I sat in a plastic chair today and observed her while she shared. No life in her words, no expression on her face. Nothing except a deep sadness in her eyes, a sadness I know so well.

She reminded me of so many of our girls before her; her words resonating with the hurt that speaks volumes of untold experience . I saw in her all of our kids who were abandoned and unnoticed and unloved – those who passed days alone in fear and spent nights dreaming that Momma would come home. Of hunger that growled deep and became normal because food stamps were traded for cocaine and nobody had time to nurture a child. And my heart ached for her.

She sat perfectly still, slumped, as slowly her story poured forth. She told with faltering words the course of her sixteen years on earth. She spoke of chaos and instability. How she stayed with different relatives and friends, moving around each month as one caregiver and then another went to jail. How she was left alone as the pull of the streets grew strong. She didn’t have to explain the hurt. The pain in her eyes yells her truth. Nobody has ever wanted her, not for a day of her life.

Until today. Today, the Kingdom of God met her broken heart. Today, I had the great privilege of speaking truth to her empty frame. She listened, unbelieving, as I told her that God has loved her all along. Her expression didn’t change when I told her that she will be home soon, and that He is giving her a new family. She didn’t believe me today, but one day she will.

Slowly, surely, love will conquer fear. One day, she’ll lay her baggage down at the foot of the cross and open her arms wide in freedom. One day, a light will shine where darkness once stood in her brown eyes because now, she is wanted.

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