The other day I received a phone call from a friend of mine. Like many moms, she was upset about the new bathroom policy at Target.
“I mean, I have a daughter…” she said her voice clearly shaken, “what are you going to do about your kids??”
And just said, “I’m not afraid”
Now before you get all bent out of shape over than sentence, here me out.
In my house, we frequent Target A LOT.
Can I get an amen for the Starbucks? My kids looooove “dates” at Target where they can get their own special drink and help mommy pick out stuff.
We feel like Target regulars.
So, when the news broke about their new policy, like many, it got my attention.
Because I am a mom. Of girls.
Girls who I love.
Girls who I would move hell or high water to protect.
And this was new and unknown.
Yet, nothing in me felt afraid.
Not one bit.
I wondered if there was something wrong with me.
Like maybe I was not protective enough.
But, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me.
And here’s why:
I trust God more than I trust people.
It’s something (through painful experiences) I learned to do years ago.
And, it provided what my heart desperately needed: peace.
Okay, Anna, I get that you trust God and all that, but COME ON. There are child molesters out there!
Let’s be clear that transgenders are not all child molesters. They are people. Could there be one bad grape in the bunch? Sure. But, that’s true with everyone.
Creepers who could potentially harm children are in churches, schools, playgrounds, malls and neighborhoods all across America.
It’s sad. But, it’s true.
But, Anna, this is different. They are in a bathroom, where my children are vulnerable.
It’s my job to do my best to protect my children from sex traffickers, kidnappers, molesters and abusers – especially in situations where they are exposed and could be alone.
All of these people existed in public restrooms before this new policy was in place. Which is why my kids don’t go into public restrooms alone.
Nothing for me really is going to change.
But, aren’t you afraid for your kids?
As I said, there is a long list of potential creepers I could be afraid of. And I should know. I had a lovely one as a babysitter when I was young. I know first-hand the damage unsuspecting people can bring into a child’s life.
That experience, as well as other abusive situations, was the catapult that pushed me to walk through forgiveness. It was a long, at times painful journey, which I write about in my book, Forgiveness Is Not an Option.
But, after walking through forgiveness and experiencing the healing that only God can bring, I had to let go of fear.
Fear of falling prey to an abuser again.
Fear of my children experiencing what I did.
Fear of them being alone with any person other than me.
It was real people.
And it was hell.
A hell I never thought I would escape.
But, through Jesus, and the power of His word, I learned that I can never fully trust people.
Because people are flawed.
People are wounded.
People are breakable and capable of breaking others.
If I set my whole safety net on the merits of people, I will inevitably be let down.
It’s just the world we live in.
But, if I am able…truly able to let go of putting my faith into people and instead, placing all of my trust into a loving, powerful, merciful, healing God – then peace and freedom from fear might just be possible.
So this is why I am not afraid.
Fear and I parted ways a long time ago.
Instead, I choose to cling to a peace that comes from the One whose hands I and my children are in.
Do I walk in wisdom? Absolutely.
Do I keep them close? Yes and yes.
But, do I walk in fear? No thank you.
And, when I’m not frozen in fear, my heart is capable of tapping into something better: love, power and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
When I walk in love, instead of fear, I don’t walk into a bathroom terrified of the person in the stall next to me.
Instead, I walk with compassion. I see them as God sees them. My heart is open to do or say anything the Lord would have me to.
Instead of scurrying out of the bathroom as fast as I can, praying a billion verses of protection over myself, what if, just WHAT IF, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to say to them?
I might have a prophetic word of knowledge.
I might actually go up and hug a complete stranger (sounds awkward and it kinda is – but when they melt and cry uncontrollably in your arms, it’s a pretty amazing experience).
I might get to lay hands and pray for healing.
And, who knows, all of the above might lead to me walking them out of the restroom and over to Starbucks to have coffee where I get to know them – and love on them – even more.
I have to ask, what would Jesus do?
Now for those of you who are screaming inside and just can’t wait to comment about how Jesus would ONLY confront, correct, expose, judge their “sin”, I ask you kindly to be equal about it. If you choose to take that stance, take it with everyone. The gossip, the lying, the drinker, the cheater, the one who puts work over their family, the one who is arrogant and proud, the one who enjoys praises of man instead of praises of God, the one who is short tempered with their kids or their spouse, the one who chooses not to forgive, the one who prays to impress people – I wouldn’t agree with your approach, but I’d at least respect the consistency of it.
And, if you still are dying to post a comment about how walking in love only includes confronting sin, then please do share. Post an experience you had with a complete stranger and how that confrontational approach moved them to fall in love with Jesus.
I love you. And I want others to feel the love of Jesus through you. (Having that said, see my previous post with my thoughts on When to Speak the Truth In Love)
I hope that when I am in a bathroom at Target or somewhere else that I can walk in love and in the power of the Holy Spirit with full and complete soundness of mind.
Because I want to see miracles in bathrooms.
I want to see people set free.
I want to see healings.
I want to see the power and love of Jesus wrecking people for Him.
I’ve tasted His goodness – I want others to also.
And none of that happens when I’m bound by fear.
I’m not perfect at this. Sometimes, I am a total mom grump in bathrooms and ministering to people is nowhere on my radar. But, the times that it is….I get to see a small amount of Heaven visit us here.
From one parent to another, peace.
*When the comments turned towards a debate on the Target policy, I had to turn them off. Sorry*