When asked about sexual harassment in the workplace as it might pertain to his daughter, Donald Trump said, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” So Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a very wealthy and educated woman, could just quit and find herself another job but what about the rest of us? Most women can’t as easily quit and find gainful employment. What about single moms, or poor women, or elderly women who can’t go without a paycheck for any length of time?
I have found a virtual community, via Facebook and this blog, which expresses love in a way like I have never experienced before. It’s a place where everyone is accepted – regardless of station in life, gender, sexuality, chosen religion or any other differences. A place where seeking healing from brokenness is celebrated. Where friendships are born in an instant. Where life is messy and grace is abundant.
I have found freedom in a way I cannot otherwise explain. Through reaching out during some incredibly dark moments, I found grace, peace, and a lack of judgement.
My daughter passed away five months ago after a three year battle with a one of a kind brain cancer. That does something to your soul. To every aspect of your life, if we’re being honest. To say that I’ve lost faith is inaccurate. To say that I have completely unwavering faith – also somewhat inaccurate. To say there are days I’d kinda like to punch God in the face – accurate! To say I have so many questions, and no clue how to navigate them – completely accurate.
Although mistakes are a natural part of growing and learning, they were forbidden in my house. The only thing I learned to associate mistakes with was pain. If I got a low grade, I got yelled at. If I laughed at the dinner table, I was spanked. If I stayed at the neighbor’s house too long I was grounded. I wholeheartedly knew that my parents weren’t perfect, yet they expected us to be. What I didn’t understand at that time was, why?
WARNING: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE.
That warning label is not uncommon. Do you have a gas grill? A can of hair spray? Ever seen that warning on a huge truck going down the interstate? That label means don’t mess with me too much, or in the wrong way, or I just might explode. On you. In flames.
But pressure isn’t always a dangerous thing…
I’m divorced. Well, not really. I’m now married. Happily, with five kids. But I have been divorced, or, more appropriately, have gone through a divorce. There’s a difference.
The past does not define us. Divorce, in particular, is not a label.
Many Christians disagree. Many Christians deem divorce the mark of death, the breaking of God’s covenant, the dreaded scarlet letter. It’s one of those ‘sins’ that is given greater weight than others – like, you know, killing people, being gay, having loads of premarital sex – and, likewise, damns those who go through it to raw ditch pits and hellfire.
I couldn’t tell you exactly how many weddings I’ve attended, but I can tell you how many have actually meant something to me. The answer is four. Four weddings where I was in full emotional and spiritual support of the couple coming together before God and their dearest loved ones. The most recent was this wedding that I had the privilege of officiating. I opened up the moment with these words: “I’m pretty sure that by law I have to ask if anyone opposes this wedding… but the real question is, ‘who is wildly excited about this moment?’”
After the brides and I wiped tears from our eyes, we moved forward in the most emotional, supportive, and spiritual wedding I’ve ever been part of. When the only people present are core relationships, you cannot help but be moved.