I’m sure most everyone has been accused of being something they feel they are not, or gets lumped into a category of people that they don’t think they belong with. I know I have, and I think it’s a pretty common thing. It’s part of the reason I hate “generally speaking,” and stereotypes, regardless of how much truth there is in them. And here’s my real life example:
Not long ago really, a really good friend of a really good friend of mine (if that makes any sense) grouped me into a category of “promiscuous women” in reference to my chances for divorce. This friend also defined a “promiscuous woman” as a woman who has had more than 5 sexual partners in her lifetime.
I’ll be real with you, for the sake of honesty because I appreciate honesty from others and I assume it’s appreciated from me… by definition, I am definitely a “promiscuous woman.” BUT! (there’s always a but…) That was BEFORE I found myself in Jesus. Since I’ve been saved (even before then really) those behaviors ceased because I realized there’s no happiness to be found in that.
Normally, I try not to let these types of comments get to me, but this one really cut me deep for some reason. It’s easy to ignore someone who’s just lashing out and calling you a whore. It’s happened. I know they’re just angry and acting irrationally so I can brush it off, and that person usually doesn’t mean anything to me either.
But this particular incident… 2 things change it for me drastically. #1) Their comment wasn’t out of anger. It was calculated and weighed and made out of a solid thought process. They had a firm idea of this statistic and they meant every word they said, not to offend me, just to define me as something I was: promiscuous. #2) While friends of my friends typically mean nothing to me when it comes to their opinions of who I am, this particular person means very much to someone who means a whole-heck-of-a-lot to me.
I’ve wrestled with this a little bit and it makes me very insecure for a number of reasons: I don’t like that anyone knows that about me. Strange, right? Because here I am broadcasting it on the world wide web – I know. I’ll get to that. Regardless, I felt judged and somehow condemned for my former life, which I felt had nothing to do with my accuser. I went through all of these emotions, like hurt, upset, anger, sadness, regret, resentment, etc, etc… But I just wasn’t shaking this feeling. Everytime I would see this person, or hear their name, that’s what I would think of.
I got so irrational about it, too. I’d take one look at his face and think to myself, “You think I’m a big ol’ sleaze bag. Just a dirty old skank.” which is of course, NOT what he had said.
But something really spoke to me today. I’ve prayed quite a bit about it in recent history (prayer is such a wonderful thing) and finally I feel like God has spoken to me.
I was just bumming around on Twitter, not even thinking about this particular issue, and one of the people I follow had written “Women: where is thine accuser? Who CARES what others have SAID ABOUT YOU? You are loved by the Father. Period.” I sat and just read it over again a few times and really let that sink it. I didn’t realize immediately how much it was speaking directly to me.
It’s so right. Who cares what he said? Who cares what he thinks about me? My salvation does not rest in that person. It rests in God and in JESUS.
AND JESUS LOVES ME.
God created me in His image and He made me perfectly. I made my mistakes, but I have been forgiven and I have been reborn in Christ. I might have been a promiscuous woman at one point but I am no longer and the person who really needs to know that isn’t a person at all… it’s GOD. And He knows it, so why do I worry at all about what this mere man has to say about me? I don’t need to be loved by everyone around me because I am loved by my Lord and God and that is, ultimately, the only love I need at all.
God, tonight I just pray that You will help to release me – and everyone taking the time to read this that may be struggling with a similar ailment – from the chains binding me to this worry and insecurity over my past. You have forgiven me, You are remaking me, and I have come so far because of You. I thank You over and over again for the great progress I have made and I promise to keep my gaze fixed upon You so that I can continue to move forward. I want to live a life free of worry, anger, and anxiety; I want to live a life that glorifies You and Your ways. I love you, Lord, and I am so grateful that you love me so much in return.
The things I ask, I ask in Jesus’s name.