Random Thoughts on Marriage and Divorce

Wedding_rings

My daughter just got back from a month away with my parents, mostly because my parents love both of us so much and know the value of giving us both a break from being mom and daughter. But also because they really love spending time with her. They are really fantastic grandparents. We are very, very blessed.

Anyway, during the time that she was gone, I got LOTS of time to think, which is not always a good thing. I get myself lost in the circles of thoughts floating around in my head. Thankfully, I have learned to not express all of those thoughts right away, but to take time to process them and talk them out with some trusted individuals BEFORE sharing publicly.

I do, however, believe in sharing publicly though because I know the value of hearing others’ thoughts and learning from them. So I think sharing can help. Sometimes hearing others’ thoughts helps me understand better why I do not believe the same way they do. Sometimes it helps show me where I was wrong and helps redirect me. So it’s all helpful.

Recently, Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery, shared that she’s getting a divorce. She plans to continue co-parenting with her husband. They plan to continue family vacations and holidays and essentially do everything they did as a family. They just won’t be married anymore and her justification is that sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

Okay. I get that. Sometimes, folks truly should never have been married and getting separated is the safest and most logical thing to do. My daughter’s dad and I are a really great example of two people who should never, ever, ever, EVER be married. Never. We had no business being together in any way. But God loves us all in spite of our stupidity, so He gifted us with the most beautiful, intelligent, creative, and generous person on the planet and asked us to look after her for Him.

Also, I will tell you right now….co-parenting is TOUGH. There is nothing easy or natural about co-parenting. I know from married friends that parenting isn’t necessarily easier just because you’re married. But I can tell you from a decade of experience that parenting when you are in two different homes and stages of life is INCREDIBLY difficult. It is not something you just naturally fall into when you decide to split from the child(ren)’s other parent. It’s just not. It’s also not romantic and fairy tale-ish. It’s a lot of work.

I honestly have zero idea what has been happening in the Melton home and I will not participate in judging them for their decision. I do wish that Glennon’s explanation was a little more concrete though. I dislike that we’ve decided, as a culture, that it is okay to fall out of love and split up just because. There are very real reasons folks should and do split up and I feel that saying a divorce is justified simply because it just didn’t work minimizes the real pain others feel in their marriages or relationships.

It also minimizes the work that many others have done even through the times where it just wasn’t working. They stuck together. They did the work and they navigated the “blah” times of marriage and typically came out stronger in the end. I have witnessed hundreds of marriages throughout my life. Some have seen pretty difficult times and made it through. Some are in difficult times right now and they’re doing the work to get through that time. Some really needed to end asap because they never should have started.

When I hear “it just didn’t work out”, I get a little discouraged. Marriage can’t be that easily ended. It can’t be seen as a piece of paper that is wistfully torn apart and left behind. Kids can’t bounce back that easily either. As the product of a divorced home, my dad reminds others frequently that kids are NOT as resilient or understanding as adults may think. Kids are greatly affected by divorce and some hold on to those affects for the rest of their lives. Divorce is NOT something to be taken lightly, especially if kids are involved.

If you are in a situation similar to me and my ex, I would encourage you to seek professional help, even if you have to go alone and if you are in physical danger at all, please get somewhere safe. If you’re struggling with marriage but are not in a dangerous or abusive situation, I would still encourage you to seek professional help AND I would encourage you to check out some of these resources:

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Capture His Heart or Capture Her Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan

Knowing God Ministries’ Marriage Series with Tara Furman

 

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Meals with Kids

children playing with fruit

A couple weeks ago, I shared some of the meals I’ve been trying while my daughter was in Indiana with her grandparents. There was a total of 21 meals and I had tried 10 of them at that point. I’ve now tried all but two of them. They look delicious but I ran out of time and didn’t get to make them yet. Below are my thoughts on the other nine that I did try. You can find all of the recipes here.

Crispy Garlic Bread Chickpeas – This is a misleading name. There is no garlic bread. Haha. But the chickpeas are really good. I made some steamed veggies to go with them because it wasn’t enough to be a full meal.

Scallops and Pistachio Pesto – I remember trying scallops when I was a kid while my family was on vacation at the beach. I didn’t like them at all. Turns out I still don’t like them. Even with yummy pistachio pesto on them. Scallops are gross. Pistachios are tasty. That is all.

Cheddar and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats – This mix is really good, a little greasy, but good. The only thing I don’t like is the feeling of biting into the zucchini skin. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to you. But I ended up just eating the stuffing out of the boat and leaving the rest.

Chocolate Pancakes with Coconut Whipped Cream – I was so disappointed with this recipe. It sounds amazing. It is not. I actually threw out this recipe because I know I will never make it again.

Avocado Toast with Balsamic Syrup – Ok, here’s the thing. I didn’t realize how fast balsamic vinegar cooks on the stove. So I essentially burned up all the vinegar and my house smelled terrible and I was so sad that I just gave up completely on this recipe. Lesson learned. Moving on.

Crunchy Kale Salad – This was pretty good, especially the sesame dressing. I’m definitely making that again. I would like to make the dressing in bulk too. It’s yummy and FAR more healthy than store bought sesame dressing.

Banh Mi Tacos – Pretty good. Nothing amazing. Maybe I’ll make them again here and there to change things up a little.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing – Yuck. All of it. Never making this again.

Chicken Meatballs with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce – SO. GOOD. I want to make this again every night. It’s really good and smells delicious. Next time though, I will put some steamed veggies and brown rice with it to make it more of a meal.

One thing I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been trying these recipes….I didn’t want this to be an experiment that I only use for myself and never share with my daughter. I’ve realized just how unhealthy her eating habits have become and I take full responsibility for that. I’ve also realized that I was essentially buying food for twice as many meals. I was making one meal for her and then a healthier meal for me. Why? Why should I straighten up my eating habits while encouraging her to eat junk all day? Why do our kids get a bowl full of processed mac and cheese while we eat steamed veggies and grilled chicken breast?

Ya, I get that they are kids and their metabolism is better than ours. They’ll bounce back quicker, blah, blah, blah. I’ve used every single excuse out there and it’s just not acceptable anymore. I want eating well to be a nature thing by the time my daughter is my age. I don’t want her to be just figuring it out in her 30’s and fighting to lose pounds and pounds of fat because her mom didn’t teach her earlier. I don’t want her to say to friends that she had chronic pain but now it’s gone because she just started making better choice with her food. No, that needs to start now, as a child.

Why would I ENCOURAGE her to eat poorly knowing she will have health issues (even if they’re minor) and will struggle with self-esteem and have no real concept of self-discipline? No thank you. I can do better than that as her mom. I love her more than that. I’m officially holding myself and her to a higher standard. I’m not being a nazi about it. I’m educating her and empowering her with LOTS of healthy choices. I’m simply not giving her unhealthy options anymore.

She tried Chobani Flips with coconut yogurt, almonds, and dark chocolate today. She’s always turned her nose up at it in the past. Today, she tried it and you guessed it….she liked it! She also tried to steal my leftover Chicken Meatballs with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce for lunch. #winning #parenting #likeaboss

 

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My Prayer to End Human Trafficking

My organization, Transforming Hope, is putting together a prayer guide. Actually, we have a prayer guide based on The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew. Feel free to print and/or share:

One Page Prayer Guide (1)

Now we’re creating another prayer guide that spans 30 days and has submissions from folks all over the country. I’m pretty excited about it as I’ve been reading some of the submissions coming in. And, there’s still time to send in a submission, so if you’re interested, send an email to info@transforminghopeministries.org before August 15th for details! 

But, back to the point of this post, I want to share one of the submissions I wrote and expand on it a little. The verse I used was Isaiah 1:17 and it says “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Here are my thoughts on that verse for the prayer guide:

When I read this verse, I am ready for battle. I want to take down the enemy with everything in me. I want to defend those who have been broken and beat down by the world. I want FIGHT. But as I have joined God on this journey to end human trafficking in America, I am realizing that sometimes I must fight with my prayers, my tears, and my heart.

Sometimes defending the oppressed means figuratively standing between them and the devil and telling him that he has no place in their lives in the name of Jesus. Sometimes ending human trafficking means crying out to God, surrendering all that I am, and asking Him to show me where to go.  Through His power and His power alone, we WILL see the end human trafficking.

If we had given everyone more room for their submissions, I would add that sometimes learning to do right, seeking justice, and defending the oppressed is literal. Actually, learning to do right is probably always literal. I know so many Christ-followers who do not take this verse literally, myself included. How are we learning to do right? What does that look like and how do we aim for that goal? How are we seeking justice? When are we seeking justice and are we seeking justice at the detriment of others? Not trying to start anything here, but the whole marriage equality debate/fight comes to mind.

How are we defending the oppressed besides praying for them? How are we using our words, our actions, and especially our connectivity (social media) to defend those who are oppressed? What does it mean to take up the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow? What does that look like in real life? All questions I’m pondering right now and thought I would share with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts….

 

 

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Peach Toast with Goat Cheese

peach toast

Sounds kinda weird, right? I’m not a picky eater by any means. I will try everything once at least and most of the time, I’m glad that I did because I usually like it or I know for sure that I don’t like it. In an attempt to regain some healthy eating habits, I found this Twenty One 21 Day Fix Recipes. Peach toast with goat cheese was on the list and when I saw it I thought “oooohhh ok, sounds interesting”. But I committed to try everything.

I’ve made it about halfway through the list now and I’ve found so many new favorite recipes. I’ve also figured out that cooking is my favorite “introverted” thing to do. I love being in my kitchen, making something delicious, with the TV on in the living room and nothing else happening. Cooking dinner is my time to decompress and breath at the end of the day and it’s good for me to have time like this.

Now, I am NOT doing the 21 Day Fix. I’m not even sure exactly what it entails. But I knew the recipes would be fairly healthy so I thought trying them would give me some more healthy options and I was right.  Most of these recipes are less than 300 calories per serving, which is great for me because I don’t like eating things heavy in calories at the end of the day. My body has less time to process at that point.

Anyway, let me share some of the recipes that I have tried so far and what I thought about them:

#1 Loaded Pizza – so good…make sure you use naan, not pizza crust or another variety of flatbread. Use naan. It is A-MAZING. There are whole wheat and mini naan options at Aldi and Harris Teeter and they can be frozen and used later.

#2 Unstuffed Pepper & #3 Kale and Turkey Sausage Saute – also very good…I’ve never been a huge kale fan but it is delicious when mixed with turkey sausage. The unstuffed pepper was like a healthy version of hispanic food and it was yummy.

#4 Coconut Shrimp – this was good, however, I used regular breadcrumbs instead of panko because I thought “what’s the difference?” There is a difference. Don’t use regular breadcrumbs. Get the panko. It’s worth it.

#5-7 BLT Chicken Salad, Blackened Tilapia, & Spicy Shrimp – these were good but not amazing. They’re easy to make so I’m sure I’ll use them again. I will probably not use the romaine lettuce for the spicy shrimp. I didn’t like that combined with the other ingredients. So I will just won’t eat it as a wrap. I loved the seasoning on the tilapia but there is too much cilantro on the salsa that comes with it. I would reduce it to half next time.

#8 Poached Eggs – I had absolutely zero idea how to poach an egg prior to this recipe. It was fun to learn a new skill and the recipe was great. Next time, I would probably use half the vinegar that the recipe calls for but otherwise, delicious.

#9 Peach Toast – The oddest recipe on the list, in my opinion. I would never think to put goat cheese and toast with a peach slice, but it was strangely delicious. I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese. I think feta cheese could be just as good. But I’m so glad I tried it.

#10 Turkey Burgers – This might be my favorite recipe so far. The guacamole is so, so good and very simple to make. The seasoning in the turkey burger is mouth-watering. I was so happy to have leftovers and could not wait for lunch the next day to eat the leftovers.

That’s it for now. I’ll share the rest of the recipes in the next couple weeks, once I’ve had the opportunity to try them all. Another thing I really like about this list is that, while some of the recipes seem very complicated or time-consuming, none of them have taken over 20 minutes total for me to make. This is a huge plus when you consider that I’m a single, working mom with a child involved in gymnastics, basketball, band, and leadership coaching. We’re not bored, that’s for sure. Being able to have a good, healthy dinner ready quickly is awesome.  I’m excited to try the other recipes!

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Human Trafficking and Trauma

On Transforming Hope’s instagram account, we’ve shared some of the risk factors involved in relation to trauma and human trafficking. There are individual risk factors:

Individual Risk Factors

There are relational and community risk factors:

Relational%2FCommunity Risk Factors

And, there are societal risk factors:

Societal Risk Factors

My friend and THM’s expert psychologist says, “Human trafficking typically involves exposure to multiple traumatic events, and often times victims experience complex trauma reactions. Exposure to a greater number of different types of traumas has been associated with increased negative effects.” Those negative effects include human trafficking, rape, abuse, homeless, drug addiction, unwanted pregnancies, lack of education, and even death.

To understand human trafficking, we must understand trauma. I feel that to understand any of the negative effects listed above, we have to understand trauma. This is why they don’t just leave. This is why they feel it is their own fault and then struggle with insurmountable amounts of shame and guilt.

Trauma IS preventable and curable though. As I’ve shared in previous blogs, I experienced trauma and I suffered the effects of that trauma for a long time. Then I met the folks at my church. I found a great mental health professional. And I worked my butt off, even when I had no desire to deal with the past, to get healthy.

Trauma is preventable by learning and applying God’s truth about life, raising children, relating to others, and loving ourselves and others. My parenting is no where near perfect. But I firmly believe that the very best thing I could have ever done to prevent trauma with my daughter is to allow God to be the head of our home. I stepped aside and asked Him to guide me and when I listen to Him and obey Him, the result is far better than what I could have done on my own.

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How Trauma Has Affected Me

prayer

I’ve shared parts of my story throughout my blog. I am no stranger to the effects of trauma both personally and in observing those I love. Personally, trauma has occurred as a result of both my own choices and others exercising their free will in a way that negatively impacted me. Since we’re talking about trauma and risk factors associated with human trafficking, I thought it would be helpful to show how trauma can affect one person.

Disclosure: Trauma affects everyone DIFFERENTLY. My experiences have not been the exact experiences of others. My reactions are not the exact reactions of others. Also, I have spent four intense years in counseling so how I currently deal with trauma is going to be far more healthy than someone who still be living in the midst of traumatic events. Please don’t take what I write and use it to shame others or expect others to act a certain way.

Another disclosure: The absolute worst thing you can say to someone who has experienced trauma is “get over it”. No matter how long it has been or how “untraumatic” (I know that’s not a word) another person’s experiences seem to be to you, you do not get to dictate how they react or how long they take to heal. I don’t get to dictate those things either. It is my goal to allow LOTS of space for those around me to deal with their stuff on their own terms, preferably with God and with good, trained professionals.

Alright….as for me, I know I had events throughout my childhood that were traumatizing. My parents deemed me “Rabbit” from Winnie the Pooh because I was so serious and, as I interpreted it, boring. My mom had to prompt my dad to tell me I looked pretty in a dress on Sunday mornings and I would always think “If he really thought that, he wouldn’t need prompting. I must really be ugly.” A boy I liked told my friend that he wasn’t interested in me because I was “a dog”. I got caught at the Christian private school with a note (not written by me) with curse words in it, so the school called in my parents and suspended me to help me learn not to communicate like that or trust others who communicate like that. But nothing that really changed the course of my life. It wasn’t until I was 17 and a man took full advantage of the fact that I was alone, too trusting, and too naive, that I really felt significantly traumatized. I walked away from that experience feeling extremely vulnerable, overwhelmed with shame, and completely without value.

For the next decade, I made choices that left me so much more broken, dark, angry, shameful, guilty, and just dead really. I remember feeling like a zombie almost…like I was alive and walking around but I was completely dead inside. I did not understand how a good God, whom I had heard so much about in church growing up, could let me live in such miserable conditions. So I started asking Him to cause an accident and kill me. I couldn’t bring myself to attempt suicide but I wanted to die for real.

The quality of my relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners were pretty poor. I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about myself and I definitely didn’t care about them. I was selfish and angry and sad most of the time. I also seemed to always be drawn to others who were in the same place as me, sometimes even worse off than I was. So relationships were just a mess for a long time. Even after I found freedom, I struggled with relationships because I had to learn to love and appreciate myself before I could love and appreciate others.

I disassociated with traumatic events but I also developed triggers related to those events. I experienced so much shame and guilt from the event that occurred when I was 17 that I told NO ONE for 12 years. I decided that I should have known better and that I was an idiot and I didn’t want anyone to know that. So I kept it to myself and essentially forgot about it (disassociated, really) for a long time until I was in counseling and another memory triggered that one.

My triggers were subtle for the most part. I have a long history of anxiety and panic attacks but couldn’t figure out where they came from for a long time. Finally, I realized they were attached to triggers which were attached to memories of traumatic events. It was my body’s way of dealing with or protecting myself from what I thought would be a similar situation to the original traumatic event. For instance, older white men giving me compliments or (what I deem) too much attention totally freaks me out. I assume they are being nice so that they can take advantage of me like the man did when I was 17. I have really had to work on finding a simple, polite response and then moving on without assuming something so poor of every older guy I run into. That isn’t fair to them. I do have boundaries so that nothing does actually happen. But I can be polite too.

Another trigger…..jokes about using drugs. While others see these as harmless, funny jokes, I end up having little panic attacks because internally, I’m preparing myself for someone to pressure me into trying something illegal again and then taking advantage of me. I end up being a killjoy because I get serious and can’t hide the fact that I didn’t think the joke was funny. I haven’t really adjusted my reaction to this one, except that I am nicer about the fact that the joke wasn’t funny and then I try to move the conversation in a new, healthier direction.

These may sound silly to some but they are simply how my mind and body react to events that mimic traumatic events. Almost everyone I have met who has experienced trauma also has triggers. They are usually different for each person and sometimes they make absolutely no sense….like, how I was convinced that every single older white guy was going to exploit me.

That is where I have found Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to be really helpful. CBT takes the lies in your head and replaces them with truth, which is actually biblical. One of my favorite worship songs says “When the lies speak louder than the truth, remind me I belong to You”. That is primarily how I combat my own effects of trauma….by taking the time to recognize the lie, search for the truth, and then internalize the truth, pushing out the lie from my mind.

 

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HB2, Orlando, and the LGBTQ Community

Jesus

I know I am late in sharing my thoughts on HB2 and the shootings in Orlando. It has taken me this long to process all of it and, frankly, decide whether or not I even wanted to talk about it publicly. But I do want to talk about it. I want to share something that is difficult for me to write about. It’s difficult to talk about, to share, to open up about. It’s my sexuality and how that defines who I am and what I fight for.

It is never easy to pull back another layer of myself and expose it not knowing what the response will be. But it is important to me…something I feel called to do….to say something and, by saying something, become a safe place for others to speak up and expel any fear they may have as well. Let me explain….

In my teens and early twenties, I defined my sexuality as being attracted to specific people (everyone has their “type”, right?) without regard for what gender they were. Gender meant nothing to me in terms of who I was attracted to. I was attracted to the individual person. I guess the official label for that is “bisexual”. I dislike labels. It’s the whole “don’t put me in a box” thing. But that is a post for another day.

Fast forward to 2013-ish. I’ve been in church, building a relationship with Jesus for about four years at this point, and I feel the need to really research my view of sexuality based on what the Bible says versus what anyone else says. Francis Chan said in his book Crazy Love not to form beliefs and then go to the Bible to back them up but to read the Bible and form beliefs as a result of what the Bible actually says. So that’s what I did. I read the Bible and I formed my beliefs. The verse that stood out the most significantly to me was this:

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'” Matthew 16:24 NIV

I wanted so desperately to be Jesus’ disciple. Still do. Everything in me craves Him. And in that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit so clearly….denying myself meant NOT pursuing romantic relationships with other women. It meant not binge-eating when I’m tired or frustrated. It meant not pursuing relationships with men when I really needed comfort from God. It meant not settling for some legal form of addiction when my soul really craves God. Denying myself covered a lot of things for me, including acting on the desire for romantic relationships with other women. That is what particularly stuck out to me and the truth that I cling to even now. My relationship with God is FAR. MORE. IMPORTANT than literally anything else on this earth. To tell me that is wrong is to attempt to push into my boundaries, my property lines, which others have no right to push into. That is what God told me and I have not regretted living in obedience for one minute since then. I challenge everyone reading this to go to the Bible and seek the truth in it before forming beliefs and hoping the Bible will support them. Then live by the truth found in the Bible. It is totally worth it.

Alright, now that you have some background, I need to address HB2 and recent incidences in Orlando. Recently, a man went into a gay club in Orlando and murdered 50 innocent human beings who ALL bear the image of God. I am heartbroken. I am devastated that this happened and even more devastated that folks try to say God allowed it in order to punish homosexual sin. This is WRONG. So, so, so, so wrong. God had NOTHING to do with this horrible, tragic event. He mourns with the rest of us, probably even more than the rest of us, because He already knew that giving us free will would also give us the ability to choose to do such horrible things to each other. If you are part of the LGBTQ community, please know that I love you, I will fight for you, I am still shedding tears with you as I type this. Know that God LOVES you and will FIGHT for you, and that what this man did was WRONG. It is his wrong. It is on him completely. My God would never, ever want something this horrible to happen to anyone.

Also, my state recently passed a law informally known as HB2, requiring folks to use the bathroom that matches their genitalia even if their genitalia doesn’t match the gender they believe they are inside. I didn’t know what to say about this bill at first. I wanted to make a joke about it because it seemed ridiculous and trivial in ways. I wanted to criticize it. Some part of me even wanted to agree with some of it. I was confused and decided that the best thing to do would be to step back, watch, and listen for a while before saying anything. Then Orlando happened and I did not want to be that person who only speaks up when tragedy happens, when it’s easy to stand by others. I want to always be a voice for those who feel they have no voice. I want to always fight for those who may not be able to fight for themselves yet. So here are my thoughts:

  • I have good friends, whom I love very much, who have been through hell (literal hell) in the form of years of childhood sexual abuse or rape. They are all women but I know men who struggle with the effects of the same thing. One of their common triggers that reminds them of their trauma is a man walking into a women’s public restroom and assaulting them. I HAVE to respect that. I have to allow space for that. I have been sexually exploited. Sex has been used to manipulate and hurt me more times than I can count at this point. Public restrooms are not a trigger for me. But I would be devastated…I would feel very unsafe…if someone heard of my triggers and waved them away saying I need to get over them or that they’re unrealistic or invalid. Now, I have been through four years of intense counseling to recognize and respond to my triggers effectively. Some friends have also had years of supportive mental health services. But not everyone has the ability to do that, so to expect someone with no good mental health resources to respond in the same way I would is unrealistic and unfair to them. I have to allow space for healing for my friends and for others who do have this very real fear and feel that HB2 is a protection against their trigger.
  • I have friends and family members who identify as transgender. I have a personal history of identifying with the LGBTQ community (see above). I know folks who have been assaulted and terrorized for being transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc and I will not promote or support ANYTHING that condones this injustice. Some of the comments in support of HB2 sound very Holocaust-esque. They appear to be nothing more than fear mongering towards human beings who happen to identify with the LGBTQ community and I believe this is because there is fear of the unknown. The problem is that rather than getting to know other people, they separate themselves by making or supporting unnecessary laws. I will not support that motive. Ever.
  • I say “unnecessary laws” because, at the end of the day, that is how I understand this law. It is not necessary to protect folks. Assault, rape, indecent exposure, and the general violation of another person’s being are all already illegal. HB2 didn’t make them illegal. If a man walks into a women’s restroom and assaults a woman…even if he tries to use the excuse that he feels like a woman, so he went in the women’s restroom….he still assaulted someone and that is already illegal. And while I’m at it…how does HB2 protect boys and men from being assaulted BY OTHER MEN? How does HB2 protect women and girls from being assaulted by other women? It happens. I personally know both men and women who have been assaulted by someone of the same sex. So where is their protection? If this law is truly only about protecting our children, why isn’t it all-inclusive?

So, the bottom line for me is that I am FOR my sisters who have to work through fear of going to restrooms in public places because a stranger may come in and violate them again. I am AGAINST those whose fear of others who do not “fit the mold” has motivated them to waste an entire country’s time on an unnecessary law and has further contributed to the real injustice already being experienced on a daily basis by those in the LGBTQ community.

I think that the bill itself was written too quickly and without consideration for all potential victims. I still don’t understand its need as well. Again, already laws in place. I think the idea of protecting everyone in public places is great. But it must be EVERYONE. I don’t see that with HB2 yet unless I am missing some huge piece of this bill. If there is truly a new law needed, it needs to be far more well-written than what we currently have. Clearly, I just need to run for office.🙂

I understand that discussing this bill may seem trivial to some as well and I actually agree. But the underlying issues it has highlighted are not trivial. We have to stop isolating certain groups of people. We have to acknowledge real violence and injustice even if we don’t fully understand it. People are hurting. People are dying.

Sex and sexuality is such a precious thing to God. He designed it to be beautiful and intimate. Our culture has taken people, reduced them to a cheap version of sex, and violated them as human beings. This is wrong. I will not accept any of it. I will use every second of my life that God gives me to fight against it. Sometimes, that requires me to share parts of my story and I’m always nervous. But I’m also hopeful that sharing will create change somewhere for someone else.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

 

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