Formation

What If the Pain Women Experience in the Church Better Equips Them to Lead?

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Mandy Smith is a member of our writing team, pastor of University Christian Church, and the emcee of Missio Alliance’s national gathering this March, Awakenings: The Life of the Church for the Sake of the World. Register now to learn more from diverse voices like her.


It’s a sad reality that many who are called to lead the Church also have wounds from the Church.

And there are unique ways in which that wounding happens for women.

But there is hope! In miraculous and surprising ways, as women heal from that painful experience, it actually equips us to lead. The healing we receive allows us to speak healing to the Church.

So to my sisters I want to say: if the Church has somehow communicated in harmful ways about your body, your gifts, your voice, or your calling, here are the healing words the Lord (also through his Church) has been speaking to me:

You have been told your body is shameful.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who says you are lovely
Because you are made by Him.
And He delights in you.

You have been told your gifts are unnecessary.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who gave you those gifts
And calls you to use them.
He delights in you.

You have been told your voice is unimportant.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who gave you your voice
And he calls you to use it.
He delights in you.

You have been told your calling is a lie.
You are too ordinary, too messy to be used by him.
But there is One who calls you.
Stand up and let him use you.
Ordinary and messy as you are,
Let him speak through you,
Through every story, every tear, every song.
He delights in you.
And he wants to show his delight through you.

You have been told your voice is unimportant. Too ordinary, too messy. But there is One who gave you your voice and calls you to use it. Click To Tweet

It’s taken years for me to receive this kindness. God is slowly healing the ways I’ve been tempted to see myself, showing me that my body, my voice, my gifts are not small, shameful, insignificant. As he lifts my head, I watch how something else wondrous becomes possible.

I’m now able to turn to my mother, the Bride. I’m able to speak this kind of truth over her, against all the lies she too has been told. Her misuse over the centuries has caused her to question her worth, forget her purpose, embrace the twisted identity others have created for her as they misuse her.

The more I receive these kind words of the Beloved, the more I can speak them over His Bride. I say to her:

You have been told your body is shameful.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who says you are lovely.
Because you are made by Him.
And He delights in you.

You have been told your gifts are unnecessary.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who gave you those gifts
And calls you to use them.
He delights in you.

You have been told your voice is unimportant.
Too ordinary, too messy.
But there is One who gave you your voice
And he calls you to use it.
He delights in you.

You have been told your calling is a lie.
You are too ordinary, too messy to be used by him.
But there is one who calls you.
Stand up and let him use you.
Ordinary and messy as you are.
Let him speak through you,
Through every story, every tear, every song.
He delights in you.
And he wants to show his delight through you.

The more I receive healing words from the Beloved, the more I can speak these same words over his Bride, the Church. Click To Tweet

Discover a community devoted to learning from the voices of women at the Awakenings Gathering: March 28-30, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia. Awakenings is for people who are hungry to learn from diverse voices on difficult topics. Check out our speaker line-up and join us!

 

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