The Last Accusation

*This is a piece that I wrote and preformed at The Women of Influence Conference this weekend. Several people asked me to make it available, so I thought I'd share it with all of you as well. I hope it encourages you.*

I’m running. They’re attacking and I’m running and dodging. I don’t  have time to look back, I’m just running and running and running. I was so STUPID. I didn’t know I was entering a battlefield, so I went unprepared, without armor, intentionally vulnerable and purposefully humble. And now I’m just humiliated.

The battle pauses.

I take a second to look down at the weapons they’ve been throwing. Spears. Written on each blade is an accusation. I read each word and I weigh the weapon, but I put them back down. I am NOT picking these up and I am NOT throwing them back. This is not my battle. I’ll just keep running.

The spears slow down, but i keep running and dodging. They nick me, but they don’t pierce me. I understand this battle is not about me. So I keep my head down, but my faith rises, and I know that the King is going to go to battle for me soon. I know he’s gonna come through. He always does. He rides on the wind and he conquers my enemies and I have no doubt that he will vindicate me and make this right.

But he’s not here yet.
And the spears keep coming.
And I am tired.
I am so so tired.
I can’t run anymore.
But I’m too tired to fight.

I sit on the ground, surrounded by accusations, seeing the destruction they’ve caused. My friends  have left me.. They’re off in the distance, watching me, whispering, with skeptical looks on their faces.. At first they ran with me, but now the evidence is stacked against me. I can hear them whispering - “Surely she did something to deserve this.”

I start to believe them.

I look down at the spears and think to myself, “You know what? These are mine. These things are true and these are mine to carry.” So I stand up and I begin to pick up the accusations.

“Divisive”
“Bad mother.”
“Rebellious children”
“Unqualified”
“Liberal”
“Loud”
“Inappropriate.”
“Feminist”
“Not enough”

These are mine now. I won’t throw them back. That’s not who I am. But I will keep them safe. I will carry them with me. And I will keep running.

But every few steps, another spear flies and now I’m getting ANGRY. And this bag is getting HEAVY. And WHERE is my King?

The one who fights for me and defends me. The one who promised me that he would go before me and crush my enemies. The one who protects and restores and guides. WHERE IS HE. He’s not here. He’s not coming. It’s time to fight. Cause I can’t go one more step. I’ve already lost everything. I’ve lost my friends. I’ve lost my family. I’ve lost my home. I have nothing left to lose.

Something boils inside of me that I’ve never felt before. It rumbles and it roars and it takes over my body. I have watched my life crumble around me and have done nothing but RUN. I didn’t fight. I didn’t gather an army. I RAN. I sacrificed my peace, my comfort, my safety, and I RAN. And what has that done for me? Nothing. Everyone has left me. Even my King has abandoned me. I am alone. And I am ANGRY.

The accusations sit on my shoulders, screaming louder and louder and louder. Until their sound is an ocean and every wave takes me deeper and deeper. I am drowning in self hatred and confusion. I am utterly broken but I don’t know it yet. Because all I can feel is anger and all I can see is red. I have had enough. I will stand my ground. I will win this war. I will take this army on my own. I’ve been storing my weapons and I know I can take them all out with one blow.

So I stand in the middle of the battle ground. I take out an accusation. I ready my bow. The enemy stares me down. Waiting for my move.

And as I pull back the first accusation, a rider come galloping through the middle of the battlefield and stands between me and my enemy. They begin to cheer. “He’s here! He’s here! The King has come to get rid of her once and for all!”

He raises his hand and the crowd goes silent. He stares down my bow, still pointed at the enemy and I hear him say, “I’ve been looking for you.”

That’s when I know it’s over.

I can take the army, but I can’t take the King.  And he is on their side.

The bag on my back instantly becomes so heavy that I can’t stand anymore. The weight of the Last Accusation is too much. And I’m the one that put it there.  I etched the words in the blade until my fingers bled.

“The King is against me.”

With the deepest parts of me, I believe it. He believes these things about me. He is against me. He is against me. I am broken by the weight but in this moment I know that it’s not the weight from the other accusations that broke me. It was this one accusation - the one that I forged in the night, in the depths of my despair, when the darkest parts of my heart screamed abandonment and rejection and fear. The King is against me. Of course he is. I am nothing. I am who they say I am.

I fall to the ground.
I’m done.
Let them bind me up and take me away.
Let them put me in the gallows and humiliate me even further.
Let them say what they want and do what they want because the King is against me and I am who they say I am.

I look up at the king in utter defeat and scream,
I AM WHO THEY SAY I AM!!!!

…..

…..

He climbs down from his horse.
He walks across the battlefield with casual purpose.
He’s coming to accuse me.
He’s coming to finish me.
But there’s nothing left anyway.
He stands in front of me.
He lifts my head.

He furrows his eyebrows and studies my face, quizzingly, as if he can’t believe what I just said to him. And somehow, I know that I’ve offended him, but I don’t understand why. Didn’t I just say what he already believed? Didn’t I just speak the truth?

He opens his mouth to speak and i cringe, waiting for his strike.

“You are who I say you are.”

The enemy roars in defiance, but the storm inside me ceases.

He picks up the spears of accusations and he burns them in the fires of his grace and endless, relentless, love for me. He wraps me in robes of royalty and places a crown on my head. He walks beside me whispering the truth of who I am and who he has made me to be. But his words aren’t meant for others to hear. We ride together past the enemy lines and they watch me ride with the King as royalty, but the King does not speak to them

This is not my vindication. This is my redemption.

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