Wow… thanks for your comments and emails. I feel encouraged and strengthened. My previous post rallied some great discussion and dialogue about empowerment, the female struggle, and ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s role in leading, defining, and refining His children. Since my post, I have done plenty of thinking about my own beliefs, what this struggle has meant for me personally, and how ultimately, I will surrender to the authority of God. More than ever I hope to gain understanding and strength in my quest to see women who believe they are called to positions of leadership find peace in the God who burdened their heart for the body in the first place.
I find myself in a very interesting situation right now. I feel supported, encouraged, and loved by the body of believers who hired JD and I to shepherd their students into the Kingdom. I am content with my ‘role’ (as defined by the apprenticeship) and more importantly, feel relieved to be in a situation where I can best use the gifts given to me by my Creator. My heart and my focus is to make disciples of the students God has entrusted us with, and I have no agenda to ‘let those Baptists know that women can be leaders in the Church too’ 😉 It doesn’t mean I don’t notice, however, that the leadership of the church is mandated by men (I realize my Presbyterian background is a bit shocked by this) and will most likely not change as I have heard discussion about such things already. So I store it in my brain, and I might write about it a little bit – but the discussion will be generalized. Stones are not meant to be thrown, but questions should be raised.
Leisel brought up a very valid point that really resonated with my heart. “Part of the Fall… is being reversed by movements started by people who are unafraid to step out and just be who they are– regardless of what other people think.” JD actually said a very similar thing the other day; “we were all created equally, and after the Fall, that equality got distorted and redefined – robbing us of the individuality and freedom that God intended.” I like that – well, not that the Fall happened, but that God never meant for us to find strife in who He called us to be. I find freedom in those statements. Part of my struggle is seeking to find God’s purpose for me in the confines of ‘roles’ and ‘titles’ that the church, society, professions, etc. have created – and to be honest, I just haven’t found it. I do know that God has called me to preach the Gospel and freedom into the lives of those I come in contact with, either directly or indirectly, and that He has given me specific gifts and talents in which to do so. Another part of Leisel’s comment (sorry Leis, but you just said a lot of cool things, hope you don’t mind): “… as far as men and women’s roles? Yikes. I don’t even know what that is…nor do I think it’s a blanket concept that can be applied to all men or all women. We’re all designed uniquely and individually– all loved and all created for purposes that do not all look the same.” Thank you. Thank you for bringing restoration for my soul after a pretty hard week, and a really long struggle. Thank you, also, for speaking a truth that becomes so distorted when we simplify it into society’s terms.
In His Aloha (much love),
p.s. – and J… go for it sister 🙂