Friday, September 6, 2013

You Are More...

It’s a hard topic to talk about. Because it forces you to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has walked through an immense amount of pain. They have walked through the trial that no one should have to bare. It brings up painful memories for people and it’s all hard to talk about. But if we don’t you will never know the impact of your words.  You will never know the unnecessary pressure that you put on young girls and the torment it can cause them later on in life.

She’s a young mom. Heaped high with the burden of raising young children. She loves her life now, but at moments she can’t help but feel pain in her life. She can’t help but wear the guilt and blame herself for everything that has happened to her. If you met her you may never know. If you saw her at the grocery store you would never see the pain that can momentarily creep up in her eyes. She hides it well and she feels the pressure to be strong. She wants to be strong because she is afraid to look weak.

The words don’t eloquently roll off her tongue. It’s not an easy thing to talk about. But here I safely share her story with you. She was raped. The what ifs stay with her every year. She wonders what if she wouldn’t have been there? What if she would have spoken out? What if…what if…I try to convince her that what ifs do nothing to help us heal. They do nothing to calm our minds. They just keep us dwelling on the issue when we should be moving on. What ifs only harm us.  She’s finally at a place of peace. Wanting to speak out. Wanting to help others. Wanting young girls know that they are not the ones to blame when someone takes advantage of them.

I don’t want you to get me wrong in this post. I am not speaking out about how women can wear whatever they want. I am a strong believer in modesty. I often see teen girls walking around in too short of shorts and bellies hanging out. I want to take their faces in my hands and say

“You are worth more than you think.”

“You are more than just a body.”

So this is not about modesty. But is about giving the right message to our girls. Being a mother of five. I long for them to know that they are so much more than this society tells them they are. I want young men to know that they are more than just an object to look at or have his way with. She has a heart, a mind and a soul. Treat her as such! Treat her with respect. Show her gentleness and true love.

For  years this mom…she’s blamed herself for what happened to her. She’s heard people say things like “Well she dressed like she wanted it.”
That’s not this woman. She didn't dress in a provocative way, yet she wonders…”What if” Was she wearing something wrong? Could she have dressed differently? Could she have done something different. I want you to know and I want her to really understand that it was not her fault. No matter how she was dressed on that day or any other day, nothing excuses what he did. Nothing can say that he was justified in taking something precious and making it terrifying.

Pick your words wisely. Be careful what you say to young women because they will hold onto those words for years to come. Men are responsible for their own actions, thoughts and words. We can not be held responsible for what they do. We can however think about our own actions, thoughts and words. We can begin to share the message that our young girls are more than just objects. They are more than just bodies. We can help them become more confident. Help them see the benefits of being modest. We can do it all in a way that doesn't give them a guilt trip. Do it in a way that they see the benefit it brings them. They shouldn't have the weight of young teen boys on their shoulder, but they should have respect for themselves and love for themselves. We can do this in a much more loving way than we have been. Putting down our fingers pointing at them and instead taking their hands and speaking love and truth into their hearts. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Words to Live by...Redeemed

I am a couple days late writing this post. My mind and heart at in a bit of a fuzzy haze these after our weekend. I spent the weekend in ministry at a music festival in our area. I met people. Gave my testimony. Shared my heart. Gave help to moms looking for ways to connect to their daughters. My heart stirred and my mind kept thinking of more and more ways to help moms. To help daughters. More projects. My heart is bursting with the idea that more and more people can be reached with the message that there is hope. We can prevent this and we can help those who are already suffering from eating disorders.

This weekend the word redeemed kept running through my mind. This word means so much to me. It's not a word used often today. In our state we redeem cans. I was getting my cans together recently to take them to the redemption center to get my 5 cents back.  My journey brought me to tears. I took them to one place and they refused to take them. They had to be cleaned. They didn't want to contaminate the other stuff they had in the back room where they stored them. The other place was only open to the public MWF and I came on a Thursday. Redemption wasn't possible. Not clean enough. Not the right time.

Tears flowed to my eyes. But it wasn't just the cans. It was my heart. Have you ever felt too dirty for God? Have you ever felt you came at the wrong time and missed your opportunity? I've felt that. I've seen it in the eyes of many young girls. Here is the truth...

You maybe redeemed at anytime no matter what the circumstances!

You have been bought back from sin by the blood of Jesus! There is no one too dirty and your timing is just right. You once lived in bondage and now you can live free...

I want my girls to know this. To really have an understanding of what being redeemed means and the cost of our redemption.