Saturday, 13 August 2011

And Who Are You?

I once wandered into a room full of people I didn’t really know and someone looked up and casually, innocently, asked “And who are you?”  I answered with the expected answer, my name, and the conversation went from there, innocent, easy and completely without agenda. 

That question, though, has stuck with me.  For years I have wondered who I was in terms of where I fit, in the church and then the world around me.  The things that I was passionate about didn’t seem to jive with what I was taught, mostly by the examples set before me, were acceptable.  The people I found myself surrounded with weren’t the ones that were the preferred company for a girl, a woman, in the church to be spending her time with.  The things I said, the things I did, were all outside the acceptable conventional norms for a Christian woman.

According to the unspoken teachings of the church, I AM A FAILURE.

I have never been a “good Christian woman”.  I am not overly domestic despite the fact I love my children with all my heart. I am (I can admit this now!) a horrible housekeeper even though I can organize the crap out of everything.  I try to save, and do have a little savings happening, but I am only now getting better at not spending more than I make in a month.  I have debts and at times it feels like I am up to my eyeballs in them even though I know that’s not true….and I am paying them off, slowly. I hate wearing long skirts, haha! I will never homeschool my children, at least not the two I have now!  I don’t attend women’s Bible studies or brunches.  I don’t garden.  I wear 5” heels and look damn good when I do.   I swear.  I drink.  I dance. I have a tattoo and am getting more.  I have piercings and am getting more.  I have dear close friends who aren’t Christians.  I don’t make meals for those in crisis or who just had babies.  I don’t volunteer to teach Sunday school.  I am divorced.  I go to bars and pubs and enjoy spending time with people there.  I am outspoken, strongly opinionated and blunt.  I read Proverbs 31 and think “That woman was on speed!” because there is no way she could have done all of those things and still slept and secretly hate her for being so impossible to measure up to.

Satan would certainly like me to believe that I am.  After all, he is a total asshole who wants nothing more than to destroy those who are passionately and madly in love with Jesus.  Which I am, even if I don’t get up an hour before I really need to in order to spend those first quiet moments of the day with him….although maybe I should…but that’s a post for another day.

I love my children with all my heart and work hard to provide for their needs, making sure they have all that they need and some of what they want.  I love my family and my friends and while I am not always very good at expressing that love, because the deep emotion that I feel when it comes to them just makes me want to cry and I hate that, but I am working on it.  I love children, all children, and while I may not enjoy teaching in a classroom, I love spending time with the children of my friends, loving them, teaching them in the context of relationship through action and words whatever they need to know.  I love talking to people, hearing their stories, being their friend and supporting them however I can….even though they may live in ways I don’t choose to live in or agree with at all.  I have a tattoo that starts conversations, that is part of my testimony.  My non-church friends think I am the coolest religious chick they know because I accept them just as they are. I have piercings because I think they are cool. I drink beer and wine because I hate pop and most juice. I dance because music is part of my soul and I can’t stand still.   I am divorced because I chose to take a stand against abuse and end the cycle of that.  I see the hurting and the broken in the world around me and my heart breaks for those who are breaking.  I have a passion to see people who are living in bondage and with the horrors of all types of abuse step out of that, find freedom and healing and hope, no matter who they are in that picture, abused or abuser.  I want to see more lives changed because they have experienced God’s grace, mercy, love, and acceptance while still being held accountable for their wrong-doings.  I long to see people rescued from a life of addiction before it ever gets to that point. I love to have people in my home as part of our lives, not as guests to be entertained but as family. I am transparent and honest and bold.  I am forgiven.  

So I may not be quite what others think I should be but I am who God made me to be.  He’s given me this heart of mine, these passions of mine.  He’s crafted my interests, skills and gifts just the way he wants them to be.  He wrote the song that is sung in my heart.  I don’t need to be anyone’s idea of what the ideal Christian woman is.  In the eyes of Jesus, I AM EXACTLY WHO HE HAS DESIGNED ME TO BE, therefore in his eyes….


WHAT ABOUT YOU?  Do you struggle with feeling like you don’t quite measure up to the expectations of people?  Do you wonder at times (or maybe all the time) where you fit in the world of church that we have created for ourselves?  What has God taught you or shown you as you have wrestled with these things?


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