This is a letter to all of you young people living in government housing. I want to write to you, I want to tell you how much you are worth. I want to tell you a lot of things.
There is a stigma about living in those apartments. It is a giant advertisement that your family falls into certain poverty guidelines. When the bus pulls up, everyone seems to know everything about you.
You know what?
You see, it only matters that you hold your head high. It only matters that you conduct yourself in a loving, honest, and peaceful way. While many people will see your home, if your inner light shines, they will soon forget the outside. That inside light truly blinds.
I write this to you as someone who has been there. So I know. I know what it is like to feel subconscious about telling someone your address. I know what it is like to have a chaotic home life, a life that isolates, and makes you feel like you can never open up to anyone. I know the feelings of shame. But, you don’t have to let it get you down. You don’t have to become a statistic. You are worth more than your surroundings.
If I could go back to my fourteen year old self here is what I’d say:
Kisha, you are not a victim of circumstance. Don’t let people judge you by the life you have, beyond what you can control. You be kind, even when they are not. You believe that Jesus died for you, that you have a Heavenly Father. Your own father may call you ugly names, he might tell you that your worth is little, but your Heavenly Father believes your price is far above rubies! Don’t try to escape your life with drugs and alcohol. It isn’t really an escape. It’s a trap. You will lose yourself from one misery into another one, it will ruin your life, and cost you even more than you can imagine. It will not show you love. Choose love. Even if you get hurt. Choose to the good fight. Fight above the nay-sayers. Fight above the circumstances. Seek out help. I promise you there is someone who wants to help you. Seek Jesus, even if times are tough, know that in the end, this life is just a blink. Your life will never be a fairy tale, and those families you see at church, the ones with the mom and dad very involved….those families have troubles also. Your worth is not in your house, your clothes, your family, your hair, your skin, your job. It’s not in your body, nor how much of it you show. Your worth is in your heart and soul. Never ever compromise your spirit by the allure of escape and evil, it isn’t worth it.
That is what I would go back and say to myself. This is what I want to say to you. I spent a lot of time thinking I needed to dress skimpy, because it was a way to draw attention. I thought it was good attention, but let me tell you, it wasn’t. It was only a way to connect myself to evil desires. It wasn’t a way to build myself, but instead to ultimately cheapen myself.
Sometimes there is a lot of hurt inside the walls of government housing. However, I want you to know, there is hurt inside the walls of every home. Everyone suffers, it is human nature, the sin self is not immune due to economic status. You are not alone in your pain, everyone has pain, don’t let it win over you.
Please see yourself the way I see you. Know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made in the eyes of God. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that it isn’t true. I promise you it is.
Above all child, know that you do not have to be a statistic. Your high school biology teacher might tell you that you regardless of your 4.0 GPA, you will never get into the college you have your eyes set on. Your parent might tell you that you are worthless. Your friend’s parents might call you a bad influence, solely based on your residence and confused emotion driven behavior.
I got into that school. I am worth something to God, my devoted husband, and my children. I am not a bad influence. I spend my life dedicated to advocating for orphans, for the needy, for the sick, to being a good mom and wife, and to showing just how amazing our God is.
I have worth…..
YOU have worth and it does not revolve around your surroundings!