I have spent months being hungry.
Hungry for meaning, hungry for depth, hungry for passion and independence and opinions. I’ve gotten good at getting on my soapbox to yell at the people walking on each side of the street, shouting my opinions at everyone around me. I’ve screamed until my lungs were sore, throat aching, and was still just as energized and passionate as before.
I’ve spent hours and hours in front of the computer screen, devouring blog posts and absorbing words, letting opinions sink in. Some I agreed with, some I didn’t, but they all mattered. Because for the first time in my life, I was looking at them and trying to decide what I was going to believe for myself. I was growing up, saying goodbye to because somebody else told me to and because this is the only opinion I’ve ever heard. Essay after essay, blog after blog, all telling me who they thought I should be as a young Christian woman in the 21st century. Bold or mild, opinionated or tolerant, feminist or patriarchal, democratic or republican, the Proverbs 31 woman or Deborah, the Israelite judge.
But over the last month, I’ve gotten tired. The good kind of tired, the way you feel after a long day of hard work outside or going to bed after having a productive day. Tired of brandishing my opinions like a weapon and putting everything I read under a microscope. Your hands ache and your heart feels lighter because you’re discovering so much, and you feel satisfied in a heart-and-soul kind of way. But nevertheless, still tired.
So for now, I think it’s time to stop my protest. It’s time to sheath my sword and lay down my banner. For just a little while, I want to stop dwelling on the fact that I’m a woman, and just recognize that I’m a child of God. Because man and woman, young and old, rich and poor, homosexual and heterosexual, if we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins then ultimately, we’re all headed in the same direction, aren’t we? We’re not all so different that we can never understand each other, despite what some people might say.
And while it’s so good and important to know what we believe in and why, maybe all this split and disagreement is distracting us from the truth that we’re all in this together. We all sin, we all make mistakes and God doesn’t weigh them on a Which Sin Is Worse scale. Sin is sin, and we will never be without it while we’re on this earth. So we might as well learn to embrace each other, broken shards and sharp edges and all. And sometimes we’ll get sliced open and we’ll bleed, and it could hurt.
And that’s okay.
It’s so easy to turn on the pain and shield yourself with your strong opinions, using them to lash out against the people who hurt you. Women can do whatever men can do, because I don’t ever want to need a man to do this for me. Women are always right, because then my opinion will be more important to him. Maybe if he thinks I’m always right, he’ll always listen. Women are too complicated, because I’m afraid of trying to go all the way inside of her. Men are immature, because I’m afraid he’ll let me down if I try to rely on him. The list goes on.
None of those opinions are mine, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve used my opinions as a form of lashing out against the people who hurt me with theirs. It’s time to drop the opinions and anger I’ve been hiding behind, and allow the space and freedom to breathe. Stop the fighting. It’s time to let go of the death grip I have on my heart and let it rest for a little while. There will be a day and a time to resume my march for freedom and equality and intentionality, but that day is not today.
And tonight I feel cozy and safe, nestled in the arms of a Creator who loves me more than I could ever grasp with my two small hands and my Hannah-sized heart.
Let it be. It’s enough for tonight.