Love and Heartbreak

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” 

                                                                                                        –Genesis 1:27                                                                      


The final project for my gender psychology class is to write an autobiography about how I came to be the gendered person I am today. Out of all the thoughts that have come to me in preparation for this assignment, the best answer I can think of is that I am a woman because that is who God made me. This answer seems so simple, but the more I think about it, the more complex I find it to be…


Last Wednesday, I had the chance to share some time with two of my friends. We were just sitting in a car at the church parking lot listening to BarlowGirl and talking. It’s almost strange to think that three young women with such different life experiences and different ways of looking at the world can come together and have so much in common. We shared a lot that night: our dreams, our hopes, our mistakes, and our heartbreaks. In some ways, our dreams and hopes are our mistakes and heartbreaks. We keep waiting on the right time, the right person, the right something, just hoping that God will make all of our waiting worthwhile… hoping that He will somehow give us proof that our waiting hasn’t been in vain.


With everything we talked about that night, there was really nothing specific that stood out about our conversation, but what we shared has stayed with me because it reminds me of just how much of a woman I truly am.


I used to think that in order to be the best woman I could be, I had to wait and be patient and allow God to keep my heart from ever being broken or torn apart. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that if I want to be the best woman I can be; I have to do the exact opposite. I have to give my heart to God and allow Him to do as He chooses to do with it, even if that means being heartbroken.


God calls me to love beyond reason. This isn’t always easy in the world we live in. There are times when I find myself wanting to run from anything that could potentially cause me pain. I want to stop taking risks and stop putting my heart on the line, but that isn’t who God created me to be.


In Mary, I find such a great example of who God calls me to be. Mary loved Jesus more than any one of us could ever imagine, and she gave her life entirely to Him without question. Mary knew she would eventually have to give Jesus up, but that didn’t stop her from loving him. She knew what Jesus would have to endure, and instead of running from the pain, she embraced it. Mary stayed with Jesus every step of the way. She walked with him even though her heart broke more with every step and with every drop of blood that her son shed. Mary loved and at the same time accepted her heart break.


As a woman, God calls me to do the same…to love with all I have and to accept the times when my heart must be broken.


I can live with heartbreak, but not the kind of heartbreak caused by someone who treated me without any respect or dignity. The kind of heartbreak I can live with is the kind caused by having to change my dreams to fit God’s plan instead of my own plan, the kind of heartbreak caused by having to let go of the guy I care for because his feelings for me changed, the kind of heartbreak caused by finding out my grandmother has cancer and there is nothing that can be done to make her better…that’s the kind of heartbreak I can live with…that’s the kind of heartbreak God calls me to live with.


In my life I have loved more than I ever thought I could, I have forgiven beyond the limits I placed for myself, and I have lived through more heartbreak than I thought I would ever know. I am a woman because I love. I am a woman because I forgive. I am a woman because I don’t run from heartbreak; and I will try my hardest not to run from love, instead, I will wait for God to bring me to a greater understanding of love.


I am a woman because that is who God made me. I was created with incomparable beauty. God made me to love and to feel. My strength lies not in the physical, but in the emotional. God made me a woman, so that I could allow myself to be led and so that I could allow myself to wait on Him.



“I won’t run when it looks like love, I won’t hide beneath the fear of how my past has come undone” 

                                                                     -Looks Like Love by NEEDTOBREATHE

 

Originally Written and Posted: November 20, 2010 at 10:38pm

A Response to 1 Corinthians 11

When I first started wearing my veil, it was because I wanted to give God greater glory. “…whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory…” (v 15). I had been told that a woman’s hair is her glory, and by covering what glorifies us, we give God back his Glory. I thought that this was a beautiful statement, and I felt called to cover my hair in church as a way of honoring God.


The first time I wore my veil was a very humbling experience. I was too scared to look up because I did not want to see other people’s questioning faces, and I was too scared to move because it felt like my veil would fall off if I did. I was left with only one place to put my focus on……the altar. I left the church that day feeling not only stronger in my ability to witness to others through my actions, but also renewed and humbled because I was able to forget about the world and put my entire focus on Jesus. 


Since that day, I have come across people who have criticized me for wearing a veil, and others who tell me that it is a beautiful devotion. Those who look down upon the veil the most are women who see the wearing of a veil as a sign of submission to men. In the early days of Vatican II, feminists called out for women to burn their veils as a way to liberate themselves from their perceived submission.


“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ…” (v 3). God established a hierarchy within the family where the husband was the head, not the wife. The veil is a sign that a woman accepts this hierarchy, that she accepts God’s call to service. Marriage creates one life out of two. The husband, as head of his family, has a responsibility to make sure that his family lives out the ideals that both he and his wife wish to carry out in their life. The husband might be the head of his family; but the woman is the heart, and no one can live a truly enriched life without both their mind and their heart.


Advocates of feminism hate the veil because to them, it represents men’s power over women…to me; the veil is a challenge and a promise.


By wearing my veil, I honor God by telling him that His will is all that matters in my life.
By wearing my veil, I promise God to do my best to grow in modesty and humility.
By wearing my veil, I make a promise to God that I will put aside my selfishness and be a true servant to my future husband.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to lead by example and be a better man of God.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to honor and to cherish me.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to honor my God given gift to bear life because it is only through me as a woman that he can ever have children.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to see me as the most valuable gift in his life because it is only through God that he will be given my heart.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to see me through God’s eyes.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to respect me as they would respect their own sisters, as they would respect their own mother and, most importantly, as they would respect our mother Mary.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to see God’s light and love in me above all else.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to see me as a humble creation of God’s love and grace. 


As women, we have a choice in what we believe and in how we show our beliefs to others. I’ve made my choice…and I end with one last thought……


What is feminism if not a challenge to men to see women as more than just ordinary?

 

Originally Written and Posted: September, 12, 2008 at 9:10am