And then I read some quote about how you can only tell a good story with your life if you’re looking ahead and not looking back; which I totally get.
And I’ve been struggling so much lately to sift through all the criticism railed against me because of what I stand for, which is admittedly controversial and grey and messy. It’s not like I’m fighting for more evangelism in our churches or more funding for missionaries.
I am fighting for more help for abused women in Christian marriages, in a male-dominated sub-culture, no less. And I am fighting for more grace for women who leave their toxic Christian marriages.
Not because I’m of the “I am woman, hear me roar” camp but because marriage is too precious, too important, too sacred. Because there’s too much on the line. Because Ephesians 5 talks about marriage being a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church and I can’t stand the thought that for one moment even one person thinks that because of what she is experiencing in her painful marriage that might actually mean that Christ views her in the same ugly ways.
Like I said…Controversial. Grey. Messy.
So I think between the criticism and the opposition on one hand and the thank-you’s and precious Facebook and blog communities on the other hand, I’m ready to say that I am more than willing for this to be my thing. This will be my cause.
Because if I can somehow stop even one young woman from knowingly walking into a difficult marriage that will suck the life out of her, all of my pain and all of the criticism will be worth it.
And if I can somehow nudge even one hurting woman in an abusive marriage to tell someone and get help, or one desperate woman in an addiction-filled marriage to get into a twelve-step group and find sanity, all of my pain and all of the criticism will be worth it.
And if I can somehow reach even one ashamed woman going through a divorce and convince her that she’s not alone and someone understands her hurt and shame, all of my pain and all of the criticism will be worth it.
And if I can somehow connect with even one pastor who is making matters worse – even if unintentionally – and get him to see that more submission and more sex and more praise isn’t a cure-all, that all marriages are different, that abuse and addiction need to be handled with the utmost care, and he makes living amends by starting to really listen and truly help the voiceless women in his congregation, well then, all of my pain and all of the criticism will be worth it.
So I guess what I’m saying is this: I’m all in. This is my cause. This is my thing. I will be their voice. Where can I sign up to be the poster girl?