We try so hard to hide. We squirm, manipulate, compete, lie, steal, cheat. We drink, eat, shop, and use to keep from being found out. I have done each of these things -- so have you. The ground is level. The shame however, is unique. My gut is in knots right now because I have two people hiding, one by choice, the other en-utero. Neither are safe.
From inside her, he muses:
Something has changed, there is no more room here.
I must go, I must move on, but where?
What happens next?
I’ve only known these walls.
What kind of world awaits?
I’ve heard a voice singing, crying, praying, laughing.
I know her. I am from her. She is my mother.
When she cries - I feel it, every single wave of toxic relief.
When she uses - I respond.
My heart speeds, my forming body clenches.
I am left wanting more, this is physiology; not morality.
I am born aching for a fix.
I am wired to want what is “bad” for me.
I am programed at birth to run and hide from all that is good and hard.
And worst of all, she was born the same way.
Losing me means facing her.
And when she sees herself, she runs.
I sound like a broken record. But, I am actually a record broken. I will sing the same thing a thousand different ways exposing the destruction and onslaught of sexual abuse in our culture. Every. Single. One of our women has been sexualized somehow, some way, from an early age. She then becomes a part of the cycle, perpetuating the problem. Her lifestyle isn’t a slew of moral or immoral choices - it can’t be seen this way. Rather, she vacillates in a stagnant swamp of physiological and psychological reflex. A Divine interruption is necessary, but it’s necessary over, and over, and over again. The only way of breaking the perpetual cycle of abuse and addiction, poverty and manipulation, self hate and self harm is taking ownership (of course) in light of LOVE and grace. This is gutsy work that requires showing up.
The running is hard wired. The hiding is the only way any of our women have survived. It’s also how you’ve survived: divorce, bankruptcy, porn, alcoholism and still kept your day job. Or maybe you didn’t, and you had to put on a cool collected front, schmoozing with people you despise rather than asking for help from those who really care about you. Authenticity requires us to love ourselves like God loves us … this is a surrender.
Why don’t our women want to be vulnerable and surrender to the help they need? Are you kidding? Do you enjoy surrender? Letting go of ourselves, our way, our pride, ego, entitlements, comforts, and addictions is the WAY of the Kingdom, but it’s not really rewarded in the world. And so here again we are making choices, just like our women must. So, here we are in the same boat again. Do we choose our way or God’s? Most often we run, we hide, try to camouflage our freak flag a little more for acceptance and love by others … but, we can’t fool God. He knew Adam and Eve were in hiding before He ever asked “Where are you?”. God loved them no less after the fall. God still pursued, stilldesired to co-labor with them, and even did the dirty work of making them a covering for their shame. He wasn’t afraid of their nakedness, they were.
Yesterday when my stomach was in knots over our woman and baby in hiding, I cried out to God: “Show me what to do! Tell me what to say! We need a breakthrough Jesus!”. I heard the Spirit’s tender whisper cry back, “I can tell you’re so upset about her, now let’s talk about the ways you hide.”
I am still trying to learn myself, and I suspect my friend is too. We are on this road together. Both a little frightened of real love and what it might look like to take real ownership of our lives. Maybe as I learn, I can love better. Maybe as she rises up, she will teach me about miracles in the making. Maybe if she crashes and burns, I will have to surrender all over again to Jesus. Either way it turns out - there’s nowhere to hide for either of us.