Sunday, July 4, 2010
Getting here part 1: freedom and feminininity
Part 1 A:
This picture was taken three years ago on the 4th of July. Cory and I had gotten into the habit of stealing away with the kids every weekend we could to be in the country and talk about where we could live. He had started to get familiar with a lot of Gloucester and the surrounding area because he was running those routes for UPS. This particular weekend we decided to venture into Urbanna. What I loved about Hampton (where we lived ever since we were married) was that it was a water town. We could walk to the end of our street and see Chesapeake Bay. Urbanna is a gorgeous little water town nestled in the country and just the ride to get there is beautiful... lots of beauty, lots of space, lots of air. I could breathe.
I don't know for sure if it was this weekend or one close to it, but we started to really like the area and talk about maybe moving to it someday... but it was such a long drive from Cory's job. Sometime the next winter I became sure I was ready to leave our life in Hampton. But, we found out that UPS does not allow transfers. There was no way. Then God worked his Godness, and that spring UPS moved the country routes out of Newport News to a country center; and asked for driver volunteers who wanted to go with them. We only had a few weeks to decide. We left within 30 days.
We rented around his center, which is north of here, and when we were finally ready to buy we decided we wanted to be half way between his new location and our old life in Hampton... so here I sit, 3 years later- a hop, skip, and jump from Urbanna.
I had at least one friend that was concerned for me during that time. "What if," she said. What if I needed to re-enter the workplace? In other words, what if Cory failed and I had to provide for us again? It took many painful years and God pulling us through a mess so that I could be home and begin walking toward the life I wanted. Having to go back to that was one of my greatest fears and a well worn road in our past. But I had been home for a year and a half... God was providing...What to do?
There are a million reasons this country is beloved by those in it. The one I usually think of first is that I can lay down to sleep at night without fear. There are places where mamas have to lay down at night, not knowing what type of militant psychos are going to act up at any given moment; and I can't imagine getting any rest like that. My mama bear instinct would be all flared up ALL the time. Putting your kids safely in bed at night where they are warm and fed is something many, many, many men bled so that I could do and I don't take it lightly.
Many of us have watched as, in just the short years that we've been alive, the government of our country has changed. It has started to morph- the philosophies on which it was operating are changing at breakneck pace. Part of me really understands that the people behind these changes believe they are doing good. I even understand the reasoning. I used to be a liberal back in school- from around late middle to early high school and I was quite vocal about it. Sure I was young, but I had positions on issues.
Looking back now it's embarrassing. I believed I was espousing what was right, which just happened to be in line with what the news channels and educational mainstream thought. It was nice to be on the majority "winning" team. I thought the women who were leaders in the conservative arena appeared weak. Most of them wore motherhood like a crown. I wanted to be a mother but it wasn't the only thing I was capable of doing. The subservient wife role I saw the women around me play as their husbands neglected them and left them with no options was something I never wanted to repeat. I wanted to be sure and have my own money, my own career, my own life.
A lot of the positions I held could be rationalized, but I hit a brick wall one day and couldn't get around it on the issue of abortion. Nothing in my brainwashed little head could rationalize killing unborn babies. At that point, despite my political bent, I had been a christian for a good 7-9 years. The Holy Spirit, known by many names, among which is the Spirit of Truth and the Great Counselor, knotted my stomach on this. I loved children. I always had. I looked at the scripture. It refuted what these well-educated progressive thinking leaders were saying. Then I started looking at the other things they were saying in light of the scripture and started to walk into understanding.
There is no treasure map more intriguing than the bible. It says things like those who lose their life will find it. Those who seek to preserve their life will lose it. How does that make sense? It doesn't with a carnal mind. The scripture actually says that the Holy Spirit is necessary to be able to interpret the scripture. That, until you believe by faith, it is impossible to have your heart impressed with the understanding of what the words are really saying. They (the words) are speaking to our spirit and the Holy Spirit, which we receive when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, is the secret decoder ring. No decoder ring, no understanding.
Femininity is something gifted to our gender. It came under assault during the decade I was born. I haven't researched it, but I think feminism (have you ever noticed women who are textbook "feminists" are anything but feminine?) was rooted in a response from women who were mistreated by men. They decided they didn't need men, didn't want men, were an equivalent to men, were better than men. Then, irony upon irony, they decided they would reject men ultimately by becoming like men.
Trusting a man isn't easy and I advocate extreme measures of evaluation before you marry. I also am most definitely NOT advocating that a woman stay in an abusive situation. But, let's talk about the married rest of us. We've all seen husbands trample on their wives. I can't say that I've never felt trampled. But closing your life up to protect your heart imprisons you. If I had insisted on staying in Hampton so I could be close to employment to protect myself from all of the what-ifs that might happen, we would have never come here; and I'm so glad we did. Any person who loves someone (and I still loved Cory) must make themselves vulnerable to that person. You cannot escape it. There is always the possibility that you will be hurt. And sometimes even someone who does love you very much hurts you because they are imperfect, just like you.
So the secret-decoder-ring truth that I found about femininity (irony upon ironies) is that it is strength, not weakness. It is essential to love a man. Femininity is unique to a woman and essential for her man to be fully masculine- exactly what she wants him so much to be. It frees you from trying to be for him what he alone can be. This is scary, I know. But, the scripture says there is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear. Casting out fear in your own heart takes much more strength than battling the essence of masculinity. The rewards are much greater too.