October 16, 2019
Every young woman has this question wedged deep in her tender heart: “Do you think I’m beautiful?” If she is courageous enough to venture further she may ask, “Am I worth it?” After she has lived a little she may ask, “Are my experiences to be trusted?” And further, “What is true?”
I know these questions because I asked them myself. I floundered through my teenage years whispering the questions but looking for the answers in all the wrong places. My questions were finally met with solid answers, therefore I spent my twenties intimately walking with high school girls through an outreach ministry, I was desperate for girls to know the Truth.
I saw the very same questions in each young girl’s eyes over coffee and long walks. They held their hardened hearts at a distance, not willing to let their vulnerability surface. They were looking to find full life...often searching for answers to their questions in the affection of boys as well as in the numbing effects of alcohol and drugs. They searched for significance through extra-curricular activities or the empty accolades of social media. Unfortunately this search left them disillusioned and disappointed.
Often this is where I entered the scene. We would slowly chip away at the protective outer layers...softening the hardened clay. I would speak of restoration and refinement. I would speak of their beauty and true identity. We would share discussions surrounding hope and a future. I witnessed transformation. These beautiful sparrows began to find the answers to their questions in the Creator who loved them and designed them for so much more. And a miracle occurred: I started to watch them fly.
I remember feeling overwhelmed at times by the sheer volume of girls and the monumental brokenness they were experiencing. If only there were more people telling stories of grace and hope. Reminding these beautiful young women that there is a God that loves them...who calls them by name. He can be trusted with their tender hearts...and they are not alone.
I know so few teenage girls who received truth-filled answers BEFORE they received distorted messages on their worth and value. Even under the best circumstances I see teenage girls walking through high school halls on wobbly legs. We need a community. We need mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends linking arms, speaking words of grace, truth, and love. We need reminders and others to say, “You are not alone.”
Speaking to Sparrows co-creators, Janine McGann and Liz Sams, intimately know the stories. They have walked this road with countless numbers of teenage girls...and they too see what I see. They realized sharing the stories and bringing young women together to remind them they are not alone, that they have great worth, value, and a voice is a crucial part of our journey toward transformation.
Speaking to Sparrows is a powerful resource. The documentary shares the current battles our teenage girls face. Battles as old as time...and battles that are unique to this generation surrounding technology and self-image. Speaking to Sparrows wraps our girls in a warm blanket whispering: You are beautiful, you are loved, you are not alone, and there is hope.