Thursday, January 22, 2009

We as Women

I have one problem with being a woman: I am the submissive gender. This is what i am called to be. It is humbling, and so worth it to go thru the refining fire to get to a place where i am truly serving my God as a woman of faith, trust, PATIENCE.
But sometimes the journey along the way seems....hopeless, really. The rare opportunities (since starting school again) that i get to talk with dear friends and exchange heartfelt musings...oh, it is so refreshing! B/c we as women always think we are "the only ones" going thru it--whatever "it" happens to be. But a quick open-hearted conversation with those in the same period of life vehemently denies the words i told myself to be true. Here are some of the thoughts that get implanted in my brain/my heart even:
-What's wrong with me? Am i just not attractive?
-Why am i the only one who struggles with love?
-are ppl not telling me something that is terribly wrong with me that i am completely unaware of?
-At this age, I should be married. Instead, I am still in my father's household, under my father's headship
-Will someone just come and sweep me off my feet already?? Why this waiting period?
...and more questions, i'm sure, many more. But the commonality is this: Insecurities caused by nonbiblical expectations. May i have the privilege of directing you to the bare minimum of facts about the lives of some of God's chosen women?
Ruth- I just read the book of Ruth and I am struck by these facts: husband dies (that is tragic enough in itself!), stranger in a foreign land, just one human to rely on for most of the journey (naomi), who keeps urging her to leave. obviously, we forget that Ruth had to have left her own family before marrying Naomi's son. Ugh! Do we realize the sacrifice? Then, marries Boaz, an older man. I don't know, maybe it was a true romance, but i think there's a possibility that at first she had to learn to love this new husband. OH, and she was about to be given to a man she didn't even know b/c he had the rights to her! So she was like property. How unlovey dovey is that?
Esther- sure, she was the most beautiful of all the land. But so often I forget that when entering the throne room of the king, she did not know the outcome of the story! To go into a room knowing you may come out with a death sentence...i can't see that being easy. And then to work up the courage to defy the man next in line to authority! Whew. And you think the however many years she spent going thru beauty rituals would have been glorious...but after a couple months, i'm sure she was questioning her purpose in being there and going through all of that.
Tamar- Oh my goodness, Tamar!!! An evil husband, an unsupportive family, risking her life to sleep with her father-in-law...doesn't look like she had a bevy of besties to confide in and share with in her drama. She was flying solo...But from her womb came the line of the Messiah. Tamar had it hard.
Mary- to be accused of premarital relations. to keep the secret of her immaculate conception. to be wrongly esteemed by her soon to be husband. that was tough, i am sure. Also, she was carrying the Christ child. How unworthy do you think she felt? How many times would you have questioned why you were chosen for this task, when so many more are stronger?
Sarah- fertility drugs are now an option. You don't have to wait 90 plus years to have your first child. but she did. She also made quite a mess of it when her faith was lacking.
Bathsheba- seriously, she sleeps with the king. Man, i would feel like such a guilty cheater and a whore. She could've said no to him (or maybe she couldn't have, i don't know the details there). Then her husband is killed. May i have an extra helping of guilt, please? Oh, and then her firstborn is killed.

These facts weave themselves into the stories so familiar to us that I think we forget to think about the bumpy roads these women actually had to go on. Here i am asking God for a husband, assuming once i find him we will live happily ever after, have 6 adorable and gifted children, go save Africa, and have a beach house in Hawaii. But none of these God-fearing ladies had it that easy. You see, I have a supportive family. I will not be forced to marry a certain man. I will not have to have a baby on a slab of stone and then watch him die as i hold him, helpless to save him. i have it freaking EASY! Yes, I may be called to give up my husband earlier than i have planned, my children might be taken by the Lord earlier than i have planned... I might find myself in the company of guilty, hideous bottom-dwellers, feeling as if all i can do is survive (think Mary Magdelene).
But until that day comes, until more joy and calamity mix and intermingle in my life, I will praise God for the comfort and security of my home. my family nearby. My mom to hold me. My dad to protect me. My friends to encourage me. At present, I am building my armor. My plans are not His plans. If I am much less fortunate than the "norm" of young 23-year-old women, failing to reach the expectations the world puts upon me, well, that needs to be ok. This is just the beginning. Tomorrow may never come. And so, am i able to praise God for my present situation, or will i continue to gripe about His timing? Oh me of little patience;)

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