A Braid Story…
I met Lily five years ago as a 6th grader at North Junior High. She was involved in an art club that I led, and I had regular, though fairly superficial interactions with her for the first two years. She attended a few special events at YFC, but nothing ongoing. During COVID, I had very little contact with her, yet we continued to pray for her. I wasn’t sure if I would get to continue to be a part of her life.
There was a somewhat random invitation to come to Braid on a Monday night. And she responded. That night, I walked out of my leaders meeting and looked on at how she had wrangled a relationally disconnected group of girls into a game of socially distanced UNO. Since that night she has been a constant in our building, and in my life.
Some of the things that I love about her are how she is willing to wrestle with things and let herself be stretched. She sees the value in stepping outside of her area of comfort, even if it terrifies her. She is incredibly brave. She also seeks to carry the burdens of those around her. She deeply desires to enrich the lives of those she cares about, whether that is by cooking them dinner, talking to someone who looks lonely, or by using her limited funds to buy gifts.
As I’ve gotten to know Lily, I have learned how she has often felt unseen in her life, especially by her family. Family has not been a place where life is spoken into Lily. Hurtful, painful words and actions are often what has come from that space. And as deeply grievous as that is, it has paved the way for us, her community of peers and adults here at YFC, to speak life into her. My prayer is that our words are not coming from us. They are coming from the Lifegiver. Lily is in a process (as we all are) of learning to embrace the truth she is hearing. God created a beautiful, brave, loving, and insightful human when he made Lily. I long for her to see this, and to begin to live in the reality of who she belongs to.
Braid and Campus Life North-Side Coordinator
*Please note, names have been changed and pictures are not connected