“With the spirit of her people who do not know defeat, even when it stared them in the face, she raised her chin. She could get Rhett back. She knew she could. There had never been a man she couldn’t get, once she set her mind upon him.”
“I’ll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.”
These are the last words uttered by the heroine in one of the most well known stories since its release in 1936, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Although there are aspects of the story which are far from perfect, the plot gives a window into the human heart through the main character, Scarlett O’Hara. In one moment she is demanding, manipulative and whiny while in another, she is strong, persevering and wise. Scarlett is a complicated woman. I can relate.
What does Scarlett’s story have to do with Sacred Story? As I sought God about the meaning, I realized Scarlett’s search speaks to every woman’s desire to discover the sacred in her story. Scarlett lives during a time of battle and she’s fighting to keep Tara, the estate her family owns. This home along with the land where it is located represents her family, her history, and her dreams. In short, Tara is her identity.
In a similar fashion, a woman is in a battle for her identity. God hears her cry for a secure identity, not based on position, circumstances or possessions. He provides the source of her identity as the One who created her. Psalm 139:13-14 (NLT) says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it.”
Scarlett fights for Tara not only because it represents her identity but also because she knows there’s a bigger picture for the generations to come. She clings to the land as the legacy which is passed down from generation to generation. She sees purpose in her battle.
We are designed to fulfill a purpose which will last beyond our lifetime. God longs to meet the need of a woman’s heart for purpose in her story. The writer of the Psalms says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.” 57:2 (NLT)
Scarlett’s character flaws are on full display. She’s not your typical “southern belle.” At the beginning of the story, Scarlett manipulates men she doesn’t care about in order to gain their affection. Her stubbornness leads to marrying her first husband out of spite. Toward the end of the novel, Scarlett’s passion to protect her family’s inheritance in Tara surfaces unpredictable behavior. Even to the degree of shooting a Yankee deserter who tries to steal the family’s meager portion of belongings in the final days of the war.
Like Scarlett, a woman often attempts to find affirmation in the world around her. She may determine her worth comes from how she looks, what she owns, where she’s from, how people respond, what job she has, how her children behave and many other definitions along those lines. Whenever a woman feels threatened, she looks for ways to bring about an outcome that will make her feel better about herself– often at the expense of her true self or others around her. When she is the center of her story, a woman forfeits her opportunity to experience God as the Author.
Where are you in your story? Are you living for your plans? Do you find yourself disillusioned, demanding, bored, hurting, hopeful? God knows your need for worth. He also realizes your nature to look for value in what or whom you can control. He is ready to write a new chapter in your story where He can work all things together for your good. He longs to hear your surrender so that He can bring purpose and identity to your daily life. Isaiah 30:18 reveals His heart, “The Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion.”
At the end of Gone With the Wind, Scarlett affirms her ability to face tomorrow and to reclaim the man she loves. She seeks to find her identity once again. Like Scarlett, you have a decision before you. You can continue to live your story in your own strength while trying to determine a positive outcome. Or you can live a sacred story through Christ’s strength. Sacred means “devoted or worthy.” No matter how your circumstances unfold, God’s hand upon you will cause your life to blossom into a beautiful and eternal story.
Scarlett was right when she said, “Tomorrow is another day.” Reach out to the Author, Jesus Christ, today.
Read more: Knowing the Author.