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Sister, You Are Not a Mistake

The church needs you and your gifts.

I want to draw your attention to the verses put in italics. This passage talks about the unity and diversity of the body of Christ, beginning with what would happen in the body if each part wanted to be something different or to just leave the body. The first italicized verse says, “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” Reading this verse it was as if Jesus said to me, “Jessica, I have placed you exactly where I want you to be. It is not a mistake that you are a woman. You aren’t a loser. I have placed you just as I want you to be right here and right now.”

I began to feel a calm come over my heart and growing gratitude for Jesus’ unchanging, unbreakable love for me regardless of how I looked, felt, or thought of myself; regardless of what people said or thought about me; regardless of whether I was included or excluded.

Yet I continued to pray and question: But Jesus, what about all the dudes who can zoom ahead in their careers because though they might have young children they aren’t the ones breastfeeding the baby? Why am I not getting the same opportunities? What about the fact that women have actually been described throughout history as “the weaker sex”? This is not cool.

He answered me in his Word: “[The body’s] parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” The Lord seemed to speak from the page: “My church is suffering because my daughters are suffering.”

You Are Indispensable

I couldn’t get the faces of friends, students, and moms out of my mind who had silently suffered wounds inside and outside the church because of their gender. I thought about the 603 million women across the world who live in fear of abuse because domestic abuse is not outlawed and rape within marriage is not considered a crime. I thought of the many women who believe that their gifts, abilities, and passions are dispensable in their churches or ministries.

My own painful experiences came to mind—times when I was accused of not submitting to my husband because I preached; when I was told that I was foolish to go to graduate school because I had a baby; or when I shared about my work of traveling and preaching and women asked, “I could never do that, how can you do that? Wow, that must be rough.” (I never knew how to answer that question other than, “Jesus. Jesus is how I can do this.”)

October12, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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