It is 5:30pm when my door bell rings.  I am not expecting company and beyond surprised to open the door to greet this precious 10 year old little girl.  It is freezing outside, and her clothes are tattered.  No coat is worn to shield her from the cold.  However, none of these factors taint her joy for even a moment.

“Hey, Ms. Liz! Can I stay at your house for a while?”

Smiles from this precious one beam from ear to ear.  She bounces up and down, in anticipation of the answer that she is so hoping that she will receive.

“My dad says it’s ok.  He’s in the car.  You can talk to him.  He brought me here.”

All of her words tumble onto the other… and all I can think of at this exact moment are all of the things that I still need to do.  The dishes in the sink and the mountain of laundry that beckons my attention.  The groceries that need to be bought and the fridge that needs to be cleaned out.  Do we even have enough extra juice?  Are there snacks to provide?  The bathrooms need to be scrubbed and the jammed inbox of emails that are anxiously awaiting my review and reply.

All of the things.

All of the reasons to say that we are too busy or too messy or have too many projects to complete.

Yet, this precious one stands at my door and waits anxiously – for Love to let her in. From the cold. From the wars of her home and the sadness locked inside her heart.

She knows the place of abandonment.  The place where her mom suddenly disappeared – leaving her, along with her older brothers, in the guardianship of her 71 year old father – so that she could go and create a new life with a new man.

She knows the place of insecurity.  Food insecurity.  Adequate clothing insecurity.  Protection insecurity.  Insecurity locked within her own heart and soul.

Yet, in the midst of all of these things – she finds herself now at my front door.  Waiting anxiously to be greeted with warm embraces and a warm home.  And the very moment that my “Yes” escapes my lips, this beautiful girl of ebony skin, tattered clothes and joyful spirit bounces through the door!  Her joy cannot be contained.  Her gratitude cannot be muffled.  Her excitement cannot be stifled.  Because here in this place – she has found a home.  A family who loves her exactly for who she is – who welcomes her with warm embrace – who listens to her heart and her dreams.  A family who loves.

And it is for these very moments that Daughters of Worth exists.

I could sit across the table from you  – with coffee in hand – and share story upon story.  Life upon life.  The stories of the girls in our very own communities who are warrior girls.  For they are fighting for their life – their sanity – their joy – their family – their bodies.  They are fighting to become the women that they desire to be.

And I believe that as women, we have a personal responsibility – a collective obligation as women to gather together and to support these girls – our girls – of the next generation.

I believe that we have a calling instilled deep within each of us to echo the truths that we have learned so that we can protect them from the lies that are being whispered to them each and every day.  I believe that we have a voice that needs to be heard – and collectively  – our voices unified – can offer these girls the truths that the need to have etched in their hearts and inscribed in their minds.

Words of Love.

Words of Hope.

Words of Truth.

Words of Power.

You are Loved.  You are beautiful. You are smart.  You are creative.  You are talented.  You are capable.  You are wanted.  You are cherished.  You are treasured.  You have everything that you need poured inside of you to live out your dreams.  We believe in you.  We believe in the power of your dreams.  Your life matters.  You have been created to make a difference in this world.  You have been created for a magnificent purpose.  Now go, and shine bright!

With unified voices proclaiming these words of hope and truth and light to the girls, our girls of our communities, our daughters we have the power to absolutely transform lives!

There are thousands upon thousands of girls who are standing at the door and knocking with tattered clothes and ragged hearts.  With scars so deep that the eye cannot even see.  With stories locked in their little souls and memories that keep them awake at night.  We are surrounded by these girls, our girls.  Ones who are cutting themselves until they bleed.  Ones who are making their homes inside of the family car and ones who go to bed at night hungry.  Ones who have learned that daddy may end up in jail or mommy might be hit again if she makes him mad.  Ones who wonder why they are simply not good enough and cannot find friends.

So many girls.  So many stories.  So many wounded hearts – waiting for Love to let them in.

Though we do not have all of the answers and cannot change all of their circumstances, what we can offer is grace. Hope. Love.  We can meet these girls – our community, collective daughters with warm hugs and the gift of our time.  We can choose to give them a voice.  To advocate on their behalf.  We can choose to put our agenda on the side and all of the task list on hold – so that for this moment, she may find the door that will open and heart of Love that will welcome her in.