On being a woman, pt. 1

In writing this, I’m not trying to be original. In fact, I’ve read enough to know I’m not original, hah. But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this summer, and I believe God is challenging me to relook at this whole idea of what it means to be a woman. In trying to be content with what I’ve been given – mediocre fashion skills, too many cooking mishaps, not enough dating prospects – I think I’ve flipped the switch on my God-given, womanly desires and let them sit a while in the dark. But now, God’s beckoning me to reopen them and, shoot, why not share what I’m learning along the way? Maybe at some point you’ll know just what I’m talking about! 🙂

I have this theory that something absolutely monumental happens during adolescence — and no, I’m not talking about mood swings or shaving woes. It’s more than that. It’s kind of like “the fall of man” coming to fruition in our own lives and stories.

If you grew up in a fairly healthy environment, you probably remember being that carefree, confident, pre-adolescence kid who didn’t worry about how you measured up to everyone else. You said what you thought. You knew what you liked. You felt just as pretty in your jammies as you did wearing your Sunday best.

And then, the monumental shift.

I was kind of a late-bloomer with all this adolescence stuff, so for me, it wasn’t until about 6th grade. I always had lots of friends and always felt confident socially – you could have even called me a leader among my peers. But things turned on me that year. Instead of thinking I was funny, people started calling me “annoying” – ouch. And then there was that moment, when I looked into the mirror and realized how totally whack my fashion sense was. I stood there in horror, asking myself, Why am I still wearing headbands and turtle necks?

I imagine it’s the way Adam and Eve felt when they realized they were naked in the Garden. All of a sudden, they were aware of every flaw, every inadequacy, every failure.

And from that point on, these nagging insecurities followed them everywhere, taunting them with vicious lies.

You’re not good enough. Cover yourself.

Even your Father in heaven does not accept you. Hide from him.

Suddenly, knowing our family’s love for us is not enough, and we become consumed by a need to feel affirmed and to prove our worth to the world. (Of course, if you grew up questioning your family’s love for you in the first place, these realizations probably happened even sooner.) It seems that once “the fall” has been awakened within each one of us, we spend the rest of our lives combating the lies and recovering what was lost.

And for us, as women, I think one of the first things the enemy tries to steal is our femininity…our identity as cherished daughters and lovely brides.

To be continued…

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