Thursday, August 27, 2015

In Defense of Anna Duggar

"Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."  Matthew 10:16

Very rarely do I jump on the social media bandwagon of trending discussions.  However, the current trending story regarding Josh and Anna Duggar makes me sad.  Everyone has an opinion... as they always do.  It comes from every side of the issue.  It's easy to think we have all the best answers as we casually swipe across the screen of our Smartphones and then move onto the next topic of the day.

One story I read today came from a mom in Georgia.  I liked her statement that she wished "more people would talk about Anna" because I think it's easy to overlook the pain of others involved in a scandal like this.  But then she talked about her thoughts that Anna Duggar's parents had "utterly, utterly failed her" by not teaching her to stand up for herself against mistreatment.  While she made some good points about women not allowing abuse (and most definitely protecting your children from it), I couldn't get over the fact she probably doesn't actually know Anna Duggar or her parents.  All that any of us know about the circumstances are based on reports from any given media outlet.  Anything other than that, we can only assume based on observation which may be biased based on our own beliefs and past experiences.  This is true of any story in the media on any given day.

If I were to make an assumption based on my own past experience, I would assume that Anna is struggling through a traumatic time in her life right now.  Since she recently had a baby, Anna would be experiencing a lot of hormonal change.  That alone can make the emotional side of dealing with the recent events in her marriage and family one thousand times worse and difficult to sort through what is real and what is not.

On top of the hormonal changes following childbirth, it is likely that this newest baby is not yet sleeping through the night.  That leads me to believe that Anna is probably not sleeping through the night, either.  I remember how it felt to be experiencing deep pain and grief compounded by hormones and a lack of sleep.  It's very difficult.  Add to that taking care of a newborn plus three other young children.  Then compound that with the fact that her husband's past and current affairs are being played out in front of massive audience of wolves poised and ready for attack.  And the attacks are not only directed toward the person who committed the sins, but also of those hurt and devastated by them.  This is a reality that we know is true of the world, but don't really expect to experience in such a radical way in our own lives. It is shocking and devastating to find out that the person you married and love and had babies with may not be the person you thought they were.  Lord, I pray that Anna would a experience a calm and quiet spirit that only comes from You as the world around her is spinning. 

Yes, I also wish more people would talk about Anna.  But what I really wish was that more people would pray for Anna.

Pray that she would be wise as a serpent and also harmless as a dove.  But be wise.  "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves."  Matthew 10:16

Pray that the Lord would give her eyes to see and ears to hear.  "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them."  Proverbs 20:12

Pray that she would guard her heart and protect those of her babies.  "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  Proverbs 4:23

Pray that the Lord would bring other believers alongside her to support her and pray for her. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Pray that truth would sink into her being.  "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:  and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."  Psalm 51:6

I pray that Anna would have courage to walk the road ahead with boldness to stand up for what is right. These are the same things that I pray for myself and for my own children.  I also pray for her in the wee hours of the night as she rocks her sweet little one to sleep, that the Lord would quiet her soul to find rest in the comfort of His arms.

In the coming days, weeks, months, years... Anna Duggar will make good decisions, and she will make decisions she will later regret and wished she had done differently.  She will make decisions for right now and decisions that will impact the rest of her life.  It's hard to live righteously in a wicked world even without all of the added pressures that she has.  But with every decision that she makes, whether good or bad, I believe that God will use them all to mold her every day into His image.  It may not look like that to us, the outside judging world, as we read the latest stories and news feeds. But I trust that the Lord knows what He is doing... in Anna Duggar's life... in my life... in my kids' lives... in your life.

It's easy to say Anna Duggar should do this or that but it's another thing to actually be living it and making those decisions in real life.  It begins with prayer.  My prayer for her right now is for comfort and wisdom in making decisions for her and her children.

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