Tuesday, August 23, 2011

6.7.2009 Oh, Sister!

When I first found out that I was having a baby girl, I cried in disappointment.  Naturally, I felt awful about this reaction and examined why such news prompted this response.  What I discovered is that, even after 29 years, I had not come to terms about being a woman myself and was not eager to raise a daughter to love her gender when I clearly did not.

It was one thing to feel this way as a young person.  Growing up, I knew I didn't fit female stereotypes and never tried to.  I assumed that my problem as a girl was that I thought and acted more like a boy.  I certainly respected, admired, and imitated my father far more than my mother.   

As I've grown more into myself, I've been able to recognize the feminine in me as well, and I don't dislike those parts.  I'm glad that, as a woman, I naturally value relationships.  Even though I make decisions based on logic rather than emotion, I understand how I react and communicate with an emotion that is not usually present in male circles.

In fact, I now feel the most comfortable being a woman in my own home.  Within the context of my marriage, my gender is not an issue.  My husband and I are a team, and we complement each other in every way, our male- and female-ness being one piece of the puzzle.  As a wife, I have never felt less [important, valuable, talented, etc.] than my husband (in his eyes -- how others have treated me is a different story).  And now, as a mother, I am confident that I am being exactly who I was designed to be more than any other time in my life.

But there is still a very real part of me - the part that has to engage in life outside of my safe little family - that actually resents being a woman.  This is the part that truly believes, if I were a man, I would be doing bigger and better things with my life.  That people would look at, accept, respect, and appreciate me more.  That some of the desires in the recesses of my heart would be fulfilled simply because it would be easier to go after them as a man.            

I am frustrated with myself for not fully accepting my identity as a woman.  I love God, and I believe him to be a creative, generous, good starter-of-the-universe who designed women as beautiful reflections of the divine nature.  I do, in fact, view myself this way and am thankful for all the parts of God's personality that he put in me, even as I trust him to keep refining all the not-so-fabulous parts.  But if I truly believe that Jesus has made me his glorious and radiant bride, then how can I not enjoy being that girl?  I have to wrestle with that question even more than I do with that nagging part that doesn't like womanhood.  Because I believe that faith must be put into action...so if my heart isn't acting like it believes the goodness of God's creation in me-as-woman, then I haven't quite nailed that truth yet. 

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