As a little girl growing up, I watched the same sappy shows as many did about young damsels in distress raised by a jealous and wicked step mothers and the handsome princes that rode in on white horse to save them. The damsels’ needed defended, the prince’s needed to save, they both wanted to be loved and in the end, heroism trumped turmoil and life was happy and good.
Fast forward, I have discovered that the shows I watched growing up, the very ones I fed my children when they were small, romanticized turmoil and perpetuated victimhood.
“If you are in trouble, someone will come save you.”
That is, in fact, bullshit.
Sometimes there are very real and very hard circumstances that happen in life without a magic potion to break the spell. Tall towers are real, poisonous apples the same and people a plenty who are hurt and who inevitably hurt you. And you can wait and you can wait for someone to come in on the scene relishing their sword to defeat your captor but that rarely if ever happens.
Not in real life.
As a little girl growing up, I was abused off and on all the way up into just weeks before my wedding day. I know, we all have our sad stories but it’s an area of my life I’ve secretly tucked away because it’s just shameful and sad but I’m realizing that secretly tucking has done me no favors. I don’t know if it’s done anyone any good but I can’t go back and change that now. What I can do is make my peace with my enemies and come to terms with the fact that these things happened and no one stopped them.
I did not stop them.
No one came to my rescue. No one came barreling through the doors wielding a sword.
There was only my silence. The same silence that gave me the illusion things had never happened. Silence that told my enemy they were free.
I’ve realized over the last few weeks that one of my deepest desires and needs is to be defended. To be stood up for. And hey, if you won’t well then I guess I’ll just have to do it for you.
And to be honest, I’ve been angry that I haven’t been. I’ve been angry at God…where were you? Why didn’t you stand up for me? You knew I would struggle with my value and my worth for a very large part of my life so where were you loving and just God?
I want to be worth someone’s time. I want someone to fight for me. To say that I am worth it. I mean, doesn’t everyone want these things? To know they are important. That they are seen and heard, holding great value and worth?
One day last week driving I heard these words, “You are very important to me.”
It was Jesus. His whisper, undeniable.
And I think of my grandmother Helen’s words as I was a small child sitting in her kitchen, across from her at the table as she tried to “save me”…
“Jesus died for you August. If you were the only person here, He would have still come and died. Just for you.”
I tucked that memory away of my grandmother. I tucked it far inside myself with all my shame and tears and anger. It’s funny when and how things, how people, resurface.
Life might not always have the happy ending we are hoping for. Things might not work out the way we hoped but I believe with all my heart there is a happy ending.
Thank you Jesus for mine.