And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed (Psalm 119:45-46 MSG).
One principle of healing from anything is reclaiming your voice. One of the steps to recovery is allowing the real you to come forward to be seen and heard.
Some females are chatty, excitable, and emotional. Others are quiet, pensive, and ponder more than they speak. There is no right or wrong way to be a woman, contrary to the lies we may have been sold. In a culture that supposedly celebrates authenticity, there are plenty of mixed messages coming our way:
- Be yourself, but tone it down.
- Be yourself, but rein it in.
- Be yourself, but be more assertive.
- Be yourself, but . . .
Even though I grew up in the middle of the 1960s women’s movement, I was taught that if I attended a meeting with men at work, church or anywhere else, the best practice was to not speak like a woman. I was advised that men like short conversations, few words, and no emotion. If I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to somehow silence the feminine part of me when I added my voice to the mix.
Decades later, of course, I believe it’s essential to bring our full feminine selves to the conversation. After all, this is authentically who we are, and our uniquely female perspective is needed. Without it, there can be no full picture.
Jesus, our Creator, understood this, even in a culture that viewed women as property. Their testimonies were widely considered wholly unreliable. In Jesus’ day, feminine voices were silenced—but He wouldn’t stand for it.
He did not condemn women who dared to use their voices. In fact, He empowered them to speak and act at critical moments in His ministry.
- Women bore witness to the crucifixion and were the first at the resurrection.
- Jesus’ ministry was financially supported by women.
- He entrusted a woman with the truth when He told Martha. “I am the resurrection, and the life.”
- Jesus inspired a Samaritan woman to use her voice to tell everyone in her town about Him when He met her at the well.
- When Mary of Bethany sat at His feet to soak up His teaching, her sister asked Jesus to put her back in the kitchen where she belonged. But Jesus said she had chosen the better thing.
- Women were among Christ’s disciples.
The sum of Jesus’ interaction with women is this: we have a place at any table, and it is imperative that we show up as our true selves.
Friend, shame tells us we must contort every part of us into something different from who we are. It isn’t just what we weigh, what we eat, or whether we think we are pretty enough. Shame tells us all of our being is wrong, every single bit, so you might as well fade into the background and quiet down.
Don’t you do it. Jesus called women out of the shadows and restored them just as He found them—bleeding, broken, mentally ill, sinful, and desperate. He received them when their full emotions were on display. They didn’t have to tone themselves down or dial it back for Him to take them seriously. He doesn’t expect you to, either.
You may feel you’re invisible and pushed to the side, but that isn’t how Jesus sees you. He is extending His hand to pull you out of the shadows, where shame has placed you. He wants you to become more of your God-designed self, not less.
Come forward and add your authentic voice and feminine self to the conversation. Come as you are. Without you, we are all missing your unique perspective, experiences, and personality. The world needs you to become—whether it realizes it or not.
With so much love to all,
To celebrate the reveal of the cover to my NEW 31-Day devotional Still Becoming, this post is an excerpt from the book! This is my gift to you so we can celebrate together! Check out my social media pages, beginning on July 7 to see the beautifully designed cover. Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter so you do not miss a thing! Big things are happening – I am so excited to share this with all of you!