I am almost ashamed to admit this but… there was a time when I did not want to be a woman. Let me clarify this, I didn’t want to be a man or anything. I still wanted to be a female, I just didn’t want to act like a woman. You see, in the house where I grew up, my feminine role model was a bit out of sorts. Maybe you can relate?
My perception as a teenager was that my mother was a childlike, Rx addicted, bipolar mess. She would spend all of our money, blame it on PMS, then throw a pity party and invite us all. I watched her manipulate us with her emotions so many times and hurt us so deeply that I swore I would never be anything like her. For me, that meant no crying, no vulnerability, no emotional attachment. I especially strayed from relationships with women. It seemed as though all of my best girl friends always betrayed me or reminded me of my mother in some way.
I didn’t let men open doors for me. That showed weakness. I told you I was a bit warped. In fact, I used to have a saying that I would use anytime I caught myself being emotional or feminine, I would say, “Ugh, I’m such a girl”. I despised it. It took years of praying and heartfelt repentance to bring me to a new place. But still, it wasn’t easy.
God answered my prayers though. He put two gentlemen in my life who saw what a mess I was and I honestly believe God used them to retrain me. When we were out and about they refused to let me open a door, pump gas, carry heavy things, and all of that other stuff. One of them, in one of the weakest moments of my life when I did cry said to me, “Don’t hide your face when you cry. It’s OK.” He was right. It was OK. The other reminded me constantly that I was indeed a girl and it was more than okay to act like one.
Had these two friends not been in my life I don’t think I ever would have accepted my husband when I met him. He was too much of a gentleman. He does so much for me, carrying in groceries, opening doors, cleans up, makes me ice cream, carries my books, and so much more and I love it! He makes me feel like a woman! This truly is what God meant for our lives as women. We are the soft, gentle, sometimes emotional ones. I embrace that now. I find joy in feminine things.
And my mom, the woman I resisted for so long, is now mom again. A few years God intervened in our life in a mighty way. She developed some health problems that caused her kidneys to almost completely shut down. We thought we were going to lose her. God healed her body and our hearts. Things haven’t been the same since. My self righteous attitude towards her is gone now. I began to see her as a person and not as a reason and excuse for my behavior. She is a wonderful woman with so much to offer. We still have a ways to go in our relationship but it is improving even daily.
I’m also letting other women in. I’ve embraced friendships and accepted the fact that sometimes, we fail but love doesn’t. If I love my friends and they love me then we will make it. I won’t say it’s easy. My protective stance still wants to jump in and push people away but I have found speaking God’s Word, His truth, over our relationships has helped tremendously. I invest in them and they invest in me.
I’ve come a long way. I’m embracing and striving for femininity more and more every day and my friends and I? We’re running this race together. My life is so fulfilled now that I don’t let my fears hinder me.
Sometimes our pasts do mold and shape us. However, it is up to us as to whether or not we allow God, the Potter, to reshape us. His way is better.