You know, one thing I think I’ve too long denied is my desire to empower women. I let A LOT get in the way of my personal security, and even let many people talk me out of this mission. I’ve had people tell me my desire to show women how beautiful they are was vain and not deep enough. I’ve had people tell me I can’t teach the Bible because I’m a woman. I’ve had people tell me it’s misleading and not scripturally supported to encourage any sort of self love or self care.
But the more I search these things for myself, the more I find that they are all COMPLETELY inaccurate.
Our bodies are important to God, and appreciating them and loving them is not vain, it’s just good stewardship. And women ARE BEAUTIFUL. Be real – we were created with softness and beauty and desirability. Stop denying it.
I read this a few weeks ago and it honestly gives me such a feeling of hope and strength and affirmation and anxiety all at once: “Without women preachers, we would have no knowledge of the resurrection.” (Jürgen Moltmann). It reminds me that scripture is FULL of women spreading the good news. Shoot, even the woman at the well went and told everyone in her town about Jesus. And not only was she a WOMAN, but she was a scandalous one. The reason it gives me anxiety is because teaching is one of my spiritual gifts that I have really neglected out of fear instilled in me years ago by complementarian beliefs taken a little too far. And readings this reopens the door for me and rekindles that feeling inside me that calls me to teaching and leadership.
Furthermore, if you’ve heard it before, say it with me: you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self love and self care can be taught and practiced in such a way that Jesus is still first, it can be done with modesty and humility, and it does not have to be self idolizing. We can come to these practices with gratitude to the Lord, and by treating them like there is no possible way to practice them as Christians, we are doing ourselves NO favors.
Regardless of all of this, it has always been my hope to impart confidence in those around me, security in who they are and what they believe, and to make sure everyone is loved and knows it. And allowing myself to get back in touch with who I am and what I’m passionate about has filled me with such life and vigor and purpose that I feel like I might explode. Back on mission, folks. Back on mission.