What I’ll Say…
I have these girls… some are young women, some are girls, some are more woman than I’ll ever be, and some… some are just tiny little baby people. I love them all. And because I love them, I’ve been forced to examine the way I live my life. No… that’s not right. Not the way I live, but… how I live? (This includes my motivations, my thoughts, my actions.) I’m scared in a way I’ve never been for myself. The world, I see all of a sudden, is bad. Because I love them, I see how scary it is out there. How vulnerable they are. I want to lock them all in a room until they are old enough to be safe from all the things that might hurt them, intentionally or not. But I can’t do that.
So instead, I think about how I might protect them. I play conversations over and over in my head, trying to figure out a way to save them from the world, and from themselves.
My own experiences haunt me. The things I’ve done, or haven’t done. The things I’ve said, or haven’t said. The way I carry my sins on my back, holding them close, not allowing anyone (including God) to take them, to ease my burden. I’ve realized, in trying to figure out how I might protect those I love, that I’ve spent so long protecting my sin from the light, that I’ve come to own it. Not love it, though what I do probably looks a lot like love, but OWN it. Fighting against my sin has become my everything. Has taken a higher ground than even God. I regret that. More, I regret sin. I regret the first boy I kissed, the first time I smoked, my first drink. Not because any of those are really all that wrong, but because of where those things took me. Where I allowed them to take me. I’m ashamed of my sin. I’m scared that I’ll never be free of my sin. I’m hungry for healing, anxious for peace.
All of this I realize now. I don’t love myself. I don’t value my life. But I love theirs. I want more for them. I don’t want them to know freedom from the bondage of sin because I don’t want them to be locked in sin. Not ever. So if they ask me, and even if they don’t, I’ll tell them what I wish someone would have told me in a way I could understand: “Run.” “Run from sin. Don’t just turn away. Don’t just ignore it… run. And don’t look back. Run from whatever looks like sin. Run from those who would cause you to sin. Run. Don’t let sin gain even the slightest foothold in your life. Love God. Love yourself like I love you. Understand how much you matter. And for the sake that all that is pure within you, Run!”
I don’t know if they’ll listen. I didn’t. But that won’t keep me from speaking. And if they fail, (dear God, protect them), I’ll love them anyway.
And to myself? What do I say to myself these days? “Be the type of woman these girls/women/inbetweeners can trust. Don’t be an example (I do not want these girls walking in my footsteps, but don’t allow yourself to be a complete cautionary tale either. And, run. Run from sin. Don’t just turn from it. Don’t just ignore it… run. And don’t look back. Run from the appearance of sin. Run from those who tempt you to sin. Run. Don’t let sin gain any more ground in your life. Love God. Love yourself as you love those girls. Understand that you matter. And for the sake of all you know is at stake, run!”
Abba Father, hear the cries of my heart… make me into something that doesn’t destroy the beauty and innocence you’ve entrusted me. God, make me something beautiful.
(to those who wonder where I’ve been lately… fighting a battle i need to win. everything is at stake.)