Talking to my Childhood Self: it’s okay to be a girl

blog month September

September is Blog Month for Compassion International. Each year during September, Compassion International invites bloggers to use their voice to encourage their readers to sponsor impoverished children around the world. Each week, Compassion Bloggers receive a writing prompt to get the conversations with our readers started. This one in particular caught my attention.

Write a blog post to your childhood self.

What words of encouragement do you need to hear?

If I could go back in time and have a conversation with an often-dirty, tomboy little Amanda, I’d be sure to tell her one thing:

“It’s okay to be a girl.”

As a girl, I often was under the (mistaken) impression that my dad would be happier if I was a boy. Through my little eyes I saw that boys just had it easier. They seemed to get to do all the fun things, while girls were expected to be ladylike. My rowdy personality and boisterous sense of humor just didn’t seem very girly. I liked comic books and super heroes. I wanted my dad to be proud of me. I wanted to be sporty, though I possess absolutely zero athletic skill. Especially as I entered puberty and all the “wonderful” changes that occur with young ladies, I was convinced that girls got a raw deal.

It’s one of the Enemy’s favorite lies to whisper to little girls and women: You’re worth less. You’re not as special, you’re not as loved, you’re not as important as a man.

It took me a very long time to realize that as a woman, I’m extremely blessed. There are joys I have experienced that no man will ever know. I have felt the first flutterings of my children deep inside me, long before anyone else could share that happiness. As a woman, I can understand God’s nurturing nature, a beautiful mothering side of His love. He placed my husband and children in my care, a responsibility that leaves me in awe. I am a caretaker, I am warmth and love, I’m soft arms and a cozy lap. I’m a woman, and proud to be the way God made me.

But around the world little girls are used and abused, as if they were disposable. It breaks my heart to think of my little sisters in Christ being mistreated. They should be celebrated and honored. Instead they are often the lowest in their societies, considered property instead of people.

I can’t go back in time and hug myself. I can’t go back and talk about how wonderful it is to be a woman. I can’t encourage myself to praise the One who made me for allowing me to be a woman, and a wife and mother.

But I can write to Nisendi, our sponsor child in Sri Lanka. She’s six years old and absolutely beautiful. Her dark brown eyes peer out from her adorable little face and I feel an overwhelming urge to cross oceans just to scoop her up and tell her that she is amazing. She is a child of God, marvelous and wonderful. When I write to her, I want to tell her that God loves her. As she grows up I hope I can encourage her to celebrate her femininity. She is special because she is a girl. We hold life within us, we nurture that life, we hold our families together.

Mothers, young girls, and babies are in desperate need of your help. Please, consider reaching out to a little girl like Nisendi – or perhaps supporting Compassion’s Child Survival Program to give mothers in need prenatal care, nutritious food, health care and more.

Help me tell little girls everywhere that they are special, they are loved, they are important.

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