When I interject thoughts of possibility into the current state of my impossible reality, I am left with overflowing hope that God works all things out for good. Let’s have a heart to heart today. The thoughts that follow did not spring forth from today but have been stirring within me this whole year. Just so you know.
Women are devalued, for the most part, in the church of Jesus Christ. Women over 55 (an arbitrary number) are the new lepers. That is a broad statement, perhaps riddled with a bit of exaggeration but that’s okay for now. The church is quite ready to accept the Mary’s but basically deny the reality of the strength and forthrightness of the Deborah’s. Both are equally to be valued as part of the Body, equally respected for their personhood and the anointing that is within them in Christ to lead with authority and power. That is interjecting thoughts of possibility into a sad reality.
Looking for a church to go to down here in SoCal, I pulled up at least 50 web sites and for the most part, leadership teams were made up of men with women either in women’s ministry, children’s ministry, worship or administration. I know I keep talking about this, but I have to, and I won’t quit because it is so evident that this is so wrong, so very wrong.
How do I deal with this reality of being undervalued and overlooked for the most part? Well let me digress a bit. I looked at a conference today calling for revival among women, to call forth and minister in breakthrough for the next generation. It said that all ages were welcome, but by the looks of it, it catered to young hip women about 30. Where do I fit in? I am not young (but young at heart and in Spirit.) I am hip by my definition of hip. That is not negotiable. I also want breakthrough. The problem is that I fit in nowhere. That is reality for me.
So what to do? I interject thoughts of hope into reality and know that God works it for good. Yes, there are some places out there that value women as equals but for the most part, women are not valued in the church as leaders, yet. I can’t accept that reality. I won’t accept that reality. If I do, then I would be trying to fight everything on the defense or I would sink into oblivion. I know I may sound to you like I am generalizing and you may not even have experienced any of what I am talking about, but, it is real for me and many others that I talk to these days.
God will make a way because I am choosing to follow Him. I would like to think it would be different but, unfortunately, it is not. This problem continues to be the same no matter how many words come forth or books are written to set women free in Christ. I maintain my hope for it is all I have right now. I will not get bitter or angry but frustration is very tempting at times. Some days I just pace and pray intensely to God at the injustice of being a woman in the Body of Christ. (I said sometimes, okay? Please don’t read anything into that. I am only human.) This blog is about the inner things I deal with in my life.
So what do I want? I have told you enough about what I don’t want or what I see. Well, it’s like this. God woke me up one day and we had this glorious conversation. My cry to God was simple and clear, “God, you created me to be a Deborah and yet the church only wants Mary’s and Martha’s and an occasional Esther.” I can’t change who I am or who God created me to be so the problem has to be solved by the Lord.
This reality that I see in the church or the Body of Christ, however you want to see it, is a reality that I care not too look at right now anymore. But, yes I will still blog and talk about it. I am focusing on Christ and submitting to Him to make a way where there seems to be no way. I won’t go into a church that fails to see women as Jesus saw them. I can’t compromise in trying to be a good girl any more. I am a woman, not a child. I will continue to blog my feelings while I walk this out, no matter who may or may not agree with me about this. I will continue to walk and look for my expression in Christ outside the church setting and perhaps outside of a Christian setting in the world. It seems that I am more valued by non-believers than believers at times.
Now a few more things for today. This blog is allowing me to get this burden off of me right now. An example for you.
A leader once said to my husband, “You know, I am taking a risk on letting you both minister here. I really don’t know you both that well.”
My husband said, “What risk? Did God tell you to ask us in or did He not? How is there a risk if you are obeying the Holy Spirit to do what He has called you to do?”
Another example. My husband is the best. He supports me in all I do. Whenever we minister together, many assume that he is the head of the ministry and all decisions flow from him and through him. He always defers to me to make sure they know that I received the initial vision and direction for Rivers of Eden. I lead Rivers of Eden. I make most of the decisions and God did not choose me because a man was not available.
Again, please don’t blast me with spiritual talk that implies that I should not be worried about that or that I should trust the Lord. I know all that. Even when leaders have taken him aside to talk about how women can’t lead, he has stuck by me. When they implied he was an Ahab, he has stayed by my side. And, even when they try to continually ask him if he is preaching the message, he turns to them and says, “No, Debra is the preacher.”
Okay that’s all for today. Here is a qualifying statement to end with to ward off any misplaced comments. I am not an angry, bitter woman who hates men (those charges always come easily towards stronger women) but I do feel a bit displaced right now in the Body. What to do? I am looking to go outside in some way and in that, the Lord will go with me. Perhaps things will change. I don’t have time to wait at this point. And neither do you, women of God.