I Could Be "THAT" Woman... and So Could You

Recently, I was driving alone and looked over to the side where I noticed a flashing billboard offering $500 for a dance competition "this Friday" at such-and-such "Men's Club."

My heart broke as I considered the women who would line up for that. While some may go out of a desire to be admired or to entice, the truth is that all women-- even those who are now desensitized to it-- are driven there (and to situations like it) by desperation for what they do not have.

Fantine sums it up so well, in her solo in Les Miserables:
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

So many women live this reality. Still in their heart waiting for "him" to come, dull and deadened to life and its hardships in the meanwhile. This... THIS is the reality our boys need to understand when we talk to them about porn, sexting, strip clubs, and even the girlfriend who sexually offers herself, feeling she has to. No little girl dreams of being used and objectified.

The truth is...

...I could be THAT woman. YOU could be THAT woman.

Take away a few (maybe even just one) of God's mercies in my life:
  • a good church
  • a man who is committed to be husband and father to our children
  • knowledge of Scripture and God's grace that drives me to love it, 
and I could be lured by a quick $500.

As I drove, I knew: it would not take much for me to be the woman who would see that billboard, drive into a seedy parking lot one evening, sit in the car and tell myself, "it's only this one time. It'll pay the utilities this month. I don't have to look these people in the eye ever again," and walk in there, even brazenly, to pursue the money.

This is not rhetoric. I know my own heart. I praise God for what He's done in my life. But truly, if you knew my heart you would know that I am capable of even the worst sin... capable of far worse than getting $500 by standing on a stage with my soul walled up in a cage within me while I strip items of clothing off of my body. 

Even now, this many years into my Christian walk, this many years into my marriage, this many years as a mother, I have to be so vigilant to fight off the sin that would entrap me. I have to forgive others as God forgives me, as I desire to be forgiven by Him; I have to live with my hands open. Open to the grace He gives, open to others.

Christian woman, let's today work to cut out any hint of superiority toward "those" who would do something like that (whatever "that" we're talking about), because the truth is, I could be "THAT" woman. And I think you could too. 

Every one of us needs the grace and forgiveness of God. 

Every one of us needs to live with open hands and open hearts, receiving and offering the grace and forgiveness of God to others.

Let's praise God for His mercy and offer it to women around us, even "them," knowing that THEM is really "us."


Candice said...

Thank you for this, Jess. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit's help to see ourselves as we really are, and not be blinded by pride!

Candice said...

Thank you for this, Jess. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit's help to see ourselves as we really are, and not be blinded by pride!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this, Jess. God has been gracious to show me this and correct my pride ever so gently and lovingly. I know I can be "that woman" because I have been her in various ways.

It's terribly heartbreaking to consider your own depravity, but it does humble you, help you consider others with mercy and grace, and make you look to Christ for salvation. It can work out for good!

Thank you for your words of wisdom,

Anonymous said...

Well said.

I am what I am only by the grace of God.