Last week I told you about a thank-you letter I'd received from my pastor. This week, I got one even better. It's a Christmas letter from a 13-year old girl.
In it, the girl tells me I’m a role model she can trust. She tells me she loves spending time with me. She says since I’ve come into her life, it’s been better.
These are words to bring a smile to anyone’s face, to brighten the day of anyone with a heartbeat. But it’s more than what she wrote. The feelings this letter bring up in me are about more than her kind words. They’re about more than even her.
You see, I’ve never been a fan of children. I don’t despise them, I’ve just never cared one way or the other for them. In fact, most of the children I’ve attached to, are a result of being attached to their parents. I love them, because I love their parents.
Needless to say, earlier this year, when the opportunity came along to lead a small group of middle-school aged girls at church, I was less than enthused. I tested the waters, not willing to fully commit until I was sure it would be something I could not only handle, but enjoy.
Then I slowly got to know eight unique twelve and thirteen year old girls. And they won me over.
The last few months, they’ve blown me away with their kindness. They rarely have a bad word to say about anyone. Shocking, I know. I will arrive at church on Wednesday nights, tired and cranky and one of them will come up and talk to me and I’ll fill the load lift, my mood lighten.
They’re old enough to have semi-adult conversation, yet are still young enough to admit they don’t know everything.
I’m not their parent, which is awesome. I don’t have to deal with all their drama, pay their bills, or help with homework. I get a sneak peek in their lives for less than three hours, once a week. It’s an easy thing, really. I get to listen to a week’s worth of heartache, and then if they let me, I get to talk to them about it, offer advice, and pray for them.
They remind me if I was ever to be good at anything in this life, I wanted to be good at being the big sister.
I just never imagined they’d give so much back to me.