For Us and Through Us

Yesterday, my sweet 9yo daughter walked into the room and was wearing her brother’s clothes and her hair in a low pony tail. I kid you not, she looked like an Australian male zoo keeper. LOL This is the second time she’s dressed in her brother’s clothes (the last time was in his dress slacks and vest, still accompanied by the low ponytail, making her look like a scotch drinking, pool playing, biker dude). How’s that for stereotypes? haha

I noted to her that she liked to wear her brother’s clothes and asked her why. We had a bit of a dialogue about it when she said she wished she was a boy because boys can do things that girls can’t. With chuckles and grins throughout she shared some of her reasons and we discussed how girls can do the things she was sharing. Here is the dialogue:

Me: “Hey love, I’ve noticed you like to wear your brother’s clothes. haha Any particular reason?”

Her: *grins* “Because I like to be a boyyyy.”

Me: *smiles* “You like to be a boy?”

Her: “Yea, I wish I was a boy.”

Me: “You wish you were a boy or you like pretending to be a boy?”

Her: “I wish I was a boy.”

Me: “Oh? Why’s that?”

Her: “Because there are things that boys can do that girls can’t.”

Me: “Things like what?”

Her: “I like short hair.”

Me: “But girls and boys can have short hair…”

Her: “I can be a soldier.”

Me: “Oh but there are all sorts of female soldiers, both who keep our nation safe and those who travel all over the world who put themselves in dangerous situations so they can help people all over.”

Her: *eyes look enlightened* “Oh, well, I like to wear pants so I can run.”

Me: “I wear pants all the time and I’m a girl… and if I wanted to run, I would.”

*we share a chuckle*

Her: “Well, I’m just not like the girls I see who are all, “Oooh I need a boy to saaaave me!!”

Me: *laughs with her* “You don’t have to be like that to be a girl. I’m a strong and capable woman who takes care of you guys and this house all day. There are all sorts of things I do without needing Daddy’s help. But can I ask you something? Do you like it when Daddy rescues you?”

Her: *insert an ooey gooey look and a smile* “Yesss.”

Me: “I do too. I love it when Daddy saves me too. And he’s my husband, not my daddy. So he’s my “boy” who I like to save me. Do you like that Daddy saves me?”

Her: *sheepishly* “Yes… but I am not scared of bugs or say ‘Oh nooo! A bug! Help! Ahhhh!’ I like bugs.”

Me: “Did you know I don’t like bugs?”

Her: “Yea.”

Me: “Have I ever discourage you from liking bugs or given you reason you should be afraid of bugs?”

Her: “No.”

Me: “That’s because I didn’t want you to be. I encouraged you to love bugs and to not be afraid of them. For two reasons – one because I don’t like bugs and I needed someone to kill them for me. *all of us laugh* Annnd because I didn’t want you to have those same weird issues as me. Because it’s weird that I don’t like to go near a small bug, isn’t it?”

Her: *laughs* “Yea.”

Me: “So I’m glad you’re a girl who isn’t afraid of bugs.”

*share a smile*

****then the root issue comes to the surface****

Her: “But… *tears fill her eyes* …if I was a boy… *tries not to cry* …then [insert a boys name] would want to play with me. He never wants to play with me because I’m just a girl.”

There it was… I wasn’t sure exactly how to address it in those first moments as I took in the sight of my ooey gooey 9yo who loves pretty much everyone she meets without hesitation and unconditionally, hurting and feeling unloved in return. My heart ached for her. I hugged her and I told her that I was sorry their exclusion made her feel like she had to be anything other than who God created her to be.

I told her how special she was and how God has a beautiful plan for her life and that who she is today and every day is who has made me a better person. I said to her, “You know how much I mess up now, right? Guess how much I messed up before you were in my life?!” We both laughed. I listed all the wonderful gifts she has and the qualities that I love so much about her. I told her that if all that changed to make one person happy, to think of all the people who would miss out on the beautiful person that she is.

How sad that a conclusion our minds reach when we aren’t feeling loved is that we need to change. We all just want to feel loved and special and to feel like we have something to offer this world. The reality is, that we do! That’s why God breathed life into us – because He has a plan and a purpose over our lives, for us and through us, and He doesn’t make mistakes. ❤

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

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