There were hundreds of dresses. Literally. There were many formal gowns we have used for several years now, but there were also a few hundred brand new dresses that a large department store kindly donated.
The dresses were stunning. Some were long, and some were short. Some were simple, and some were so detailed and intricately woven with beads or sparkly bits that making them must have been quite an undertaking. Some had one color, and some had two, three or more colors. But one thing was for sure: each gown was stunning in its own right.
As we brought the girls up to try them on, we noticed that some (even some of the new ones with tags) had been ripped, torn, or broken in some way. They were still stunning dresses, but for one reason or another, they were not ready to be worn. We placed those in a separate pile, the broken pile.
Soon, Cindy (a wonderful lady who comes to help with the Princess Party each year) and I decided to see what we could do to mend these beautiful dresses. They were after all formal gowns, meant for parties, dancing, and making regular girls feel like princesses. They weren’t trash. They were beautiful, incredible, special works of art, and they didn’t need to be trashed.
As I gathered all the sewing supplies and began to sew, stitch, and mend each one with my friend, I began to think about the similarities between the sewing the dresses and what our purpose is at the Hope House.
Each girl is beautiful, made in the image of God and carefully designed by the creator of the universe. Each girl has a special and specific purpose in the world. She is gifted by God with abilities, talents, and strengths. She is perfectly equipped to change the world and to be a force of good in her circles of influence.
But sometimes things happen. We at Hope House hear first hand of the horrible stories that have broken their hearts and bodies. Many have been neglected. Many have been abused. Many have been assaulted. Many have been discarded by the world as nothing and left to the side.
Here at Hope House, we aim to pick up the girls and bring new life, new joy, new healing to the suffering they have experienced. As we provide a safe home filled with safe love from trusted adults, we are sewing in trust. As we provide daily food, clothing, school supplies, personal supplies, and special things like bright hair clips, we are sewing in security that they don’t have to worry about their basic needs being met.
As we provide for their school fees and ensure they all finish school, we sew in the education and knowledge they will need. They will be able to advance their opportunities in the world and become more than a statistic. Most importantly, as we teach them about the Bible and about the great love God has for them, we are sewing in hope. We are showing them that there is a hope that is beyond circumstance, beyond understanding, and beyond the kind of love this world has to offer. It is the hope of eternal life with Jesus, and the joy that brings can bring healing to the most broken places of any heart. It is this hope that enables them to become the kind, compassionate, brave, fearless, and world-changing women they have been called to be, knowing they weren’t made to be thrown to the side.
Would you pray with our staff for the continued hope and healing in the life of each girl? Would you pray for them to be fully prepared to fulfill their God-given purpose in the world? Most of all, please pray that the hope of Christ would fill their hearts continually with joy and peace so that they would overflow with hope. (Romans 15:13)
More than anything in the world, they are worthy of a second chance, worthy of sewing hope.