I’m sitting here in my (warm) grandparents’ house in West Virginia, pondering life.

I’ve come to realize something: I’m deeply afraid of things I shouldn’t be afraid of.

In highschool, I came to believe that, essentially, femininity is bad.

If a man lusted after me, it was my fault, always. If I thought I was pretty, I was being vain. If my shorts came above my knee, I was being sleazy. Purity meant not thinking about or talking about sex, and anyone who did so outside of marriage was completely perverted. Men were powerful and scary.

(I understand that femininity is more than physical, but the way we think about our bodies affects a whole lot when it comes to being a woman.)

God has been showing me how completely wrong my thinking is. But as I’m learning these lessons, I’m realizing how deep those roots have wrapped around my heart, and how deep the scars it leaves truly are.

You see, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being found beautiful, because I’m afraid of being raped or lusted after.

I’m afraid of being vulnerable, because I don’t want to be taken advantage of emotionally or physically.

I’m afraid of my own body. It hasn’t been until this past year that I have felt comfortable being cute or attractive. It’s been within the last year that I haven’t felt shameful or self-conscious when I know I look good in public.

Let’s be real, sometimes I am still afraid of men. Right now, I can hear men talking somewhere down the street, and I’m terrified. They probably have no idea I exist, but I turned off the light and want to duck under the covers lest they see me in my short shorts and decide to break in.

The lies of shame have created in me a heart that fears both men and femininity.

And it’s ridiculous.

God does NOT want this for his children!!! He doesn’t want us to live in bondage or fear. He didn’t create woman to have her to look like, act like, think like, or feel like a man.

God gave women a beautiful gift in femininity. Ladies, it’s OKAY to see the beauty God put in us. It’s good, and healthy, and right to see ourselves as the spectacular creatures God created us to be.

There should be no shame in being a woman. That truth has implications that I am still learning. It shines lights on deep-seated lies that are comfortable and scary to get rid of. But I believe that in the end, it will be worth it. So this is my declaration:

There is no shame in being a woman.

I refuse to feel it any longer.


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