"How to Pick a Boyfriend"
Recently, I was asked for the second year to share my testimony for an event run by Mama Africana, a microchurch working with young black girls. I led a station called 'How to Pick a Boyfriend', and it was very special for me to be given this place in these girls' lives. I remember growing up, kids would (out of their immaturity) mock my curly hair or my mom's thick accent. I always felt like I didn't quite fit in, wondering if something was wrong with me... and I know that this is a struggle many minorities have. Sharing with this group of black girls stirs my heart with so much love for them – and for God – and humbled me as I feel honored to pour nto their lives.
My favorite part of the talk was when I shared a painting called "When Will You Marry?" In my talk, I asked the girls to share how much they would pay for the original painting. One of the girls said "Two dollars!" while the highest bid went for $100,000, which was assumed to be an outlandishly high figure. When I told the girls that it had recently sold for three-hundrend-million dollars, the girls were stunned by this reality. If any of us were to be given something this valuable, we would of course treasure it, never letting anyone have the opportunity to damage the painting. It was beautiful to see some of the girls faces when I shared that, in the same way, they were considered a masterpiece. The painting is only canvas, while the girls were infinitely more valuable, with a heartbeat and a calling on their lives. Jesus says that their bodies, the beautiful dark color of their skin, was intentionally created by a master artist who believes they are invaluable, and worth careful protection.
Every time I get an opportunity to share my story, I reflect on these truths for my own life, and as I prayerfully prepared for God to use my story to impact a group of young girls, I romantically heard him echoing these same truths back to me; that I am a masterpiece, beautifully and wonderfully made, and it always moves me to tears.