With all the things going on in the news and with the Me Too movement, I’ve been thinking.
Please remember that I have two girls and two boys that I am raising in this house. I grew up with a brother and myself. I know women that have had worse experiences than mine and that have had better experiences than mine.
I would love to change the world and give my children a perfect world to walk in to. But I realize that won’t happen. I will not give up on this world. But I will do my best to prepare my children to live in it.
There is so much debate. And there is so much finger-pointing. And I have read some heart-wrenching stories from people that I know and have known for years.
I’ve never trusted “a village” with my children. I don’t know how people could. Have you read statistics of whom it is that usually assaults people? It is usually someone they know. The first time I felt uncomfortable without understanding why, as a child, it was from someone I knew. The first time I felt uncomfortable WITH understanding why, as a child, it was from someone I knew. The first time I knee’ed a person in the groin with all my might to get out of a situation, as a child, it was from someone I knew. And the first time I intentionally, physically attacked someone from behind as a teenage, because I was MAD at what he had done to me, it was someone I knew.
I think sometimes, what made me different? I’ve read these stories of these girls and women. What made me different? The answer is simple – my mother. I heard from her that these things were not ok. I heard that people were not allowed to make me feel that uncomfortable. And more than that, I watched her get mad and stand up for what was right when things around us weren’t right.
You can tell a child a million times what things aren’t acceptable. But then the child is told not to be a “tattle-tale”. What are they supposed to do now with unacceptable knowledge? Is it “tattling”? Or isn’t it? How would they know? And what would you do about it? Does the child have faith that you would listen? Or that you could protect them? Or believe them? I knew a woman who was, to me at the time, just as guilty as a man. Because I knew she wouldn’t have listened. She wouldn’t have listened because it was her husband. I was a child, but I could see that she didn’t believe the things he did right in front of her. I knew I couldn’t tell her what he did when she wasn’t looking – she wouldn’t have believed me. And I knew he thought nothing of it all. I was also very blessed to not have to be around them for long.
I don’t know how to fix the world. But I try to build my children up to be able to withstand the world. They will always know that I am here for them, that I will believe them, and that I will do everything in my power to keep them safe – even when that means pushing them to grow to be able to fight these battles. As an adult, I don’t think of myself as a victim of my past. I am not tormented by memories that keep me up at night. But I had also learned enough at a young age to get mad when someone pushed farther than safe boundaries. What if I hadn’t gotten so mad? What if I hadn’t fought back? I wasn’t even 10 years old the first time. My story could have been much different. I do think about that sometimes.
Tonight I am thankful to be able to talk to my kids. I hope they’ve heard. I pray they’ve listened. I pray for their safety, always. I pray they always know that I am a safe person that will be there here for them always.
And I hope they know to get mad! It is scary. It is scary, intimidating, threatening stuff that can eat away at a person. Get mad. Get mad that someone would dare do that to you! They have no right. And if you choose to forgive them at some point, forgive them for you. The forgiveness bring peace. You deserve peace. Not fear. Never fear.
I will never live in fear, God is with me. He is also with you. He wants better for us. He loves us. He never said this stuff was ok. It’s not what he wants. But he gave us the right to choose, and he honors giving us that right. The best news is that people’s bad choices and harm they have done to us is never bigger than the good and the healing that God can do. And, he never said not to get mad! He said don’t let the sun go down upon your anger. Don’t live with it; it’s bad to keep inside for long. But short-term, it can be a good tool.