Wednesday I started my second support group for teen girls at an alternative high school. It is literally my favorite part of my job currently. I love the girls and I love the energy I get from spending an hour trying to manage some pretty fabulous discussions. This time around the group has grown to 15 girls (too many!). Word spread after the first round so we also have a waitlist of seven more who will start on the spring semester track. It’s fun to know the girls are reacting to the group and feeling that it does serve a unique purpose for them.
One of the things I love most about this group is how much of their lives the girls bring to the room. Their stories are tough, but for them it’s just a part of life. They struggle to trust others just like any other group, but I notice how much more quickly and easily these girls disclose. It brings into awareness how much less honest and how much more guarded most Christians are about their own hurts and messes. Many of these girls were probably not given an expectation of perfection that is so often tied in with a Christian upbringing and in some ways they are far better off for it. Their honesty charms me and I love them for it.
Of course, on a lighter note, teen girls tend to be more honest about everything. After introductions with the group one girl raised her hand and asked permission to ask me a question. Sure, I replied. She asked, “Are you pregnant,” and I responded affirmatively. All the girls got really excited as this girl said, “I thought so. I knew you didn’t have that STOMACH before. I wasn’t gonna ask because I thought maybe you be fatter but then I just did it anyway.” Love them.