Written by: Katie Brady
(Read below for another perspective)
The last week has been a weird one. Whether you are feeling happy, sad, angry or absolutely jubilant, a good love story can perk us right up.
Glennon Doyle Melton is mostly known as a Christian mom blogger. She’s an author of a #1 New York Times bestselling memoir. She’s an activist and a philanthropist.
Glennon has been extremely open to the world. She has shared her life. Tales of bulimia, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Stories of raising her three beautiful kids and keeping her doting husband and marriage happy. She overcame addiction and had the perfect family, so the world thought.
Shortly after deciding to become a blogger and share her truth, Glennon’s husband, Craig, confessed that he has been having several affairs. And Glennon shared her new truth: she was separating from her husband. Glennon says: “I am someone who spent a lot of time in a prison. For me, bulimia, alcoholism, drugs were like being jailed,” she says. “And the only way I know how to stay free is to be really freaking honest.”
You know what’s so inspiring throughout all their marriage struggle? They actually really like each other. She doesn’t hate him for being unfaithful and he likes her as a person. Glennon simply looked at her marriage in such a simple way: “You can be shattered and then you can put yourself back together piece by piece,” she wrote. And sometimes, “no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore.”
So, now the world knows of her marriage problems and knows she’s a fantastic mom whose set out on a voyage to help others. Early this week, some were shocked and I hope all were happy to find out that Glennon has found love. She’s in love and she’s shouting it from the rooftops. Because she deserves that.
She is dating again, her new partner is a woman and that woman is celebrity soccer champ Abby Wambach. You sure read that right. She’s dating a woman. And one whose well known in the athletic world. Three months after finalizing her divorce, Glennon is truly happy. Taken from her decision to share Abby with the world:
— Glennon Doyle (@GlennonDoyle) November 14, 2016
“Now we are entering a new time which calls for a different type of leadership. And now it is my job as a leader not to concern myself too deeply about what you think and feel about me- about the way I live my life. That is what I want to model now, because that is what I want for YOU: I want you to grow so comfortable in your own being, your own skin, your own knowing – that you become more interested in your own joy and freedom and integrity than in what others think about you. That you remember that you only live once, that this is not a dress rehearsal and so you must BE who you are. I want you to refuse to betray yourself. Not just for you. For ALL OF US. Because what the world needs — in order to grow, in order to relax, in order to find peace, in order to become brave — is to watch one woman at a time live her truth without asking for permission or offering explanation.
The most revolutionary thing a woman can do is not explain herself.
What I need you to know — and what I know you need to know — is that I am deeply, finally, FINE. Fine through my bones and soul and mind and just every fiber of me. You have the room to feel and react with your truth….because I am so unshakably certain inside of mine. I have officially become a woman who knows who she is and refuses to betray herself.
So anyway. What I’m trying to say is. PRECIOUS WORLD: I LOVE ABBY.”
Personally, there is nothing more amazing to me than a woman whose brutally honest and has no regrets about it. How is Craig and the three kiddos? They are great. They have a beautiful modern family.
Glennon ends the announcement of her new relationship simply: “Love wins!” And she’s right. Love does win. Because no matter your stance on same sex relationships, a good love story can bring us all back down to earth. Love can make us realize there are such bigger things happening than this, and all we can do is root others on. So, today, no matter your stance, I’m asking that you forget your troubles and root others on. Because love REALLY does win!
Being a Voice for Grace and Transformation
Written By: Gretchen Garrison
Rarely do my friend and I have intense conversations. Yet after I had interrupted her (probably for the umpteenth time), my friend stopped me from trying to make my own point. “Would you listen, Gretchen? I just want my voice to be heard.”
My friend’s plea seems to be echoed on the internet right now. Post after post is filled with words seeming to shout off the page as people are trying to be convincing that they know the right answers to the changes that need to be made. People clamoring to be heard.
Ironically, one of the most powerful stories in the Bible involves silence. In John chapter 8, some “seemingly” concerned citizens drag a woman to Jesus who had been caught in the very act of adultery. Even that detail of the story puzzles me. Were these men camping out on her door? Hiding in her bushes? If binoculars were invented, these men must have perpetually been carrying them around. They were wanting justice against wrong doing and were hoping that Jesus would be the judge to pronounce guilt. They even had the punishment ready to go. With stones in hand, they waited for the verdict.
My next question is this. Did they even really need to go to Jesus? After all, she was caught in the act. I think that they wanted to feel a bit better about themselves by showing how much more worthy they were than this obviously worthless woman.
Jesus’ words to them are just as powerful today as they were then. “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Then silence. No lectures. No repeated warnings like the ones I tend to give to my kids. Nothing. In fact, Jesus stood there and drew in the dirt. That must have drove the leaders CRAZY.
One by one, from oldest to youngest, they left. As the woman was standing there, Jesus asked her where her accusers were. Once she said that no one was left to judge, Jesus said another powerful phrase, “Neither do I condemn you.” This is where we tend to want the story to stop. With grace.
Aren’t we all looking for grace? For people to love us when we don’t measure up? When we flat out mess up? For second chances? This woman must have appreciated being given another day to live after her death sentence had been overturned by this Man who only needed to say one simple phrase for the judgment to be halted for good. Yet Jesus continued to speak.
Go and sin no more.
While the first part of His response of no condemnation may thrill us, this second part scares us to death. After all, the second part requires a response. A change. A transformation. Hard work. And a willingness to acknowledge that we have been wrong.
We don’t know what to do with that. After all, Jesus came down pretty hard on the accusers. And those verses about not looking at the speck in someone else’s eye when you have a plank in your own are rather convicting. Since I think often I am trying to look past a boulder, I hesitate to speak up lest I sound holier-than-thou.
Recently some voices have been clamoring about the need for those of us who follow God to update our thinking. For us to be willing to update our beliefs about what love looks like. One of the strongest voices right now comes from the writer Glennon Doyle Melton, of the blog, Momastery, who recently announced some major personal life changes on her Facebook page. This proclamation seems to imply that she is shifting her views from what she originally used to advocate on her site. Chanting #Lovewins, she shares the story of her “new start.”
For me, this announcement is hard. The human side of me wants to be happy that this woman who is recovering from abuse and marital infidelity has found a new love. And I already know from the story in John 8 that wanting to throw stones does not help anyone to have a happy ending.
As Melton proclaims to be a #truthteller, how can I not do the same? But I don’t want my voice to be based on my opinions. Instead I want to consult what I feel is the source of truth. The Bible. The very book that Melton quotes at times on her site. And I must say that what I am seeing lived out in Melton’s life does not gel with the type of transformation that I think Jesus had in mind in John chapter 8.
Before you get worried, I am not planning on preaching a sermon. That is not my place, as I am well aware that I am standing on rocky ground. But my encouragement instead is this. For those of us who do feel that the Bible is truth, we must search the Scriptures for ourselves. As more and more conflicting voices speak out, more than ever, we need to seek out the Author of truth. The very One who does not condemn but instead asks each of us to go and sin no more. The Voice for grace and transformation.
Feature Image Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle Melton. Photo (via twitter – Glennon Doyle Melton)