There is a viral social media thread raging through the internet. #Metoo is an anthem of women mistreated. They have been mistreated in mind, body, and soul. As a believer, my heart breaks at the massive number of women that have been sexually assaulted or harassed. It is an epidemic that is beginning to be hard to ignore or sweep under the proverbial rug. So many of my sisters in Christ have suffered at the hands of someone else. Why is it so hard to speak out?
I have struggled with this blog post for several reasons. I have vacillated back and forth in regards to having the boldness to share.
There is fear. I’m afraid of judgement. How will people that I love respond to such a personal and private struggle? I don’t want them to pity me or see me differently. Will I lose respect or be seen as weak? I am also afraid that if I spend too much time thinking about what happened that I will not be able to bear the weight of it all. Will bringing it into the light hurt or heal me? I want to stand in solidarity and encourage my sisters. My soul cries out to share in the gospel of peace with those still lost in pain. My faith emboldens me to throw off this crippling fear to lean on His promises. 2 Timothy 1:7 says this, “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind.” I can shake this fear and so can you. My deepest prayer is that we, as believers, would be support, love, and mercy for all of the women that have shared #metoo.
I carry the shame of my past. Before I was saved by grace, my life did not resemble that of a child redeemed. I kept no secrets about the deep hurts that spurred me into recklessness, but now that time hides behind closed doors and is not to be mentioned. Was what happened to me my own fault? Too many doubts and “pointed fingers” shout loudly in my mind and they hinder me from speaking out. I’ve decided today that those voices will be silenced. I will fight the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word. Psalm 34:5 tells us “those who look to Him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame.” I no longer carry the pain of my past or the shame that comes with it. I am free...and you are too.
Why is it so hard to share #metoo, even though it is important?
It is important, but there is no justice. It’s hard because, while it creates exposure, very little to nothing will be done until The Church shows up. Where are they? Where are the biblical men, that are not only taking a stand against rape culture, but are actively fighting it? Where are the women in the church? Are they bringing hope to these women in pain or are they hushing them in order to continue to appear righteous? I am angered and overwhelmed at the fact that women are having to build their own platform to shout with loud voices “I have been hurt,” and that it is falling on seemingly deaf ears.
Men, please show up. Be active in teaching your sons that women’s bodies are their own. Husbands, showcase the respect you have for your wife publicly. Speak out against rape, sexual assault, and harassment. Stop looking at porn and perpetuating the oversexualization of women.
Women, withhold your judgement. Stop asking questions like “Is she a liar” or “I wonder if she did anything to contribute to her situation?” Be a place of peace for hurting women.
Pastors, when this happens in the church, what is the protocol? Can we begin to level out the scrutiny when accusations are made? Victims are met with an astronomical amount of investigation, while everyone seems to run to defending the accused. Let the call to action start from the pulpit. Lead the way in changing the culture by equipping the body of Christ to walk out their faith with love, mercy, and grace.
In the meantime, we can be a comfort to each other. In solidarity, #metoo