I know, I know, rant all you want. It's evil, it's abusive, it's smut ... but it has changed me. And yes, I did read the book. I'm a firm believer that when I form a strong, black and white opinion, I must know what I'm forming it about. I don't necessarily recommend this for everyone, but in this case, I wanted a foundation to build my opinion on. And I found it. Which is why, in spite of its sordid content, and while not to herald it, this book changed me.
Fifty has reintroduced me to true love in a way I never thought possible. I've been married for 15 years and in that time, we lost three of our children, endured the fright of the NICU, battled postpartum depression, warred with PMDD (not sure what that is? Picture PMS on steroids), traversed the minefields of insomnia, experienced the bitterness of some nasty arguments, and even fought to survive the horrors of snoring in the middle of the night. And yet, he is still with me. He has given me the freedom to live, to express myself, to be independent not of him so much, but to enjoy the adventure of having my own thoughts, dreams, and opinions. He has pushed me forward to experience my hopes. He has held me up when I've collapsed on the floor in a sobbing mess of brokenness. He has tucked me gently into bed and held me as I wept myself into exhaustion. Yes, Fifty has shown me the stark the opposite of this. The horrific domination of a selfish man. My husband pierces my soul with his intensely devoted love. My eyes are open, my love, you are a hero.
Fifty has reminded me of my womanhood. I am strong. I believe and I believe hard and steadfast. I have opinions, and they are valuable. I have faith, and it is right and it is good. God has given me a mind, a body, a beauty, that is my own, defined in Him. He created me in His image, therefore, I am precious. I have the right to stand in His strength, I have the privilege to live in the reflection of His glory, I am intricately made to be me. I am woman. I am wanted. There is no necessity to conform to another's manipulations, control, opinion, dominance, or abuse. I submit only to my Creator and to the lines of leadership He has placed in my life. Leadership that does not abuse, but values. Woman is beautiful.
Fifty has reminded me of my daughter. Her innocence and purity. Her desire to live with her brother forever and ever and never leave her daddy. Of the importance to surround her with men who value her, protect her, teach her how to stand, how to value who God made her to be, how to be a leader and a fighter for that which she believes. To be a woman of faith coupled with a grasp of the strength given to her by her Lord, to guard herself, and those around her. I rise and up and call you blessed, oh sweet one, for tomorrow this world will attempt to break you. But you are a soldier for the King, His princess, and a warrior of grace.
Fifty has reminded me of all that I have been blessed with. In the wake of gray, I find beautiful, blazing white. Blinding my eyes and astounding me with glory. God has magnificently designed His perfection.
I will never promote Fifty in all its oppressive, disrespectful, dishonoring insult. I will never urge a woman to read it, or suggest a man take his wife to view it. But I will stand and say, in the shadows of darkness, a magnificent light can shine. It can bring to remembrance the beauty of blessing. It can reignite thankfulness for the man I have married who honors me. It can show me, all the more powerfully, that God can take my sickening, disgusting, pitiful humanity and redeem it into something precious.