Monday, January 14, 2019

A Young Girl's Manifesto

I watched Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime, and it can't seem to leave my mind. I've raised three daughters who are confident and know their worth. Because I've raised daughters, I've seen girls who will do anything for attention - especially male attention. This clouded judgment leads them down foolish paths.

I've lived long enough to see the broad spectrum of human behavior; this documentary was a sobering reminder that not everyone is well-intentioned. Today, I want every young lady to know her worth. If you're at an age where you can make decisions for yourself, here's what I want you to know for yourself.

Every young woman (and man) needs to know:

You are worthy. You are born worthy - no matter the circumstances of your birth and no matter your current condition. It doesn't matter whether you're rich or live in abject poverty; it doesn't matter if you have loving parents or not; it doesn't matter if you were fending for yourself for as long as you remember; it doesn't matter if you were a teen mom or have seen some things. It doesn't matter if you're differently abled. It doesn't matter if you're blue-black or pale as milk. Nor does it matter if your toothpick thin or slightly curvy. You may think your physical beauty is a shield or what you perceive as your ugliness is a curse - but none of these things determine your worth.

You are worthwhile because your Creator says you are. You are made in his image (Genesis 1:27), and you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You have great value (Matthew 10:31). You are worthwhile, and a person of worth is treated with respect and honor. Therefore everyone you interact with must treat you with respect and honor. You have to own this and believe this in spite of your circumstances. You have to navigate this world with this at the forefront of your mind and let this guide you each step of the way.

There is such a thing as personal space; guard this with your life. Personal space is the physical space immediately surrounding you. To get a barometer - it's arm's length; its the circumference of your hands when they are spread. Let no one encroach or invade your personal space. You are not an exhibition to be touched and handled. There is a time for touching but now is not the time. If you feel uncomfortable, speak up or leave.  Assert your right to protect your personal space.

Define and know your core values. Know them for yourself. You don't have to share them with others, but you must know them. Know how you would like to be treated, and how you would like to be spoken to and then insist on it. Know that you deserve this. In knowing this, you will know when someone has crossed a line. Also, understand that sex is not love. Reserve intimacy for those that love you and will be there for you forever; for the long haul. No matter what TV says, it takes time to truly be in love. Don't confuse love with butterflies in your stomach.

Don't open the gate. Practice saying no to things, experiences and people that don't feel right to you. When you receive inappropriate attention from men, don't give them your phone number. Don't take theirs either. Minimize the conversation and the interaction. Be assertive about your person. In the old days before cell phones, you thought long and hard before giving anyone your phone number let alone a male. For example, if I felt harassed on the street, I had a street name and a phone number - all fake. Be wise. Do what you must so that you don't open the gate.

If you opened the gate, you can close the gate. Don't stay where you don't belong. Forgiveness is available for you. You have the power to change things; to correct a mistake. You are allowed to autocorrect once the need for change is present.

Seek out others that value you. If you see a light in others strike up a  conversation. Hopefully, it's your parents, but if it's not, find another person - a teacher, a counselor, a sister, a peer lead, a friend. They are people who see the good in you, even if you can't. There are others who see your value; who know that you are worthwhile and want what's best for you, with no ulterior motive. Connect with those people. Don't isolate, connect. Isolation leads to self-doubt and unclear thinking. Reach out.

Always remember you are worthy. You were not made to be manipulated, humiliated, dehumanized, or be held captive on a regular basis. This is not God's plan for any of us. Know who you are and Who made you and his loving purpose for your life.

If one person can be spared from predatory behavior, then this will be worth it. I want to end this post by praying.

God, you are a God that sees all and knows all. You knew that there would be suffering in this world and that evil persists. But Lord, you have given us your Son to overcome the evil in this world. It's not easy for we need wisdom and discernment that comes from You. Help each person young or old to know their worth through You. When they know You they can be strong, for You, Lord, are our strength and our song; You have become our salvation (Psalm 118:14). In becoming our salvation, you strengthen us. May we know who we are in You - accepted, redeemed, more than conquerors, loved, known, strong, free. Then may this knowledge translate to Godly confidence which affects all our interactions and relationships. Lord demolish strongholds in families or any other area that negatively influences us. Lord help us as Christians to call out evil and stand up for what is right. Help us to encourage each other especially those that are hurting and to be patient with them. Help us to be a balm to a wounded soul. May wounded souls come to know you and realize that in You they will have abundant life. May we know our worth in You and may it embolden us to make a difference in this world. Amen.

Remember, God loves you and you are worthy!


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  1. It is sad to see young people not even realize they are important to God.

    1. I wouldn't quite say it like that. Sometimes you don't know your importance until someone points it out, or it simply becomes clear to you. Your more susceptible when you're younger.

  2. Beautiful words of encouragement filled with wisdom and insight for young girls, pointing them back to where their true worth comes from.

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

  3. Nylse, I want you to know that this 71 year old, this new widow (as of 6/7/2018) takes these things meant for young women, young girls, for myself. Each one is so usable for my life, in my world as well. I am so grateful to have come here from Kelly's as one of your "near-neighbors." ~ linda @ Being Woven

  4. I haven't been able to watch it yet, not sure if I can stomach it or not but you are spot on as usual. I also think when young women aren't told at home that they are valuable they don't think they are when they are out in the world. I believe it truly begins at home.

  5. Love everything about this, Nylse! will share.

  6. These are great truths to remember. I pray I will speak those words of truth and encouragement to each young girl I come in contact with. I think even a smile or a compliment can build them up even for a moment.

  7. The Surviving R. Kelly docuseries was hard to watch and it left me feeling very disheartened. I can't even imagine going through something like that. But Nylse, this is such a powerful post you've shared here, Sister! So full of wisdom and truth! God bless you! 🙂

  8. Such a moving post! Every woman needs to read this. They all need to know their worth. It really is a sad world we live in that we have to teach such things to our young girls. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Nylse, I'm your neighbor over at #RechargeWednesday. I haven't seen the show you reference here, but I can relate to a passion for teaching young women who they really are in Christ. I've journeyed alongside several young women whose lives were in shambles because of lies they believed about themselves. The enemy is a prowling lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But we have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17), and the Truth sets us free (John 8:32)! We can never hear that Truth enough, so keep speaking it. We must not become discouraged when it seems our words fall on deaf ears. We don't always know when those seeds are being planted and when they will sprout.

  10. Such a timely and important message.

  11. I didn't catch this on TV, but I've heard how disturbing it is. It's so terrible what happened and that this person continued on there merry way at the expense of a young girls, who should have been protected. Things rings so true and loud for me. As a youngster and as you grow into adulthood, we need to be remember our worth.

  12. Lovely thoughts. Every person IS born worthy! We have infinite value to God and to others. We often don't recognize our value to those around us and the gifts God has given us to share with the world. These are important points. Thanks for sharing at #heartandsoullinkup


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