This post was originally part of the Rachel Held Evans synchroblog event, One in Christ: A Week of Mutuality. However I was reminded of it as we have waded through all the posts about the recent tragedy in California and the outpouring that is #YesAllWomen. I am in the process of writing a post which should be up tomorrow which weaves in the stories women sent to me after my own post, Sexual Assault and Me. In the meantime I have to admit that I am weary yet again. Some of you have expressed the same so I thought I would share this post with all of us again. I know I needed to hear it again.
I hate to admit it but sometimes…
I grow weary of the fight.
I want to retreat into my own marriage and life and let everyone else fend for themselves.
I feel like it is an uphill battle in which the hill is coated in grease and I am wearing skis.
I am just done asking for a seat at the table and just want to smash the table to bits.
I want to give up when I hear the things people say to me and other women I know about why they should be quiet and ask their husbands at home.
I mourn for the girls who are told that education is wasted on them and the only reason they should go to college is to find a husband.
I am discouraged when women I know choose to mute their own voices to keep the peace.
I get angry when pastors and leaders teach that because of my gender I am just a smidge less equal than my son or my husband or my father or any other man simply because he is a man.
I want to throw in the towel when rather than lifting up their sisters our brothers choose to stand on our backs to elevate themselves.
My heart breaks when I hear single women or women without children told that the highest calling of a woman is bearing children rather than loving God and loving her neighbor as herself.
My soul hurts when women who are abused are told that God will reward them for enduring the abuse of their husband.
The fight just goes right out of me when young women are taught that their voice should be muted so their husband’s can be heard.
I get so upset I can’t speak when women are blamed for the sexual sins of men because they look too good and then chastised for not “keeping themselves up” for their husbands.
The road seems too long when I listen to the voices of young men when they explain that they are looking for a Proverbs 31 woman and they think that means she should be ALL the things on that list in order to measure up. Rather than seeing it as a way to look for things she is doing well and praising her for them.
I die a little inside when I realize I still have to explain honor killings and acid attacks to my daughter.
I want to scream, “Stop comparing yourself to a woman you were never meant to be! Let your voice be heard! You are a fierce, beautiful, lovely creation of God meant to bear his image as much as any man!”
I want to whisper, “You are enough. You are loved just as you are. If you never DO another thing. You do not have to be anything except who God already made you.”
And then, sometimes…
I am reminded there are others out there throwing off the cone of silence and shouting to the heavens, “I have something to say! Jesus gave me this voice and these gifts. I was born a woman to reflect the image of God!”
I watch in amazement as others fumble with their keys to unlock the shackles of others in bondage to a set of rules God never put on them; rules that are kept in place by leaders who would never consider bearing the same burden themselves.
I gain strength from husbands and brothers and fathers who support and defend and practice mutual submission, and in the face of being accused of weakness and passivity they show a strength that shakes the earth and frees the captives.
My heart sings as I watch a young woman who would never consider muting herself as the way to attract a man of character but rather looks for a man who is strong enough to want to hear what she has to say.
I burst with joy when I see the tide turning as post after post, and book after book, and woman after woman, and marriage after marriage are spoken and written and unleashed and transformed from something that resembles at best a benevolent dictatorship into a beautiful dance of mutual respect, mutual submission and self-sacrificing love that reflects the relationship of the trinity.
I want to shout from the rooftops, “The tide is turning! It cannot be stopped! Jesus has come! Freedom has come! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
I want to whisper, “Come quickly, Lord. Bring freedom to as many as possible. Let their voices, women and men, come together to lift each other up by outdoing each other in love and honor. Don’t let me lose heart. Give me strength to never give up because every person you made bears your image and their voices must be heard just as you made them for them to fully love you and others as you intended.”
- If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart? (wordofawoman.com)
- The Closest Friends I’ve Never Met and an Unladylike Manifesto (wordofawoman.com)
- So She Did. A Word of Encouragement to Women…and Men. (wordofawoman.com)
- In Defense of the ‘Unladylike’ Christian Woman (blogher.com)
- Gendered Virtue or Is This Bench Taken? (wordofawoman.com)
- Today My Daughter’s World Changed and It Broke My Heart (wordofawoman.com)