My four worst words. “Yeah, but what if…”

I was asked to speak with a group of women I work with concerning how to respond to the children placed in our care.

The precious innocent children who have been sexually abused, removed from their homes, living in foster care, and facing many unknowns about their very tomorrow.

My response was not full of intellectual heady statistics. My response was from my heart.
“You be there for them. You hold their hearts in your hands, you listen, you assure, and accept these girls as if they are your own.”

The children and teens I have had the honor and privilege of working with are nothing short of amazing.
Their eyes tell such stories.
Brown eyes full of terror, blue full of tears, hazel full of wonder, green possibly of hope?

“yeah, but what if”

“What if it was my fault?”
“What if I’m bad?”
“What did I do wrong?”

“yeah, but what if”

“What if I tell?”

My brown eyes, which change to green when I cry, hold their gaze steady.

“You are safe”
“This was not your fault”
“You are not bad”
“You did nothing wrong”

“yeah, but what if”

“yeah,” I say, “What if you hadn’t told”
‘Your fear is real”
“Just as real as I am here for you”
“And your healing is coming. I promise.”

“yeah, but what if”

“yeah, and I’m so glad you did”


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