What Does it Mean to Be a Woman?

Life is funny.  No really it is.  You think you have things figured out, your going down a path that you are finally getting comfortable with and that it looks like the pieces of your life that have been shattered into a million, gazillion little fragments are finally starting to come back together into a beautiful new mosaic…and then wham – you get another break.

For me, this is a literal break.  As in I broke my foot.  Not just any foot, but my RIGHT foot…my good foot…my driving foot.  I can still hear, yes I said hear, the loud snap of my 5th metatarsal cracking in two spots as I came down out of a jump.  I immediately fell to the floor, laughing at myself.  Why?  Well, see I had been dancing, just blowing off some steam doing something I loved to do and I just found it ironic that here I was a new hire at a Personal Training/Wellness Studio — and here I am injuring myself dancing.  Bet you really want to come to one of my classes now, don’t ya?

With that I have been served up on a royal purple cast a 5 week break from my life.  Well – with small kids it isn’t really a full on break.  But a break from my normal workouts and other daily activities like driving around doing what (really I can’t remember what took up all my time)…and the strange thing is – I’m doing okay.  Better than okay.  In fact, I am actually – while not loving this huge weight and the minimal discomfort coming from my right foot – I am actually doing great.  (A HUGE shoot out to all my friends and moms at the kids’ school for being so amazing!!!)

I can remember thinking the first few days after getting the purple cast that God has prepared me for this…and that something was being stirred up for this time in my life by Him.  You know sometimes you just get a sense that something big is on the horizon?  And you are just praying for all that you are worth that a) it is something good and b) that is is something you can actually accept into your life…that all the work you have done is finally going to pay off.

Well, I really have no idea if that something is just me – or if it is God moving the Spirit through me …or if it is just the warmth radiating from the layers and layers of unbreathable stuff on my leg.  (Honestly, couldn’t they figure out some better way to heal a broken bone in this day and age?)  Yet, this sense is still there.  I have NO IDEA if it is a good thing or a bad thing.  To be honest, there is some work on the horizon that I know I need to do as part of my healing and recovery…along with the rest of what it is taking to start life “over” again…that is all a little intimidating at times.

However, there is some other work, some other materials that I am so excited about …that I just can’t get enough of…and somehow I think they will all come together quite nicely.

Right, right – so the point of this post really wasn’t about all this….but it was a nice lead in – wasn’t it?  See, a reader of this blog a few weeks back mentioned the book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Seeing that I have time to read now – and that I need a break from reading about muscles and Oxygen consumption levels during exercise – I ordered it.

I received it today.

I could barely wait to crack it open and jump right in.

I am still in the middle of Quiet – which continues to startle me as I find answers to my own personality I never knew others also had…

Yet, I started this book…

And I am plunged right back into what seems to be the common theme in my life…and the hot topic of this blog – the gender roles.  But more specifically the female gender role…and what our society holds out to be an ideal for this.  More specifically – what many in the Church hold this out to be for us.

In reading Sue’s intro and first part of chapter 1, I am realizing that her journey of Awakening has been my journey of Earthquakes.  Her journey of giving birth to herself as a woman has been my journey of letting walls and structures, knowledge and definitions come crashing down as I try to search for what part of me is still standing.

For both of us, I believe the journey is about learning that for centuries – really since the beginning of time there has been a power struggle between the sexes…the last great civil rights battle perhaps…

…yet just like me, we just want to be allowed to be able to have space to find out who we are
     …and hopefully to find others that want to do the same
             …and in the end to have that same space to be who we are and to still be loved and accepted…

I finally feel a bit of peace now…of peace to know what in the world my journey has been about.  To know that my journey is one that others before me and others behind me will go on…and that perhaps by documenting my journey others will find acceptance for themselves to go on the same thing.

I don’t see this as an exclusive journey for just women – although I am planning to write more on this since I think this is such a dire need in our society – in our churches.  To hear from real women who love and worship the Lord for all they are worth – who desire to serve Him by using themselves, their talents and their gifts wherever those may be…yet who also know the power and beauty and sacredness of being feminine…that within our very souls we reflect half of who God is.

Yet, I don’t see this as a journey just for women.  I feel that men will find a breath of fresh air in reading women’s stories…of seeing their sisters in Christ explore their femininity and to treasure that…while encouraging men to explore their own identity with in their gender.  I see it as a chance for freedom to ensue for all of us…for the doors of the Garden to be flung wide open and for us to go frolicking inside playing and exploring and experimenting with who God designed us to be before time even began.

Will you join me on this journey?

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