I first learned about “Girl Power” when I was 3 years old. My earliest memory was standing on the pier in Vancouver waving by-by to Daddy wile he rode away on a B.C. Ferry to the Island for what would be his last stay at Rehab. He had a drinking and anger problem, and he loved my mom and us kids furosicousialy, so he was dealing with his issues. My dad has been clean and sober for coming on 30 years. He is a great dad and always has been. But thats not the point of this story.
I still remember the feeling of confusion, “where is daddy going?” I remember wondering if he was coming back, and I will never forget how my mom stood looking out to sea wile her hair was teased by the ocean breeze. The sun was setting pink and orange and she was beautiful, she looked like she could carry the world. I didn’t know if we would see daddy again but I knew as long as we still had mom everything was going to be ok.
That was the moment I first saw Girl Power. And my admiration for strong woman grew. Dads faviriot catch phrase was, “I like my tea weak and my women strong.” I fell in love with Ma Ingauls from “Little House on the Prairie” and Michaela Quinn from “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” I wanted to be like them, strong, lovely, gracious and wise. I wanted to have a voice and help the marginalized, I was going to make a difference. My father encouraged me to be who I wanted to be, the concept of blue and pink jobs never entered my mind. My mom was a leader in church with children ministry and contributed in spiritual conversations. My value as a woman and my value in Christ was never questioned. I was a image bearer and equal partner in the Great Commission.
When I graduated and left home, everything changed.
I was introduced to a extremely chauvinistic work environment and what you might call old school church structures. I learned that I was just a little girl in a mans world and I didn’t have a voice or a opinion or equal opportunities.
Men with authority, in both the church and the work place spoke opinions and partial truth into my theology and by the time I had absorbed the teaching and terrible advice I had lost my holding to the Love of a Heavenly Father and was surrendered to a Dictating Man upstairs who taught Church was for men and if I wanted to participate there were always undesirable jobs for woman to do.
My Faith was solid, but my theology was flawed and far from functional.
But thats not the point of this story either. It is to say for too many years I have struggled with certain teachings about woman and our place in the church. I have not questioned the truth of the words. But rather the Love behind them seemed like limitations on my service oppoturinities. And I am not going to say more then that because in recent years I have plainly just gotten tired of the same old conversations and refuse to have them anymore. I believe all scripture is God breathed and for our benefit and I will leave it there. So here is the point to all this.
Recentally I felt compelled to pray into this area of unrest in my heart and the Lord convicted me deeply,
Our conversation went a little like this…
God: You say you believe woman can’t be elders or pastors but you don’t accept that this is a direction of Love…
Jen: Because I don’t understand how it is Loving? Im my knowledge of you I know you do all things out of Love but I just fail to recognize the Love in this one….
God: You would see it if you did these jobs. You just have to trust Me. You don’t have to justify it, just to accept it graciously.
Jen: You know I don’t want to struggle with this concept. I don’t go looking for things to dought….
God: But you know the world is always going to encourage your worldly reactions and perspectives…
Jen: But faith is complicated. How could we ever expect anyone to become a Christian if the answer is “You will never fully understand…” “Just have faith….”
God: But faith is the whole point Jenny. If you had nothing to exercise your faith on in the easy times, what would give you any hope in the hard times? Knowledge doesn’t convict a heart to trust when it is scared. Having exercised faith is how you will know to remain in my prevision when things get rough. This is how I teach you to trust My Good will.
Jen: I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way…
You see I have missed the blessing of Christ growing my faith for all these years. I had all the experiences to resent the teaching of truth and love in regards to those 2 little limitations in Church Structure. But I also had all the resolve to accept what the Bible tells us is pure truth. But I have wrestled with this teaching for many years, and defeated, I accepted the Doctrine but not recognized the Love in my impression of what I saw as a Limitation.
It really wasn’t about woman and church and that Law… It was about my willingness to have Faith and Obey when I didn’t like the taste in my mouth.
And how helpful has that been over the years! In my marriage, the trucker and I love each other deeply, but we are both still self centred and flawed. I have practiced my resolve to honour my heavenly Father so therefore, I had a idea how to honer my husband even when its hard. When the Lord has asked hard things of me, like no more babies, or embracing hard friendships and letting others go. Moving north or selling our home to buy land and be homeless with winter coming on…. I can step out with action because God has given me practice is walking around in the dark parts of faith. The places you know you are meant to dwell but you can’t nessarially see the the whole path ahead.
With time spent exercising obedience and faith, in the face of little understanding you can trust even the scariest situation. No, I am not overly brave and I still struggle, but I was encouraged at the promise of God leaning in and building my faith all these years. My head was in the right place but my heart just couldn’t reconcile. And now to look back and simply see the truth never change but I did and God never withheld His love and guiding hand, I just needed to wrestle through long enough to see it.
This is a celebration of Gods goodness to the faithful.
Be strong and courageous do not be afraid! The Lord your God is with you and He is growing you and you will see the fruits if you can just stay in the fight!