Yesterday I protested, though I held no sign.
I didn’t shout, though I communicated emphatically.
I looked in the mirror first thing in the morning and heard an incriminating voice, “You’re a NASTY woman,” but I combated it with truth — claiming instead “And I — in righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness” (Ps. 17:15).
(In honesty, I AM a nasty woman, but for the grace of God; thus, growing gracefully — in His likeness — is my only hope.)
Very early, I took two of my children to school — even though I desired to claim rights to my time.
I came home and cleaned up messes I didn’t make — with minimal grumbling, choosing joy.
I ate breakfast so I could take my hormone replacement, because — well, I’m getting older and need it to keep the hot flashes tempered and the brain clouds lifted. In truth, I still protest a little each time I pop that yellow pill. Some mornings, like my reflection, it mocks me — reminding me I’m flawed. Aging. Barren. Broken.
Later, I had lunch with a friend — a dear and precious friend — who once faced difficult decisions when she discovered she was pregnant at a young age, unmarried. She chose to parent and today has a beautiful, bright teenage daughter.
I sent messages to three birthmothers who, years ago, chose life for their unborn babies rather than death. Their decisions brought fulfillment to my heart’s desire, bringing beauty from brokenness.
After school, two little girls who share a common bond played and giggled for hours. Like Allie, her sweet friend has been adopted. Each found love possible in what was once-upon-a-time a land called Unfamiliar. Each has a chapter in a shared story.
Last night, before their respective bedtimes, I told each of our children I loved them. Oh, how I do — born in my heart, flawed as it is.
As I lay my head on my pillow, I prayed with my husband who battles his own flaws and fears, while he accepts mine with love and grace.
With lights out, ominous voices sometimes come (Sister, do they come!), and I find I’m protesting again. Claiming truth again. Stomping my feet again. The shortcomings. The failures. Why are they so often loudest in the dark?
But morning and light come, and I take a step. At the mirror, armed with washcloth and toothbrush, the protesting begins anew. I take one step from the sink, followed by two and 20 and 2000…
I march out into this broken world, praying my feet will go where He leads. (Sometimes they want to turn and run! Sometimes they DO! Oh Father, forgive me when they do.)
I’m not perfect. Far from it! I say bad words. Think bad thoughts. Do bad things. I’ve injured those I know and love, as well as many I don’t know — though I assumed I did, judging poorly. I’ve thrown stones. I’ve hurled hurt.
But I’ve been forgiven. I’ve been set free. And with this liberty comes a duty to forgive (even when I don’t feel like it). To offer second chances (to those who’ve made mistakes). To put down the stones (held up to hurl at those I sadly — and wrongly — judge). To lay down my rights (my claims to selfish desires).
So again today, like yesterday, I’m protesting. This Nasty-Now-Redeemed-Woman whispers the message. Speaks the message. Shouts the message. Desires to LIVE the message, out loud —
When one believes this, she can protest the lie that tells her otherwise, and then boldly demonstrate by…
Forgiving like it.
Communicating like it.
Working like it.
Playing like it.
Living like it.
LOVING like it.
In a world that believes this, lives are healed through hands, not hand outs. Quality of life is improved by people, not policies. Greater good can be accomplished for many by the mercies of the compassionate rather than by a bigger, broader government.
The job is big. Are the workers too few? Women, are we too small?
Stop stomping. Start stepping.