Last fall, I led worship at a University Ministry Banquet. I was thrilled to see that their main speaker was a woman, something I had never seen at this event in previous years. She had been ministering as a lead pastor for over 20 years! I was impressed and ready to sit and learn from her… Her main point: She was tired of being asked, “what’s it like to be a woman in ministry?” She just wanted to be seen as a minister, not a woman in ministry. She went on to say that we need to “take the labels off of it.” I completely understood her point and could hear her underlining plea to be respected as an equal. At the time, I, too, was struggling with a need to be validated in my role.
But fast-forward to about a month ago and I had a very vivid dream. A dream in which I was wearing a long floral skirt with pearl buttons down the front. It was beautiful and had been tailor made. I loved it. But not long after I had put it on, two more women entered the room. One asked for the skirt and the other waited at the door. I gave the skirt away while the woman at the door encouraged me saying, “this is easier”, “this is what’s best”. The other woman put the skirt on and I went to open the door for her. My body was immediately taken over by a roaring voice that came out my lips scream, “Everyone will be harmed!” It was loud and frightening, I didn’t know what to do so I just apologized for raising my voice and tried to open the door again. This time the words, “Everyone will be harmed!” rang out so powerfully that the woman wearing my skirt was pushed clean into the next room.
I awoke alert and confused. But I knew one thing: I had been warned. But warned about what I was not sure. I sought the Lord and wise counsel for interpretation and came to understand that the skirt was femininity. It was something beautiful and in giving up this part of myself, harm would happen. And not just to myself, but to everyone.
Since the beginning, I was told many times, how hard being a woman in leadership was going to be. And there have been many times that giving up would’ve been the “easier” way. But through this dream, God has reminded me, warned me, to hold on even tighter to who I am. Even the most feminine parts of myself. He needs those too.
Frankly, I’m tired of apologizing for who I am. I am woman and I am “wonderfully complex”!
That covers every part of who I am; my nurturing spirit and my emotions. Let me ask you a question: How do you feel about your emotions? Kind of an odd question, I know. But go with me for a sec. Can we go somewhere? I mean, it’s just us girls here and I’ve got to say it…We cannot define the entirety of our emotional self by one week of the month. You know what I’m sayin. Just because we have one week of the month that needs some extra attention, does NOT mean that you cannot trust your emotions. We need to learn to trust our God-given emotions and teach ourselves and our daughters to allow God to speak to us through our emotions. Through seeking God, testing the spirits, and checking the scripture, we can learn to be Spirit led in our emotions!
God is speaking to your heart. Don’t close Him off because that’s not how men lead. You are missing so many opportunities to be used by doing so. Lead as a woman. Strong and Caring.
Hey, maybe we should make up some t-shirt:
“It’s not PMS - it’s Godly Emotions”
But then again, maybe not! ;)
The point is women, You are NOT too emotional. You are NOT too caring. Stop apologizing for who you are. You are who God made you to be. Apologizing for who we are is saying to ourselves and everyone else that we are not enough. That we are not fit and we are inferior. If we want to be respected, we need to first and foremost respect ourselves. Maybe you're saying, “I do respect myself but I don’t feel respected? What do I do about that?”
God didn’t call you to inferiority. He doesn’t call anyone, male or female, to inferiority. That’s not a God of love or freedom. And no one I know would choose that kind of existence. To be clear here, I’m not talking about submitting to authority or respecting and honoring leadership. That is Godly and an absolute must. I’m talking about being treated as less than and feeling that at best, most of the time, you are just tolerated.
First of all, let me say, I know that it is a difficult place to be in, and I don’t minimize that struggle.
But let’s realize that there are two sides.
We need to let women be women AND men be men. Let’s stop rebuking men for doing things instinctive to their nature like trying to provide for us and protect us. Let’s stop saying, “I don’t need a man to (fill-in the blank).” Let’s stop suppressing our feelings (emotions), bc we don’t wanna look weak. Because the truth is...we need each other. We really do.
This is why marriage is such a beautiful example of the fullness of God. It’s beauty and strength. It’s nurture and provision. It’s love and respect. And it’s together that they reflect the nature of God.
Imagine a boat without a sail. A car without an engine. A printer without ink...and God forbid, peanut butter without jelly! ;)
Listen, we don’t have to be gender-neutral to be a leader! The church and the world needs both the fathering and the mothering spirit. Women, it’s time to embrace and accept who God made us to be. Own it! Treasure it! We need you and your frilly skirt!
Here Be Lions - an awesome ministry that is championing men in their callings!
Brave Worship Community Group on FB - an amazing community of women who are cheering each other on in their callings!
Brave Poem by Bob Blankenship
The Worship Podcast - Interview with Krissy Nordhoff
The Worship Podcast - Interview with Amanda Blankenship & Krissy Nordhoff