Thursday, August 30, 2012

Who am I?

I've been thinking a lot about being created in God's image recently.  God created us in His image for a purpose.  Our identity is in Him.  Our purpose is found in how and why He created us.  The creation story is so beautiful.  I wonder how often today we really consider God's masterful and purposeful design.  In the first chapter of Genesis, these words are recorded:

"So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.
Fill the earth and govern it." (Gen 1:27-28a)

My identity is not defined by human beliefs.  My identity and purpose does not come from the university where I attend school.  My identity should not be shaped by society's latest political march or cause.  Oh how easily we allow the world to shape who we are.  Jesus tells us in John 15 that we were chosen to come out of the world.  This means that we should expect to swim against the current our entire life.  We should not be surprised when the world goes in an entirely different direction than what God designed and intended as our purpose.  

These thoughts have begun boiling in me lately as I watch my daughters getting older.  I am struck by how much the world has already tried to shape them into its image.  The world screams "fight for your rights as a woman" to the point that some girls and women would rather be on their own than need anyone, especially a man.  There are women who have been hurt and forced by circumstances into a life alone or raising a family alone without a husband.   I have grown up during a time where women have demanded equality to the point of becoming obsessed at times.  I have always believed that girls are just as capable of doing anything they want to in life.  I still do.  I have two beautiful daughters that I pray will grow up to be beautiful women---strong women.  I want my girls to dream big dreams and reach as far as they can in life.  Over the last several decades I believe that the decline in Christian values and beliefs has caused a shift in roles.  Women are fighting for first place while many men stand by and watch.  I don't say that this is everywhere.  There are wonderful, godly men in this world.  I think they are the minority, as Christianity is now not the fastest growing religion in the world anymore.  

While I am disheartened over the lack of male leadership in our society, I see women who would love for men to stand up and take charge, but when that doesn't happen are forced into the role of bread winner, care taker, and single parent.  On the flip-side I still see women jockeying for position as if their entire identity depends on it.  I am thankful for the right to vote.  I am thankful for the equal opportunity I had to attend college and even graduate school.  I am thankful to be able to have a good job in my degree field.  

My thoughts are all jumbled.  I am mentally tired since going back to work a few weeks ago.  I am having a hard time forming my mind's ramblings into complete thoughts.  I hope over the next few weeks to iron them out and express them better.  

For now, I am pondering the idea that swimming against culture may look very strange.  A woman choosing to stay home and raise her children, not be the CEO, not be the "head" of a company or organization, may come across as weak or being less than a man.  I never said she wasn't capable of being in charge.  Why does choosing to play a different role show weakness?  Maybe choosing the road less traveled today is showing more strength and faith than listening to the world.  

How do we continue to be strong, capable, good leaders, hard-working women and allow the godly men in our world to step up and lead us?  How do the single moms who are going to school to earn degrees that will help them get better jobs support these men as well?  I am fortunate to have a godly husband who takes care of our family and leads us well.  I recognize this as becoming more and more uncommon.  

My heart is full of questions.  I want my girls to become what God has always intended them to be.  Women were created differently....for a purpose.  I don't always think the purpose we strive for is God's design for us.  The world is shaping us.  We have to be very careful to make sure that we are out of the world.....swimming against the current.....with our eyes fixed on our prize.....Jesus.  

Reading back over this, it seems so jumbled.  Rightly so.  My mind is a mess with all these questions.  I am trusting my Master Designer to clean out the cobwebs and set my mind on a clearer path as I nurture and guide my daughters to the fullest potential that He has planned for them.  

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