|Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003 || Embracing....me!|
I am learning to embrace the fact that I am a strong woman.
Strong in the sense that I am not afraid to speak my mind, though I am learning that my speech must be tempered with love.
Strong in the sense that I want to be who I am and no one else. Not setting out to purposely offend others (I really am a rebel at heart, so I have to watch myself sometimes), but not making apologies for being who I am either.
Strong in the sense that I feel God has called me to fill certain roles despite the fact that these buck traditionalism in our denomination.
Over a year ago, Rob asked me to lead music at our church. To lead our praise team. I was doing all of the background work already. Now I was being challenged to take a more active role in the actual worship portion of the service. To actually speak up - speak from my heart, pray, read Scripture, testify of Godís work in my life, exhort Ė during the song service.
I fought a battle in my own heart over this. Baptist women donít lead worship.
Do they? Could they?
So, I began the journey of leaving that ďboxĒ and in the process experienced an awakening and excitement in serving God that I had never experienced in ministry before.
This time in my life also coincided with a deepening of my personal, private relationship with God. Which is what should have happened. How could one attempt to lead people into worship without personal worship on a daily basis? I began to realize that worship is a lifestyle, that it is more than singing a few songs on a Sunday morning.
Then the opposition began. And I have to admit, I began to doubt. Even if a woman leading is not unscriptural, what if it isnít profitable? What if it is not the best thing? A battle raged in my head and heart.
Rob and I searched Scripture at the challenge of some. It is amazing what you will find when you go to the original language. When you read a passage in the context of the cultural setting, in the context of the entire passage. Our study only strengthened our belief that my leadership in this ministry is not wrong.
And still the opposition comes.
And I have to admit, at times I still doubt.
I wonder if some of it is just merely that there are some folks out there threatened by strong women. Uncomfortable with women in leadership. Who believe submission is about dominion rather than meekness (which is power under control).
And sometimes I just get weary. And I am tired of fighting to tear down the paradigms and forge new ground. Tired of trying to be a trail blazer. Please donít misunderstand, I am not insinuating that I am doing some new, great thing here. There are many incredible women serving God in thriving ministries today. And I come no where close to them.
I also do believe there are some boundaries in menís and womenís roles in ministry. There are some lines that I do believe have been drawn. And I have no plans to cross them.
I just want to do what God has called me to do.
And above and beyond that, I want to be the woman God created me to be.
I want to embrace her.
ďWhy does God allow us to spend so much of life in the heat of battle? Because He never meant for us to sip His Spirit like a proper cup of tea. He meant for us to hold our sweating hands over the fountain and lap up His life with unquenchable thirst.Ē (Praying Godís Word; Beth Moore)
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