Yes. It’s true. I am a woman. I wasn’t always a woman. I was once a girl. I was a little girl with dreams that grew into a young woman with dreams who wanted to change the world.
Long ago I went to a small Bible school. Several of us had crossed the cul de sac to a restaurant. We were sitting in a booth when one of the male second year students asked me a question. Somewhere in my answer I said I wanted to be a youth pastor. I was still a youth and I had loved my youth group. I still love my former youth leaders. I cherish the memories made during that time in my life. I wanted to reach teens for Christ. I also wanted to take them to lots of concerts and other fun things because I like having fun!
The table got quiet and he smiled in a way that made me uncomfortable as he looked at the other guys at the table. Then he says, “Youth pastor, eh? Well, we’ll see about that.” I didn’t know what he meant. Yet, in that moment I felt less than. From then on I began to feel that because I am a woman I didn’t have a place in ministry. That’s not quite true. I knew that I could teach other women and children, but that women were not to preach to the general public.
[This post is not to debate whether women can be ministers or presidents or whatever they want. This is only about my story of believing the “not enough” lie I’m addressing in this series.]
Somewhere between this moment and when I became a wife and mother I saw myself as “less than”. Don’t get me wrong, being a wife and mom are honorable callings. I have found that our identity can get so wound up in those titles that we forget who we really are. I am more than what I do. I felt like I couldn’t have a desire for anything more because women took care of the home. Yes, there were celebrated authors, but they were missionaries or something special.
Becoming a wife and trying to learn this elusive submissive thing was challenging. I do believe that there is submission in relationship, but it’s built on trust. My opinion isn’t less valuable because I am a stupid woman. In fact, I think many of us women are so intelligent, but also intuitive. When we marry good men they know to listen to us.
In the seven years since my marriage ended I have changed much of my thinking. Yet, when I feel weak I fall back to the thought, “I belong in a kitchen, not out for the general public to be assaulted by.” I begin talking as though I am nobody.
Truth is I am a very important somebody. I have value, even as a woman. In fact, I think God speaks to us in a special way.
How does God communicate with you?