beginning, please visit their website to learn more information. You can make a monetary donation, find a way to volunteer, or donate something from their list of constant needs (included below, just to help you out.) Please get the word out and help this great cause!
· Toilet Paper
· Hand Soap
· Paper Towels
· Dish Soap
· Laundry Detergent
· Dishwasher Detergent
· Copy Paper
· Large Trash-Bags
· Small Trash-Bags
· Cocoa Butter
· Pomegranate Seed Oil for hair
· A moisturizing shampoo, like Ojon's Ultra Hydrating Shampoo,
· A moisturizing deep-conditioning treatment, like Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment
· A moisturizing styling product, like Tresemmes Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Cream
· A moisturizing hair dress to replenish hair daily, like Biosilk's Silk Therapy Serum
· Canvases (different sizes)
· Paint (Acrylic Paints