Our girl doesn’t cry too often. In fact, she rarely cries. So when I heard the big sobs in the backseat, I was concerned.
“Evie-girl, what’s wrong?”
With a voice filled with anger and a face full of tears, she said, “That big girl in gymnastics told me that I was the smallest in the class!”
“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. How did you feel when she said that to you?”
“I felt really mad and angry! And I felt really sad, too. That was NOT nice of her, and I don’t like that she said that.”
“I’m sorry, Evie. What made you angry and sad about what she said?”
“Well I’m NOT the smallest! I am five, and I am NOT a baby!!!”
Immediately, more tear-filled sobs came from the backseat.
“Did she say that you were a baby?”
“Well no, but that’s how she made me feel.”
“Ahhh. That makes sense. I can see how you might have felt that way, but that’s not what she said. Right? And we don’t know that her intentions were to use her words to make you feel that way. Right?”
Still hot with some anger, she responded, “Well I am NOT the smallest.”
Knowing that she was indeed the smallest in her class and not wanting to avoid the lesson that could be learned from the “ouch,” I leaned in.
“Well…is it possible that you are the smallest in your class?”
Sheepishly but knowingly I heard her mumble, “Yes.”
“Evie, those words that she used were words to describe you, but they don’t have to define you. You are the smallest in the class, and that is okay. When God made you, He didn’t call you short, He called you fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Quietly listening from the backseat, I went a little further.
“And when you introduce yourself to others, you don’t say, ‘Hi, I’m Short,’ you say, ‘Hi, I’m Evie,’ right?”
“And when God made Evie, He made her more than just short, right?”
With an edge in her voice, she agreed.
“What else does God say that you are?”
Reluctantly and with a fair bit of ‘tude, she said, “He says I’m forgiven and loved.”
“You’re right! And no amount of earthly words to describe you will ever define what He says you are and what He’s created you to be. And His words are the most important.”
It was silent for awhile, and I let it be.
As we drove, I couldn’t help but mull over my own words and the repeated Truths.
Jessica is not defined by a title; she cannot be reduced to her abilities; she is not the sum total of her size; she is not determined by her good and bad deeds; and she cannot be deduced to the roles she plays and the tasks she performs.
Jessica is a treasure of the King, a chosen creation, and a forgiven child. Jessica was bought with a price, purchased with blood, and redeemed by a Savior who called and equipped her to bring glory to His name. Jessica is a heaven-bound daughter whose identity is defined by His unfailing grace and determined by His perfect mercy.
Jessica is defined by His works and not anything else that she, or the world, attempts to describe her as.
Interrupting my thoughts, our little gymnast spoke from the backseat.
“Mommy, it’s okay that I am the smallest. My name is Evie, not Short!”
“You’re right, sweet girl. Your name is Evie, and your perfect Creator didn’t make any mistakes when He made you short.”
“Yep! He’s perfect, and He can’t make any mistakes!”
Friends, may we fight to see ourselves through the lens of Him, and may we celebrate in knowing that absolutely no earthly description can ever define the value of His beloved creations.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. Psalm 139:14