For the single girl, the upstaged girl, the on stage girl

I stopped mid turn and heard her from 2 months ago "Mary, don't be that girl"

Nothing in me wanted to be that girl; the one who notices wedding season and hurricane season conveniently share the same space on the calendar. The one cynical and impatient of and for marriage. So instead of turning to my plus one and bemoan the fact that I was done with weddings and sweet, well meaning, already-marrieds grabbing my wedding attired shoulder, winking and with a mischievous grin telling me I was next or asking if I had met the mysterious and slow-to-arrive "one". Instead of being that girl who noticed the ones better dressed, better life preped. Instead of turning to acknowledge in that moment that I felt I would always be upstaged. I watched the glowing, raven haired  bride carry the ivory/white dress down the aisle on her slender frame.

 Monday morning the blogs started showing up and their cry was very similar 

“Don’t be that girl” 

“I’m glad I wasn’t raised to be that girl.”

“We’re sorry to that girl” 

“We don’t want to raise our daughters to be that girl” 

We can apologize to Miley, we can apologize for Miley. We can refuse to become her, imitate her or raise daughters like her. We can recognize the confusion she displayed and the brokenness she couldn’t hide. 

But can we be honest? 

At some point in our female life, we’ve been that girl. You have. I have. 

Confused. Broken. That girl who longs for attention and affirmation and acceptance, the girl who will use religion or men or money or the comfort of food or sleep or future plans of a family or a diploma hanging on the wall or deep cuts into red veins to get it.  

Miley has this heart level belief that something on that stage, that night would make her that girl in a way nothing yet had. 

You want to blame it on bad parenting, you want to blame it on a broken childhood, you want to blame it on being a Hollywood child star?  

I’m not really into psychology, but it kind of seems to have had its part, doesn’t it? 

But I think there’s more; I think it’s something much more common. Something that lives in the heart of a girl raised in Carolina suburbia. Something that momma’s with beautiful babies and educated woman with impressive jobs and the girl married to her high school sweetheart all have the capacity for, the bent towards, the fight for, against. 

Maybe we don’t strip our clothes off on national TV. But can I be honest, can we be honest. Miley used the stage she has to get what she wanted. 

How often does my 20 something heart look to the next stage of life and say it will give me what I want. “Once I’mthat  girl. The married one, the educated one, the self-disciplined one, the mothering one, the beautiful one, the liked-by-people-one.”

Do you know what echo my heart and the girl Miley have in common? That God is not sufficient for the moment. That there is a stage that will satisfy me. A stage of life, a stage of understanding God, a stage of understanding life, or being disciplined enough, happy enough, educated enough. A stage with the right people and me doing the right moves.  Satisfaction will come from being that girl. 

And do you know what else? We both wake up Monday morning to critics retelling, rehashing the disappointment of the stage, the disgrace of the stage. We wake up to people saying it was our parent's fault, our childhood's fault, our fault. 

The truth? We all started out just broken cisterns trying to hold water, graves dressed up to look beautiful and inviting, whores in wedding dresses. No stage changes that. No stage walked to receive a diploma. No stage successfully navigated. No stage of life.  

Believe that with me? Rehearse that there was a little girl lost, a little girl who chose enmity with God. And He looked at and chose matrimony with her. We walked out like the king in the emperor’s new clothing, like Miley Cyrus after she shed her bear costume. We paraded naked, and proud. Look back to the beginning; 
God himself put clothing made of animal flesh on the shamefully exposed. Why, because one day the Lamb of God would himself come clothed in flesh to re-clothe the hidders, the fallen, and the blamers with the garment of rightness and praise and gladness

Rehearse this; the rebel, the runner would watch God-Son walk a hill carrying wood for his own bloody sacrifice and say “I want herThe one parented wrong, the one parading proud, the one disfiguring my design of femininity, the one marring humanity with her ridiculous sin show, I want that one. What will I do with her? I'll put her in the whitest wedding dress and vow to love her. I'll teach her how to play the background and glorify me in the foreground. I'll be so satisfying that she'll have more joy in me than that girl who's center staged.