By Janet Mylin
Eve was a target. As the only orphan in her school in China, kids made fun of her all the time. “Your own parents didn’t want you!” “Your one arm and hand look different and that means you’re a freak!” “You’re stupid because you get the lowest grades of everyone in the school!” They would put Eve’s backpack in the trash can, hit her, take her stuff, trip her, yell at her and call her names. Even many of the teachers treated her with disdain.
When we adopted Eve at the age of nine in 2015, all of the pain from these experiences came with her. She would hide her physically different arm when she met new people. She would lash out in anger when other kids were joking around with her. She was always on the defense, expecting rejection. And then there was a softness.
You see, as Eve healed from her wounds, this incredible pain in her life became the source of one of her greatest strengths: Compassion. The first one to make a new kid feel welcome. The one to make sure no one sits alone. The teenager who kneels in order to be eye-level with a child. The girl who will bravely show you her smaller arm to let you know it’s okay and beautiful to be different. My favorite verse has always been 1 Samuel 16:7 where God is speaking to Samuel as he’s choosing the future king of Israel:
Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
I’ve meditated on that scripture for years…decades actually. And now God has given me an example of this verse as a daughter. Watching your daughter experience pain as a result of something that’s different about her is really, really hard. I know this pain all too well. While you are advocating on her behalf, I would also encourage you to ask God to reveal a glimpse of His plan for her in the midst of all of the pain. He might be building some strong character in her heart she’ll need later on.
Lord God, You created my daughter so wonderfully. Give me eyes to see her strengths and her struggles under the lens of Your beautiful plan for her life.
This month’s mom+daughter connection experience found in the True Girl Digital Subscription is all about your daughter surrounding herself with God’s truth concerning the image-bearing quality of each human being. As promised, we’ve done most of the planning and thinking for you to have a formative connecting conversation with your girl. With mother+daughter dates, coaching videos, daily devos, and more, you and your daughter are sure to discover the meaning of Imago Dei. This big word reminds us of the innate value of each human being. At the same time, the Digital Subscription will offer you the gift of discovering if your girl is experiencing or inflicting the pain of discrimination.
Janet Mylin is as real as it gets when it comes to motherhood. Whether she’s talking to you about “momming” or healing wounds from your own past in the area of motherhood, Janet will always shoot straight with you. Two of her three kids are currently in high school and one is an adult, so she remembers fondly the days when her kids’ problems could all be solved with Goldfish crackers and a nap. Janet self-published Arrows Make Terrible Crowns: How the Holy Spirit Healed My View of Motherhood and co-authored The One Year Mother Daughter Devo and Just Call Me Kate with Dannah. She shows up a lot on Instagram and her podcast The Normally Amazing Show. Janet is a True Girl Lead Teacher and she’s been associated with Pure Freedom Ministries since the beginning. (She and Dannah have been friends for over 20 years!)
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you have to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.