Lesson # 3
Never underestimate the power of a small person with a persevering spirit when all odds are against them.
This girl lights up my life every. single. day.
I wish I could tell you that from the second I met her we just bonded and were able to run freely together, laugh and communicate. No, it wasn’t that simple, it normally never is when you work with orphan and vulnerable children. Because in this field trust is not given its earned, and relationships are built with time.
Like most new relationships, it took time. I watched the way she would see me playing and talking to the other children. I watched the fear of seeing someone new and different around her behind her little brown eyes. It took a week or two to even make eye contact. I remember seeing small bits of her smile and laugh start to come out but never for too long.
And then one morning she ran into my arms saying “Auntie Devon” even though we both speak different languages, mainly remaining on facial expressions, hand gestures and body language. She was always so quiet and hearing her scream these words and run into me, almost brought me to tears. Her name is Bennis, she has a twin brother, and they are four years old.
When I think about her past I know this. That where you came from does not determine where you are going in life. This applies to each one of us, on every level, on every day, at any age. Your yesterday doesn’t determine your tomorrow. There is new hope to find in each day.
God is using this little four-year old girl who has trouble walking and might possibly need surgery to show me his goodness and mercy, to show me his unending grace and love. To open my eyes to his wonderful and unpredictable plan for all of our lives.
I watch her run freely, as I chase her around her room and soccer field. Until we laugh and fall down because she is out of breath. I watch her run without fear or hesitation of being judged by her disability. I watch her laugh and scream and fall down into the dirt and get back up again without noticing if anyone saw her fall down in the first place. And then I see her fall down many more times, because she has to push herself harder to run and play unlike the other children. I remember this, that sometimes it is the smallest people who hold within them the largest impacts on our lives.
Whatever your fears, insecurities, doubts, hopes or dreams are remember that it’s all a process and everyday we have the choice to grow stronger and wiser, or let the fear of judgment or failing cripple us. We have to find it within our souls and remind ourselves that when we fall we have to see it as a chance to learn to push ourselves harder the second or fifth time, and a chance to persevere. To get back up again without hesitation just as fearlessly as this little girl.
Have a great day,
you are all loved,