Friday, March 8, 2013

repenting of all my small dreams....

...Because people, 26 miles for 26 girls has officially sponsored 26 girls to go to school for one year...

PLUS four more of them have their tuition and fees covered for an additional school year.

I cannot adequately express in words how amazed I am.  Words don't do justice.

God is BIG.  We have raised money to meet our goal above and beyond what I thought was possible.  Two weeks ago, we had 10 girls sponsored.

I downloaded The Circle Maker as an audiobook for listening during my runs.  It's a book about prayer.  It's a book about praying big and praying specific, because when we do, God gets the glory.

Listening to the book, having my whole paradigm shift (see below), combined with 26 miles for 26 girls becoming reality are all playing into one big game change for me.  I've been thinking about how small my hopes and dreams have been.  I've always seen myself as the girl who gets married and has 3 kids by age 32.   While outwardly denying that I would ever want the American dream, I've secretly espoused the idea and longed for it in my heart.

(disclaimer: I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with these things.  I do still desire those things)

What I am saying is that through all these things mentioned above, I feel really set free to dream big about doing really amazing visiting Haiti (this is happening in April.  more deets to come), visiting all the US national parks, running a marathon(yea, I know) along the avenue of the giants (google it).  

Finally, for my paradigm shift.  I think I'm a feminist.  I've never burned my bra, nor do I hate men.  I believe that there was something truly radical in the way that Jesus treated women, as well as the role that women played in his life and the resurrection story.  I love the way that Jesus affirmed the value and personhood of the woman at the well (John 4) and how He restored not only the physical health of the woman who reached for the hem of his garment, but also her status in the community by telling her, "daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace."  (Luke 8:48)

A few months ago, on NPR, I caught the tail end of an interview with a woman who answered the question, "As a woman, in what time period or place would you most like to live?"  She stated very simply, "now...I don't think there's ever been a time or place that is as kind to women as right now."   I  agree with her.  Every time I cut the grass in my yard, I find myself thanking God that I have a good job to support myself, without need of a man to do so for me.  And not only that, but it's also completely socially acceptable for me to do so.

My thoughts on feminism, roles of women in the church and in marriage are changing.  I'm unsteady at best in my views on the subject.   Right now, when I say 'feminist,' I mean it in the way that I believe women are no less  valuable or capable than men.  The implications of this are far reaching.

Finally, I'll end on this note.  As a teen and young twenty something, I ate up books like I kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, and Lady in Waiting.  All these are Christian books, well meaning, but now I believe them to be sadly misguided and damaging in the long term.  Look at the title of that last one, for God's sake.  Lady in Waiting?!  What am I waiting for? There is this not-so-implicit message in the title that somehow, as a single-Jesus-loving lady, I am waiting for my life to start when I get married.  Or that one day, when I get my sh*t together, when I have life and faith figured out, when I am completely satisfied in Jesus, my husband will appear.  Lies. Lies. Lies.

My life is happening now.  I'm not incomplete or less of a person because I'm single.  Also, I'll be figuring out life and faith for the rest of my time here on earth.  There will be no point at which I'll have arrived.

I could go on about how I've gotten here, but I think I'd rather have those conversations in real life, real time.

Here's to drinking coffee, dreaming big, and paradigm shifts.

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