She Can Laugh At Days To Come #MeToo
“She is clothed with strength and dignity”
As our kids have grown we have had a sort of “coming of age” experience with each of them. Each one receiving something from their father and I to represent our time together. One of my daughters received a ring engraved with Proverbs 31:25, “she is clothed with strength and dignity”. This verse is speaking about the Proverbs woman many of us have come to know and love, yet feel like we may never measure up to.
I have often found myself struggling with this very thought. For me, I have always desired to be good enough to be loved. I know that the Lord loves me, but it never seemed to be enough. It wasn’t until the #MeToo movement that things suddenly became clearer. I heard story after story of women who found strength and dignity by telling their stories. I saw women willing to do the unthinkable. We have learned as women to be submissive, to stay in our place. We have learned not to share and not speak up. Somehow, we may have even learned that we might not ever be good enough, loved for who and what we are. And for some we are too broken and too ashamed. Perhaps it’s our past either because of things we’ve done or things that have been done to us. The #MeToo Movement has given strength to women. It’s given a strength to me. It has helped me realize that I am not alone. There is power in the strength of many.
She is clothed…
Often women are judged by their clothes. We hear this repeatedly in situations of abuse. We determine women are a certain way based on their clothing. Yet in this verse we are reminded that a woman of notable character is clothed in strength and dignity. Scripture also tells us that “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). So how then, are we clothed in strength and dignity?
… with strength…
It is important to recognize that our strength comes from the Lord. In our weakness we are made strong. “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).
But what about those hard days where nothing makes sense and life simply is not fair? It’s easy to say in words that my strength comes from the Lord. Somedays we just don’t feel it. There have been unsafe places and God has seemed distant. God’s word reminds us, “But he who hopes (waits for) the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. (Isaiah 40:31) I often picture myself soaring as an eagle feeling free and safe and untouchable.
Lauren Daigle in her song “Rescue” shares:
You are not hidden, there’s never been a moment, you were forgotten
You are not hopeless, though you have been broken, your innocence stolen
There is no distance that cannot be covered, over and over
You’re not defenseless, I’ll be your shelter, I’ll be your armor
I hear you whisper underneath your breath, I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you, in the middle of your darkest night, it’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you, in the middle of your hardest fight, it’s true, I will rescue you.
I hear the whisper underneath your breath, I hear the whisper you have nothing left.
There have been days where I have wondered if I will ever feel better. If I would have the strength to heal from days of abuse. I’ve learned that I can cry out to God and He will listen, that it’s a continual process of healing and that above all else, God does love me, and He loves you too! He is fighting for you!
… and dignity.
Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings according to Donna Hicks, Ph.D. in the Psychology Today article “What is the Real Meaning of Dignity?” It is our Creator who gives us our inherent value and worth. Hillsong Worship sings “Who am I that the highest King would welcome me? I was lost but He brought me in Oh His love for me, Oh His love for me. Who the Son sets free is free indeed, I’m a child of God, Yes, I am. Free at last He has ransomed me; His grace runs deep… I am chosen, not forsaken, I am who You say I am, You are for me, not against me, I am who You say I am…I am a child of God, YES I AM!
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves; so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NIV).
The Message states it this way: “The resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we are: Father and children.”
… She can laugh at the days to come.
There is hope dear friends of a better day! You will not always feel lost in these confusing days of #MeToo. There is rest and peace and joy to come. The days to come will be mixed in with hard days and hard memories. Some things will always be with us and we learn and grow through these things. But there is hope! There is freedom! There will come a day when we can laugh again. I’m finding those days and I know you can too! Find friends who like to laugh and provide safe spaces with you. God wants you to laugh again. He doesn’t want you to continue to carry this burden alone! And remember “For who the Son sets free is free indeed!”
This devotional was written by Major Kellie Peabody, who is currently serving as the Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary in New Jersey.