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they promised freedom, they gave me a cage

By on Jul 29, 2016

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(these are my thoughts after reading the speech Ilyse Hogue gave at the DNC)

She stood backstage and looked across the sea of people, charged like electric blue. Momentum had been building all day and now was her moment. It was years in the making—years of sacrifice, long hours, networking…of fighting for position and power.

 

“Would they like me?” she wondered.  Her mind replied with its rehearsed response, “It doesn’t matter who likes you if YOU like you. You’ve worked hard and NOW is your time.”

 

She was immediately aware of the red power suit she painstainkly chose earlier in the week. She felt strong. And with a shallow breath, she tightened her jaw and set her ice-like eyes on the stage. This speech will set women free to chart their own path.  She held hands with the World and began to take the platform.

 

She walked tall and with confidence, power standing on a pilar of salt. Years ago, someone told her she could be anything she wanted to be. Years ago, someone told her about a man-made glass ceiling that she intended to break at all costs. The World finally had her in his hands.  She was everything woman and then nothing at all. Soon, the essence of what made her woman would be sold in exchange for hope built on man—a hope to climb ladders and break ceilings.

 

It was a worthwhile investment, she thought.  After all, this body is mine.

What she didn’t realize was that she was giving up ownership of her body to the World who bought the life inside. She would now be his puppet. She would now live a life of striving—of pushing and pulling for power.  She would now live a life of fighting to be seen as the very thing she gave away….WOMAN. What she thought was freedom—freedom to be and to choose—was really a cage with walls as cold as steel.

 

With each step she took across the stage, the pilar of salt she stood on shouted

 

you have to be

you have to fight

you have to strive

you must be heard

you must be seen

you are not enough

you must be guarded

 

because graciousness will always be taken advantage of…because the honor you give will be met with disrespect…because love is a commodity that must be used with restraint….because acceptance comes with a cost

 

You see, she lives a trapped life.  She lives in a cage and she is NOTHING I want my daughters to be.

 

Our daughters will grow up in a world that is very different from us.  They will grow up in a world where it is unusual to hold hands with Jesus.  They will grow up in a world that wants to own their lives at a high cost.  They will grow up in a world where nothing is sacred and everything is acceptable….but this world doesn’t have to own them!  It will not own my daughters.

I want my daughters to be generous.  I want them to love freely.  I want them to be more concerned with going lower to the lonely and the least than they are with “ladders” and “glass ceilings”. I want them to know that their strength and power are built on a rock whose name is Jesus…and He has accepted them…just as they are. I want their identity to be found in the One who is eternal and not on the ways of the world that change like the tides. I want them to dream His dreams and surrender to the path He carves. I want them to know what it is really like to be free. I want them to be bold and fearless because the foundation they stand on will never shift or shatter. I want them to hold the awesome privilege He has given them to carry life in their bodies with reverence and awe. I want them to find rest.  I want them to be steady. I want them to be women.

 

…one who is accepted in the Beloved doesn’t strive for position or power. She is at rest in who she is. She loves freely knowing she is freely loved. She is gracious and grateful.  She has dignity and honor and she honors others. She doesn’t need to prove herself to be worthy.  She is accepted….(Ephesians 1:6) 

Jeana Gladstone