Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who am I?

I read this blog today and it made me sad. Sad because I get it. Sad because the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence either.

See, I've got this line that often use in jest. I say "I'm really not a normal girl" or "I'm just not a girly girl" and I know what it means. I love hockey and could probably chat stats with the best of them...current ones, not the old ones. I argue that the CFL is better than the NFL and mean it. I am learning to love mountain biking. I enjoy sports, both playing and watching.  My favorite movies include pirates, bank robbers, gladiators, or robots and, ideally, something being blown up. I like to get dirty, whether it's in my yard or exploring the greater outdoors. Sometimes, I even feel like I think like a guy in terms of work...because a woman who finds value in working is obviously a feminist, right? I'm a leader, not a follower. I have opinions. Strong ones. Lots of them. I enjoy building stuff and am okay to lift stuff. I've changed the brakes in my car before, know how to change the oil and could swap tires if I had a flat (but don't worry, I'd still take advantage of someone else offering to do it for me!).

I don't like pink or dramatic movies that make me cry. Rom coms are actually quite unnecessary, if you ask me. I don't go shopping for fun or know how to put together a great outfit. I don't feel like I have a "style" but, by virtue of picking out a certain style of clothes, I guess I probably do, albeit, maybe a bad one. Who would know? Certainly not me. I own maybe 6 pairs of shoes and I'm sure two of them are flip flops. Makeup and hair products confuse me and stress me out. Most days I don't wear make up. Accessories? What are those? Most crafting makes me shudder. Girls' nights freak me out a little bit. What on earth do I have to offer in those situations?! I prefer a good steak or juicy burger to salads and vegetables any day although I am very conscious of nutrition and want to live a healthy life. I use the public washroom but I go by myself. Really, it makes me uncomfortable to go with other people. I can do it myself, thank you. Decorating and shopping are done out of necessity, not just for fun. Rarely are they a social activity.

And here's the kicker. The one that's making me feel separated and far apart from what a "real" woman should be, at least lately in the church: I'm not a wife or mom nor can I have conversations about all things concerning being a wife and mother. I simply become a bystander in conversations about diapers and school choices, cribs or growth patterns, discipline strategies, potty training and life with husbands. It's especially fun when observing those conversations, I find people feeling sorry for me or trying to explain away the fact that I'm not someone's mom or someone's wife as if to make up for my "loss" or "lack." Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate that these are a significant part of the lives of many people around me. It's just not a part of mine and, when that's the primary conversations of what feels like all the females around me, I can't help but feel outside and, well, different.If that is what defines most of the women around me, what does that mean for me?

I'm convinced that while wife and mother are brilliant titles - ones I hope to share one day - I don't believe that they are synonymous with female. They are not the definition of feminine. Particularly from the biblical perspective in which we are told that men and women are both created in God's image, it seems to me that there's more to it than that, something more all-encompassing and (dare I say it without someone accusing me of being bitter) more complete. The woman in Proverbs 31, for example, seems to be different too and that makes me feel a little better but still, I find myself feeling outside and different, somehow lacking, when I'm with the women I know.

So here are some of my questions...

What does it mean to be feminine? Not the extreme feminist version or the conservative traditional picture but the true, biblical heart of womanhood.

What does it mean, as a woman, to be created in and bearers of God's image?

How, as a church, do we honor the full image of God as shown in the women in our midst?

How do we respect, revel in, thrive among and build community when we know that we are all bearing God's image differently? 

Who am I? 

I am a woman, made in God's image, who is trying to follow Jesus.

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