Sticks and Stones and Words All Break Something

The tears were as real as the two “Princess Tiana” buns on each side of her head. Her normal smile and hug of excitement did not follow. I knew something had happened to my tender-hearted godchild. Our time would be brief, like ten minutes, but it was long enough to hear what had hurt her kindergarten-heart.

“The kids were mean to me.”

My heart sank.

“They made fun of my hair.”

Her hair was fixed in a precious arrangement over her sweet little face, just like one of her favorite Disney Princesses, Tiana. She loved her hair fixed this way, but now she did not, all because of what other kids had had to say. Likely starting with just one kid’s thoughts.

(How dare they! I thought.)

I knew this was not her first experience with kids being mean, and nor would it be the last. The world proves to be cruel–even before Kindergarten.

I fumbled a few words to console her, but nothing really felt on the mark to me. My own memories of childhood pain began to filter what I saw in her.

What did Truth want to speak to comfort her heart?

“I love your hair like this,” I said, because I do. Her pouting lips only stuck out further. What her godmother had to say did not change a thing. What mattered to her right then was what her schoolmates had said.

There is something viscerally cruel when kids are mean to kids, yet it happens all of the time. And, these are the tender years where words and lies can get stuck inside of us. They can become our reality, unless nipped in the bud with truth and love.

I’ve yet to meet anyone unscathed from this kind of attack in life, at some point or another. I’ve certainly had my share, and the most common consolation I received was,

“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.”

stone

I’d say that back to the kids who were cruel to me, or at least, I’d say it to myself. I figured that it had to be true because the grown-ups in my own life had said so.

Yet, the pain remained.

If words were not suppose to hurt, then something must really be wrong with me.

And, looking back on this advice, it actually gives “bullies” permission to use words as weapons because … words don’t really hurt anyway.

Right?!

Wrong.

God’s Word clearly says otherwise.

  • Words are weapons of warfare, as in the Sword of the Spirit being the Word of God. (Ephesians 6)
  • Words can create, “Let there be light!” God spoke the world, the Universe, into existence.  (Genesis 1)
  • Jesus is referred to as The Word! (John 1)

whisper

Words DO matter. They give life or death!

Words create or destroy.

Words project into our future, or keep us stuck in the past. And, when you think about the fact that sound never stops traveling, words continue to resonate in our hearts and souls, and out into the expanse of the Universe, forever.

Our words DO matter.

I hugged my heartbroken sweetie good-bye as her mother whisked her away to an appointment. I felt completely inadequate with what I had shared, because nothing had changed her pain.

As I drove back home, I knew that hurtful words could perpetuate into a deeper spiral inside of her young and tender heart. This hung heavy on my own heart.

I asked God to meet her right where she was, in a puddle of pain.

Not too many days after that encounter, I picked her up for the weekend. I felt that I should not bring it up, unless she did. She often shared these pains with me if they still hung on inside.

I prayed for the perfect words to say if the subject did come up.

The following day while driving her and her best friend to a park, her friend shared that some kids where mean at her school. My ears perked up as I wondered if this was the time I’d fumble for more words on this matter.

My godchild piped up, and shared that kids were mean to her at her school recently. I listened more to see where she landed after a few days of processing this with her mama. And, what she said was the most powerful response I’d ever heard, especially coming out of the mouth of a babe.

When she went back to school, she shared the wisdom her mother had spoken into her pain. Words of truth, and direction of how we should all filter what we say. Not just those in kindergarten.

“What you said to me did not make God happy. God only likes words from heaven, not hell. God likes words that are sweet and kind and thoughtful, LOVE.” (From the mouth of a babe)

I sat in total awe of how she shared this wisdom, passing it on to another young soul. And, how we can ALL glean from this.

Our words MATTER!

As we continue on into this new year, let’s keep that wisdom in mind. Words that are sweet and kind and thoughtful, LOVE!

Sticks break skin. Stones break bones. Words break hearts.

No matter how old or how young we are!

Make your words count on the right side of the score sheet.

We are all leaving a legacy behind.

Let’s leave a legacy of Life!

life

 

Jennifer L Griffith

In 2000, God used a snowmobile accident to yank up the deep Louisiana roots of Jennifer L Griffith and move her to Wydaho. She let go of her business, her career, college degrees in Biology and Chemistry, and a Masters in Sports Medicine, to be open for God’s move in her life. She went from Chemistry teacher, athletic trainer and entrepreneur in Louisiana, to novelist, drummer, skier and over-all adventurous out west. Since then God blessed her with the ACFW Genesis Award in 2007 for Gumbo Ya-Ya and in 2009 for Magpies in Trees. In 2012, God directed Jennifer back to the Deep South where she serves wherever God calls. This has included three months in southern Africa as a missionary journalist. In 2015, Jennifer's passion for organic living led her to create www.geauxorganic.com. After years of health challenges due Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, which left her fighting for her life, Jennifer shares her journey with others. She hopes to help others thrive amid the chemical world that surrounds us. Jennifer is currently working on her realtor's license, has a few writing projects in the works, and is available for motivational speaking. You can contact her through her websites for more information. You can also follow her spiritual journal here http://magpiesintrees.wordpress.com

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10 comments

  1. I am completely moved by your journey and reading your story has made me feel less sorry for my self today. My journey feels a little similar, but I guess I am still in the feel sorry for my self phase and fighting to surrender. Thank you for sharing your journey. I will keep reading your posts.

    1. I understand “that place” for self-pity. It can serve a purpose for us to evaluate more about ourselves, seek the original wound, but I encourage you to not stay there for very long. _(Lord knows, I sure did) Allow God to heal you for the point of the original wound. And, as you heal, you change from the inside out. And, then be careful to not get stuck in who you used to be, but move forward in who you are.

      We are all here on earth for a spiritual journey to draw closer to God. Praise Him for the hard times because that’s what keeps us near.

      Blessings on your own journey, Honesty! God loves you, too. It’s ALL for our GOOD!

  2. Jennifer, great words here about words. This is powerful, “Sticks break skin. Stones break bones. Words break hearts.” I’m grateful God’s Word brings healing and puts us back together when the words of others shatter us into a million pieces. People are breakable, especially their hearts. They just are. Thank you for this! Blessings!

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Karen. God’s Word is indeed the healing balm of Gilead! I am thankful for the healing that I’ve walked through, allowing Truth to defeat the lies that consumed my life for a very long time. Truth really does set you free. Blessings to you, Karen!

  3. Yes, they sure do, and I’ve said my share of hurtful words in the past. But, no more! God continues to heal the places inside of me from where those words hung out, and they now have no place to live inside! The have been given an eviction notice of no return! Love and miss you, my friend!

  4. I can resonate with what you have shared. Yes words don’t break our bones but go deeper to breaking our hearts, unless we let Gods truth in.
    Thank you Jennifer!

  5. Wow! This is so beautifully put and powerful. This speaks straight to my heart tonight. Thank you for writing it Jennifer. It is clearly and truly inspired.

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