For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley,

I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I am a mom of a teenage girl who has sung your music and loved your hair and a teenage boy who has eaten popcorn and watched your movies. We are a family who has prayed for you because...well, we know. As a woman and a mom of a daughter and a son, there are a few things I want you to know.

I want you to know I'm sorry. I'm sorry you were exploited growing up. I'm sorry you carried a company on your shoulders. I'm sorry that people asked you to be an example to others when they were lousy examples to you. If they had been good examples, they would have known when to pull the plug, when to let you be a teenager, when to tell you no even when you wanted on stage. If they had been good examples, they would have cared more about you than their profit margin or their ratings. They would have shown you what a true "covering" does. They would have shown you how adults protect young people, maybe even from themselves. They would have known that sometimes dreams need to be held at bay a bit, that just because you can doesn't mean you should. They would have protected you. I'm so sorry they didn't.

I'm sorry the pedestal gave you a nose bleed and people didn't know how to handle it when it gave way.

I'm sorry you were not taught that your greatest value wasn't in what you could do for others but what Jesus did for you. I'm sorry you became a product to be marketed instead of a person to be nurtured.

I'm just so sorry.

I will not pretend I know how you feel. I know how I have felt when I was at the mercy of situations beyond my control or others' bad choices, and I was angry. I was sad and grieved what I had lost. I think if I were you, I would be outraged...and sad. I think I would have a lot to grieve, and if you are anything like me, you might even want to punish some of those folks who failed miserably. Of course, if you are a better person than me, maybe not. But if you are like me, I encourage you to grieve all of it. Give yourself some time to heal up. You'll be stronger if you do. And don't waste your energy trying to punish those people. It's not about being above it or better than them. When you hurt core deep, being better than anyone means nothing. However, the longer you focus your energy on them, the longer you are in their pathetic prisons. You deserve so much better than that. I say cut them lose and walk away because you deserve a better life than they have to offer. You've been at their mercy long enough. Give yourself the gift of freedom, beautiful one. It's time.

I want you to know you are welcome in my home any time. Come by. Have some sweet tea. I have an extra bed. The room is weirdly pink (previous owners doing), but if you can endure that, you are welcome to stay a bit. Rest. Don't impress us. Don't perform. Sing in the shower. Don't. Up to you. But you are welcome any time.

I also want you to know I'm concerned about your recent choices because I'm concerned about you. A woman who knows her value does not need to make some of the choices you've made, and I want you to know I know you are priceless. My family knows you are priceless. You were made by a perfect God who never makes mistakes. You were handcrafted by the greatest Artist ever. We know.

I want you to know if you decide one day you don't like the choices you are making or the life you are living, God has not abandoned you, and He can redeem anything. Lord God knows you haven't done anything I haven't done. I just didn't do it on a stage, and the paparazzi didn't care, and I'm telling you as a witness to His mercy, He has not abandoned you. Nothing is beyond Him. YOU are not beyond Him.

And the last thing I want you to know is I'm praying for you. Still. I've been a woman who didn't know my value, who made bad choices, who was failed by those who should have protected me. My heart is for your good, and my prayers are as well.

God be with you and help you find all you are in Him.

With absolutely sincerity,
Jerri Kelley Phillips

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