Hear Me Roar

Amanda Elder is about to PA-REACH!  I’ve got a feeling this may be met with some resistance, but I welcome any and all comments- especially those of opposing viewpoints.

I had an experience this week which has caused me to stop and reflect.  While sitting in an office discussing my impending (allegedly impending) divorce someone (who shall remain nameless) looked at me and said, “You know, Amanda, I’m not worried about you in all of this.  You’re a good-lookin’ woman and you’ll find some man to take care of you.”  Hmmmm.  Quietly thought to myself, “really?”.  Wonder what it is about you (still nameless person) that would cause you to believe for one moment that I would need- much less want- a man in my life to “take care” of me.

I was immediately taken back to three summers ago when I first drove myself to the local police station on a dark night to file an order of protection.  No need for lots of details, but I was a mess- sobbing, crying, mascara running down my face.  One of the gentlemen on duty that night, not meaning to be an insensitive jerk I’m sure, was helping me through the process of filling out the necessary paperwork.  My hands were trembling and I was upset.  He says, “Oh, honey, you’ll be just fine.  Pretty girl like you will find someone else in no time.”

{Let me interject here that I thought strongly about leaving out the “pretty girl” and “you’re a good-looking girl” references for fear that people may think I’m trying to stroke my own ego, but I’ve left them in so that you will get the point and because this is indeed what was said.  I’m not a vain person.  Anyone who knows me knows that.  Please remember that I’m the gal who won’t hesitate to run into Wal-Mart in no makeup and my pink, fuzzy pajama pants.}

Before those words had even finished dropping off his lips I remember feeling flabbergasted.  Am I supposed to be thankful that some in the male race find me acceptable?  Whew, good! (sarcasm)  I’m decent looking so my life will go on.  What happens to me if I’m homely looking?  Is there no hope for my future if I can’t land a man?  I know he was trying to be of some comfort to me, but come on now.  I am crying because the man who is most supposed to love me in this world is being such a *&^% that I feel it necessary to take legal action against him.  What about this scenario makes you think I’m secretly dying to find another man?  Nope.  I’m pretty set as it is.  I think my “relationship cup” is just about full.  I wondered if this horrific error in his judgment could be attributed to a “male” thing or just to a “stupidity” thing.

I recently had a friend tell me that although she was unhappy in her current relationship she couldn’t image leaving because she couldn’t be alone.  Those were her words, “I can’t be alone.”  My heart sank.  Please understand, I’m not on a crusade trying to get all my friends to be single and burn their bras (although wouldn’t it be nice not to feel the pointy end of an underwire ramming into your ribcage like the foot of a 7-month-old fetus?).  I would like to see the women in this world become empowered and to realize their own worth and their own strength.  Depending upon another person for fulfillment and to find your worth is a dangerous place to find yourself.  People aren’t perfect.  They will let us down.  Find your strength and value in something which is impenetrable and unshakable.  Find your inner strength.  (Cue a Whitney Houston song)

My mom and I were laughing today that just weeks after my father’s death well-meaning friends were encouraging her to “get back out there”.  Dating.  Seriously?  This woman was married to this man for 42 years at the time of his death.  Maybe it should cross people’s minds that some respect and attention should be given to this relationship which has just ended.  Is it truly unthinkable that my mother isn’t burning with desire to go on a date with another man just 14 days after my father left this earth?  Do you get my point?  Not all of us find our importance and our meaning in a relationship with a man.  She had to go through a time of adjustment.  She still is.  She’s allowed to be there as long as she needs.

I’m a fairly strong, independent woman.  I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time.  In marriage financial security is important, but I’d dare to say that emotional security- feeling love and respected- is equally if not even more important.  It makes me so sad that men and women in this community/world think that in order for a woman to achieve true fulfillment in her life it must climax with her finding happiness in a relationship with a man.  I’ll admit that I was one who probably grew up with these same feelings.  It wasn’t anything that my parents instilled in me, but more so society.  From the time we’re little girls we’re told stories of white knights on lovely horses who will sweep in during our hour of need (whether it’s being hypothetically locked up in a castle or being at the mercy of a wicked stepmother).  These knights and heroes come charging in and rescue us from our problems.  Then the story has you to believe that there will be a “happily ever after”.  I do know some lucky men and women who have found that.  I’m so thankful for them that they did.  I believe if we are in touch with God when the decision comes to chosing a mate He will guide us in the direction we should go.  Some of us, for one reason or another, still chose unwisely.

It’s not the issue of finding true love and happiness in marriage that I’m balking.  It’s the idea of the man being portrayed as the “rescuer”.  The only thing that Amanda Elder needs any rescuing from is herself.  Bad decisions have been my weakness and it’s something I’m prayerfully working on.  Will life pose challenges?  Sure, but I’m fully ready and prepared to start this next part of my journey as a single mom.  I’ve got more than enough on my plate with a 7 and 8-year-old to keep me PLENTY occupied.  Trust me.  I am also able to take great comfort in realizing that I’m not on this trip alone.  My support system which starts with the Lord and beautifully trickles down through an amazing assortment of family, friends, and confidants is more than enough to help get me through.  No rescue necessary.  It’s already been taken care of.

When women meet someone and fall in love I’d like to think that it’s because they have realized their counterpart in another person.  I’d like to think that Christ is the very foundation of that partnership and in turn He will bless the union.  I would wish all women could realize their strength and their worth.  What a dangerous place to be to feel that you can only find your value and worth if it’s attached to another person.  Dangerous.  People can disappoint us.  Plant your foundation in something firmer.

I guess that’s the end of my rant.  I wish people would think before they speak.  If you see me on the street just know this- I don’t want to hear about this GREAT GUY that you work with or the friend of your cousin’s who you think would just be “perfect” for me.  I’ve got this.  When and if the time ever comes that I decide to give a relationship another try it will only be because the Lord has instructed me to do so.  I’m listening to Him so deliberately that I’m not gonna leave even one inch of room for error.  I truly mean it.  Don’t worry for me.  I’m stronger than you know.  And ladies out there reading this, you are too.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pat Lenzini
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:52:14

    Amanda what about Bruno!!!!! 🙂 I love you sweet lady and I hear your ROAR!!! Keep on Keeping On.

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  2. Ronda
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:18:10

    WORD. Awesome Amanda. So proud of you.

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  3. Lynn Hamer
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:18:40

    I love it! I feel EXACTLY the same way! I don’t understand women (and I have a couple good friends that do this) that say to me “I have to do this to find a man, I have to do such and such to get a date”! Whatever!!! I am now married to a good Christian man that loves the Lord and I know that God put him in my life…I didn’t seek him out! When He felt I was ready, He put us together! Is our marriage perfect? NO! But I don’t expect it to be! I have done single mom thing and you can use it as a crutch (like some do while lookin’ for a baby daddy) or you can use it as an opportunity to bring you and your children closer to their Heavenly Father!

    You go girl! I know you are going to be fine…..cause the man in your life now is AWESOME!!!! Besides, women should bury their hearts so deeply in the Lord that a man has to seek Him to find her!!!!!!!

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    • mandaclair
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:27:29

      Lynn, thank you and agreed! I know that if I’m where I’m supposed to be with the most important MAN in my life I’m going to be fine. He’s wanted to fill this position for a long time and I’ve selfishly and stupidly thought I knew better. Ridiculous, huh? The last sentence you used is a quote I’ve seen floating around lately. I love it. I agree. I want to be that woman.

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  4. jennifer pinson-evans
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:25:53

    Amanda Elder is a rock star!

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  5. carolynn elder
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:08:48

    Honey, this is wonderful. You are a daughter of God Who has your back. And let me remind you once again that you are from a line of great women, one of whom smoked a pipe and married Andrew Jackson while still married to another man. Obviously public opinion was insignificant to her, too. LOL. Seriously.

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  6. carolynn elder
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 17:08:21

    You gotta own it and love it.

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  7. Sherry Lawson
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 07:33:24

    It’s been 4 years for me & I got closer to Gid than I ever had been in all my life. Now someone sweet and caring has come into my life and seriously, I’m ready, but it does take my focus off God a little, so I’m not sure I like that. You are doing the right thing. Don’t let those ignorant people tell you any different!! Been there, done that!! Love ya girl!!!

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  8. Kelley
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:08:21

    I have another friend who is going through a divorce at this time. It’s getting pretty ugly for her, too. She often repeats this to herself, and others:
    I’m the hero of this story. I don’t need to be saved.

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