Tuesday, November 30, 2004

New Kind of MicahGirl

I just got A New Kind of Christian, by Brian McLaren and have read only the first couple chapters. I made myself put it down because I don't want to rush through it. When Dan, disillusioned pastor, meets Neo, postmodern sage, and senses this safe person with whom he can be completely honest I found myself yearning for just such a person in my life. I've also begun Blue Like Jazz, by Don Miller and love his honest writing. I yearn to write something that is so compelling because it is so raw and true. But I always hide behind propriety and reserve which are hard-wired into my psyche. Even when I wasn't a mother/minister/ministry leader I was always a caretaker-type who did not feel the freedom to let down her guard with anyone. And yet those are the people who are able to speak truth into people's lives. I share my experiences with people, but only those that are safely in the past.

I sometimes share the story that, in the past, I was involved in a relationship that was a mismatch but I was so intensely connected to him that I lied to myself believing that he might be the one for me. When he died suddenly it left an aching void that taught me how to really walk with Jesus, and God filled that emptiness with Himself and then, miraculously, gifted me with the man I love who shares his life with me. The man who still makes me smile and blush and flirt (especially in the privacy of our bedroom), the man who listens to my frustrations with ministry, encourages me to be strong and courageous, and thinks that I am a sexy woman, great mom and interesting friend. I gush when I talk about him because he, though human and imperfect, is perfect for me.

But the struggles that I have today I don't share because it doesn't feel safe. The struggle to fulfill my calling to ministry as a woman in a bottom-line male-dominated patriarchal denomination. My mommy guilt about whether or not I am a patient and loving enough example of Christ to my kids, about whether I devote enough to their homeschooling, about my lousy housekeeping. My struggles with humbly submitting myself to God, while trying to blaze a trail for others and calling for them to follow my leading. My inability to be able to categorize myself as a woman (which maybe is a good thing) because I am nurturing, traditional, cooking all the meals, homeschooling the kids, earth mother as well as highly-educated, deep-thinking, post-feminist, post-modern emerging Christian leader leaving Generation X and rushing into the New Millenium.

But if, indeed, it's all about the process, then I am well on my way. If it's about arriving, I may never get there.



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