I’m not in the habit of reading the latest release, hyped-up memoirs by celebrities. But when I heard about Britney Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me (and if you’re on social media, who didn’t hear about it?) I was intrigued.
Not because I was a fan of Britney’s. Yes, I enjoyed a lot of her earlier music, but it wasn’t my favourite of the time. In fact, I was more of a Christian Aguilera fan.
But Britney and Christina represent an era in my life. You see, they are the same age as me. They were emerging on the world scene as I was emerging into adulthood. In some ways, it was like I was growing up with them.
I witnessed Britney’s rise and perplexing spiralling (think driving-with-baby-on-lap, shaving her head) at a time I was also rising and spiralling. Her first single, Baby One More Time, came out just as I was starting university. While her fame and popularity grew, I was finishing my degree and launching into my career. Britney got into a doomed marriage a year after I did. While she was having babies, I wished I was having babies (and starting to experience fertility issues).
So I was curious to get the backstory and the private insights of Britney’s life.
In terms of a book review, this isn’t what this post is about. But I’ll give you a quick analysis in case you are curious.
Technically I listened to this book, not read it. There was much hype about it being narrated by Michelle Williams (another celebrity from my heydays I was a big Dawson’s Creek fan) but I think if I didn’t know it was her, I wouldn’t have picked it up myself. And for some reason I can’t quantify, I didn’t particularly like her narration of it.
Overall, Britney’s story is certainly interesting. But I felt the first half of the memoir lacked detail and emotional depth. I felt there were a lot of things that were unsaid or unexplained. It seemed to gloss over some details that really needed more attention. The second half of the memoir, as it went into the conservatorship years, was more detailed and emotional – but I felt this section got repetitive. Yes, I understand that her life was repetitive at that time, going about in a circle she was trapped in. But from a storytelling perspective, it was sluggish.
Add to that, it was uninspiring to hear her talking about her husband throughout the memoir knowing that they’d already separated by the time the book was released/
So, would I recommend The Woman in Me? If you’re curious about her life like I was, go ahead. If you want something well-written and engaging that will leave you feeling hopeful by the end, I’d give it a miss.
I’m writing this post because early in the memoir I realised this:
The odds were against Britney from the beginning.
Her memoir starts by telling us about the lives of both sets of her grandparents, and then her parents. Divorce, addiction, control, mental illness, and abuse were already well-established in her bloodline.
Where does hope come from when someone is born into such circumstances? If you’ve witnessed or experienced these issues in your own family, you’ll know how hard it is to break the cycle.
Add money and fame to the mix and you have a recipe for catastrophic disaster.
And that’s what the enemy’s plan is – to set you up to fail from the beginning. He knows that if he can ruin your childhood, he’s ruined your adulthood. That’s why generational curses are so hard to break.
in 2008 Britney was placed under financial and personal conservatorship. Her father, Jamie Spears, was appointed as her conservator and controlled her life for the next 13 years.
I’m not going to speculate or debate whether the conservatorship was warranted or not. However it came to be, Britney’s account of her conservatorship is mind-boggling and horrifying. Her every move was dictated and controlled, and any mother would identify with the heart-wrenching separation from her children.
Britney didn’t believe she had a choice. She didn’t think there was a way out. And she thought that if she did as she was told, made everyone happy, and just be good, everything would be okay.
Does any of that sound familiar to you? I know I felt that way more than once in my life.
The most tragic part of it all was that she did have a choice. For years she was told and believed that she couldn’t choose her own lawyer. She was controlled in such a way to keep that truth hidden from her: restricted phone use, monitoring of her every move. And her self-esteem was eroded by a daily diet of lies about her worth her parents and her power.
You know who also does this? Satan. The enemy. The Father of Lies.
He wants to keep you trapped in your destructive and unhealthy circumstances. To do this he’ll lie to you and convince you that you’ve got no way out.
This was your mistake now you have to live with it.
No one will believe you.
Your feelings don’t matter.
He will block the truth from getting to you, intercept friends and family who can help you, isolate you from people who truly love you. Make your mind so numb from lies that even when you hear the truth, it can’t permeate. He’ll wear you down so that you have no strength to fight and find a way out. He’ll happy you so hard that you give up and accept the circumstances as your lot in life.
The first part of John 10:10 says:
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
The enemy shows no mercy. His sole agenda is to steal your peace, your security, your joy; to kill your dreams, your hopes; to destroy your purpose, your relationships, your identity.
But there is hope. In the second part of John 10:10, Jesus tells us:
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
In John 14:6 Jesus also tells us:
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
And my favourite verse of all from Galatians 5:1:
For freedom, Christ that is free.
For freedom Christ that is free! Britney finally discovered that she could appoint her own lawyer, and this lawyer got out of the conservatorship. She was set free because she discovered the truth, believed the truth, and actioned the truth
Here’s the full verse:
For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Stand firm then. Stand firm in the truth of the freedom that Jesus has given us. Don’t submit again to slavery. Once you’re out, stay out.
There are so many prisons that the enemy has built for us. Bad relationships, addictions (of any kind!), self-doubt, wrong jobs/careers, fears, anxiety. Even though Satan can’t take away a Christian’s salvation, he’ll do anything to keep you from living in freedom. Because when you do, you’ll shine the light of Jesus and bring more glory to God.
John 8:36 says:
So if the Son sets you free you really will be free.
Britney’s freedom isn’t complete. Sure, she’s out of the conservatorship and that’s a big win. How the courts appointed her controlling, abusive father as her conservator is flabbergasting – so you know the enemy was at work there. But her latest marriage didn’t last, and she still appears to be struggling with self-image.
Don’t be deceived by Britney’s profession of praying. She mentions prayer in her memoir and credits it as being the main tool she used to get out of her conservatorship.
Who is she praying to? She doesn’t mention that. Her Instagram profile (which, by the way, is full of near-naked and provocative images of Britney) also states, “Pray Every Day”. Yet you see clues to the real meaning behind this as she posts about books she’s reading relating to high magic and the third eye. Be very careful when anyone professes to pray. Remember that we are to discern and look for the fruits in people’s lives.
Generational curses are one of the major tools the enemy uses to keep us enslaved. It impacts not just us, but our families, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren … and so on.
That’s what I picked up in the opening chapter of The Woman in Me. With that history of generational spiritual strongholds, the odds were never in Britney’s favour.
This is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about seeing women and families find the freedom of Christ and walk in the freedom of Christ. It’s for the sake of sooooo many, including the people whom you and your family will impact in your lives.
Sometimes the curses are subtle, and the outside observer wouldn’t pick up on them. I didn’t pick up on some of the ones in my family for a long time.
For the sake of your kids, and their kids, deal with your past – whether it’s your fault or now. Bring it to Jesus, take in his truth, and accept his freedom. I won’t lie – it isn’t easy. The enemy will stand in your way. He’ll throw a tantrum that will make your two-year-old’s throw-down-on-the-floor, scream-fest meltdown in the grocery store look like a lullaby. But that’s only because the enemy knows he’s been found out his days are numbered.
But whatever you do, don’t do it alone. Ask Jesus to bring you someone who will walk through the battle with you.
God’s blessings, peace, love, and strength to you.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guide your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4 6 to 7
I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
All scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.