F R O M Genesis to Revelation, God chooses an adjective to describe his most beloved people, his tribe: “Her.”
I don’t think he is trying to leave men out; I think he is trying to talk to his girls. He knew we would be in a world that would try to devalue us. He knew we would have to fight to learn, speak and be who we are called to be. I am so fortunate in my own life to have brothers (spiritual and physical) and my own husband who value me, encourage me and want to see me succeed. But I know there are so many little girls with a God-given calling on their lives who will have to fight much harder than I ever did.
Unfortunately, we girls have fallen into bickering with each other. We are not rivals.
We are in this together. We need to stop looking in on each other’s lives and feeling inadequate or judging the other for not doing things exactly how we do them. What would happen if we started being honest with each other when we are hurting? If we opened the door to others when the struggle is telling us to isolate? Instead of looking in someone else’s door and judging, asking if she needs help?
Maybe this is what it looks like in our culture today. She wakes from a fitful sleep to toddlers who have more energy than she can comprehend. She walks into a mess of a kitchen, because she knew she couldn’t stay up cleaning because the baby would wake in a few hours to eat. All the bowls are dirty and the only thing she can think to prepare is cereal. The baby starts crying, obviously hungry as well. She manages to use some Tupperware for the cereal and sits in the chair to feed the baby. As she is having a moment to herself the baskets of laundry are condemning her. The scattered toys are laughing and chanting, “you’ll never be able to keep up.” At this point to her, it’s all a wash. She feels her husband’s narrow gaze as he walks from their room to the kitchen to get some coffee. “What does he think of me?”
What would you do if she opened her front door to you? I know deep down, you would not judge her. You would let her fall on you and admit she can’t do it on her own. You would sit amongst the mess and tell her a funny story of years previous when you had the same, but probably worse, mess and you gave up one day and gave the kids cans of shaving cream and had an all out war in the back yard.
You would encourage her to open up to her husband for support and not fear his love for her was dwindling each time he came home and she was still in her stretchy pants. You would give her a glimmer of hope and tell her how your kids now do chores and clean the kitchen up every night after dinner. Your funny stories of past messes, tears and parties show her light. That is the God she needs in her life right now. The God in you will show her the God in her. The light laughter of your visit would spur her on to face many more days.
Then, you would get up and start cleaning her kitchen, take the baby on your hip as you worked and tell her to take a nap. You would play with her kids and give them some new laughs too. You would bring in the dinner you had prepared for her family and slide it in the fridge for later. When she wakes, you will have coffee waiting for her and lunch on the table for the kids. She is renewed. She has showered. She is ready. And she brushed her teeth, which makes her more ready that she’s been in days.
You see there is something else in her that does not involve wiping booties and playing pirate all day. Although she loves these things and is grateful to mother her children and watch them grow, there is another yearning in her soul. There is another gift waiting to be attended to. This gift is her God dream. The thing that only God could put in her heart because it is so big she can hardly bear it. And when you walked in her door and gave her laughter, hope and love, she remembered. She remembered that gift that was pushed to the bottom and overcrowded with normal daily demands. After she played the bedtime routine that night she sat in the peace and quiet and remembered the thing she had almost forgotten. That laughter you gave her made her dream that night again. Dream of a way to make it all fit in. She had a new burst of energy that only comes from support and love to open that journal and read the God given desires she has to reach out to people, just the way you reached out to her. All of our reach outs look different. Maybe hers is starting a ministry for young women coming out of prostitution. Maybe it’s serving the ever-growing population of the elderly who have been forgotten. Maybe it’s mission work to a foreign country that is still a few years away but can be dreamed and planned out now. Maybe it’s a neighbor on her heart that is just like her: overwhelmed and needing support. Maybe that neighbor has a God dream too.
These dreams get put on hold sometimes, and that’s ok. It’s okay to focus on your family and be in the now with your kids. But it’s also okay to take time to dream big.