Feature Story: From the heart of a Georgia teen

Saralynn Pelt (Garrett Pelt)

LAGRANGE, GEORGIA: Saralynn Pelt, age 13, was asked to answer some questions for The Murphy Gazette. When she finished, her mother said that she didn’t show them to her, but that Saralynn said, “I just answered from my heart.”

And that she did.

When she was asked to define the word, ‘hope,’ Saralynn took to that question very maturely. “Hope is the act of believing something can happen regardless of the circumstances or probability of it happening. When you have faith that something will happens even after everyone says otherwise, you have hope.”

Saralynn loves God and people. (c)Garrett Pelt

An eighth grader at Callaway Middle School in LaGrange, Saralynn is the daughter of Garrett and Mary Beth Pelt, and the sister of Carter, who is 10. At school, she said she was a “member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In FCA, I am one of the four huddle leaders, and we are the ones students come to when they need help in their personal lives. I am also the president of the student leader group called Student Ambassadors. We are the leaders of the school as far as students go. My peers elected me to “lead” them as president. At church, I serve in the student worship team at Rosemont Baptist.”

When Saralynn grows up, though she sounds like she already is grown in a very honest fashion, she wants to be a physical therapist. She said, “I live for helping people.”

Saralynn continued, “Typically, people who attend PT have been through something difficult. Whether it’s a car accident or something like that, they need your help. You help them physically, but you can also help them mentally grow stronger. And that’s what I want to do.”

Since she was a younger child, Saralynn has been involved with dance – taking lessons and participating in the community dance theater. “I love dancing. It can seem stressful and difficult at times, but seeing the faces of the audience makes up for all of that.”

Saralynn enjoys dancing, singing, journaling and bumping the volleyball around.

Very articulately, Saralynn stated, “Our final product, the shows, are always worth the journey getting there. It is very enjoyable to dance on the stage. What I think is so cool is that fact that you cannot see the audience while you’re executing the dance, but when it’s over, you can see how it affected everyone else. The tears and claps and cheers make it all worth while.”

Something else that is worthwhile to her is her faith in Christ. Read what she had to say about the night she became a Christian.

Saralynn said, “It was in August of 2013, that I first became a Christian. I was at a family fun night at First Baptist Church on the Square in LaGrange. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the guest speaker who spoke, but I can tell you that there was something different that night with that man.”

She paused, “He was talking about what it meant to make that choice that would forever change you for the better. At the end, he said that he would walk us through the prayer that will grant you salvation, and when he did, I walked it as well. I listened to how he said to do it, and I did it. I prayed to receive Jesus. The best decision of my life. A few months later, I was baptized by Dr. Paul Baxter at church.”

As soon as she entered the youth department at her church, Saralynn got involved. “I got involved with the youth worship team in my seventh grade year. My mom has led worship through singing on the worship team for as long as I can remember.”

She added, “I love singing and leading my peers, so when the opportunity for me to lead arose, I accepted. When I get on that stage to lead, it is humbling to see the change in the room as people go from whatever distractions they have to calm and peaceful.”

Saralynn said, “When I am presented with the opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with a friend, I typically try to build a relationship first. I try to make sure that the person I am sharing with will accept it.”

Miss M&M … Saralynn

“I figure out how they accept certain topics and how sensitive they would be about the topic of religion. Once I make sure they would be okay with me talking to them about it, I approach them about it,” she said, continuing, “I invite them to FCA, then invite them to church, and have that conversation with them when I can have the quiet environment I need to be able to engage with them.”

A fan of singing, dancing, journaling, and ‘bumping a volleyball back and forth,’ Saralynn said, “I don’t have that much free time, but when I do, I love spending it doing those things.”

When asked if she could offer any advice to anyone who might have a spiritual, emotional or mental need, Saralynn didn’t hesitate.

“If I ever go through something that is upsetting or frustrating, I breathe. If I take a minute and reevaluate and breathe, it makes everything so much better,” she said.

Saralynn continued, “If someone else what going through the same thing … I would tell them to do the same thing that I do. Breathe. Reevaluate. If you overreact or retaliate, you’ll be moving in the wrong direction. That doesn’t solve anything.”

Wise beyond her years – 13 year old Saralynn Pelt. (c)Garrett Pelt

She concluded, “My favorite Bible verse is John 3:30. It states, ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’”

“I love this verse because it is simple and short, but speaks volumes. When you think of any situation you can put yourself in, this verse can relate to it. No matter what, you have to decrease yourself so that God can increase Himself,” Saralynn stated.

And that is enough said, don’t you think? Through the eyes of a 13-year-old … that’s good news.