Can we talk for a minute? Just me and you, the reader. As if the whole Internet isn’t watching.
I came across an article yesterday that made my heart ache. It was so beautifully and painfully written that I wanted to hug the author at the end. And I also wanted to grab her face in my hands and say, “I wish you knew just how much you are so loved.”
Our world is a crazy one, although, I would argue that every generation before us has said the same. You may argue that we have come so far in so many ways, and I would agree. This isn’t the 50s. Heck, this is not even the 2000s. We have arrived at a time where there is daily dialogue, openly, of the trial it is to be a woman in this country, right now. Women have seized the opportunity to get loud in their corners and say no when they want to say no. Women have arrived, some would say.
And I love that.
Some people think they were meant for a different time or era, but not me. This one is just right for me.
I was raised to not be so quiet. My mom, even if she didn’t say it straight to me, taught me to be strong, confident, bold, and unafraid to speak what’s on my mind. Have I always? No. But my family gave me that permission. As a writer, it gave me some hefty wings, and I am always grateful for it.
I read an article yesterday that came from a woman who was angry for men telling her what it was like to be her. Exhausted from thinking she needed to be a 24-hour woman, she felt required to be a woman who goes to work, comes home and makes dinner, and even finds the time to give her husband her all once the kids are in bed. Women are being told what to do with their bodies by the government, that they aren’t worth the same paycheck as a man, that we all should be drinking wine to deal. And she wasn’t having it.
I don’t even want to get into details. It’s too heavy, to take that route. I want to grab that woman’s face and tell her what makes us free. But before I do, I’ll give everyone the background they need so they can yell at me for being ill-equipped to talk about this.
I am a woman who stays home with my children every day, all day, every year. I don’t make any money by doing this, and I don’t go out of my way to find work. I have enough to do here, for right now. I wake up every morning to feed my children, take care of their every need throughout the day, while simultaneously writing for my self-titled blog and cleaning up spilled water for the tenth time. I do everything there is to be done that my husband does not do, which is a lot, but also not too much. I am always the cook, the first one to hear someone cry in the night, and the one to take care of bills every week. I am not single, in the workforce, around men consistently (except for the four I see all day), or drinking wine every day to deal.
But here’s what I want to say to her, the woman who is in that place, the woman who is not me, and the woman who sits in front of her screen reading this:
You are not defined by whatever you do. You are not defined by what men think of you. You are not too small, you are not too cute, and you are not ill-equipped.
But the hustle isn’t worth it. Fight for you rights in a company, but your life will not be fulfilled because you climbed a ladder and broke a glass ceiling and told a man what you think of him. You fight for your place in this world, and this world will only hiss back at you and call you every name you wish never existed.
I know what Jesus says of me. And it matters. GIRL, it matters. Shut up those other voices, those other men who you think have valid words. Shut up those other women who are in your head who define who they think you are. Jesus said that if we belonged to this world, the world would love us. BUT WE DON’T. We don’t belong here. We belong with a King who let His blood puddle on the earth because He loved you a heck of a lot more than any man or woman on this earth ever could. That’s why you’re so hated. That’s why you feel like you’re less than. It’s because the world hated Him first.
It is valid and needed to stand in hard places and be women, uniquely ourselves, where others think a man would do a better job. Discern where that’s needed. Don’t grow taller and shout your opinions just to hear your own voice. Shut up for a minute and listen.
You have arrived already. You are valuable and good right now. Stand where you need to stand. Be who you need to be, because it matters. There is a reason that God created women like me, women like her, and women like you. He didn’t make you just for a showpiece. He made you because you have a world to shake.