I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised and, in fact, a little terrified when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening.
Sue Monk was a “conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother” with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening. Retaining a meaningful connection “with the deep song of Christianity,” she opens the door for traditional Christian women to discover a spirituality that speaks directly to them and provides inspiring wisdom for all who struggle to embrace their full humanity.
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the book I just finished reading, “The Mermaid Chair.” Which I think EVERY WOMAN should read. I actually told my Therapist yesterday that he should read it. I so absolutely related to each character that I wondered – maybe I have multiple personality disorder. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wacky if you had Multiple Personality Disorder and one of your personalities was a Psychiatrist who treated the other personalities?? How freaky would THAT be?!?!?” HAHAHA
Ok but seriously.
I have to say. I got chills when I read the information. It was the same kind of … I don’t know how to explain it. When I say, “with much anticipation…” I mean it. I can’t wait to start reading this book. But at the same time….I’m sort of afraid to read it. Not in a silly fearful way that might bind me up in something that is not Godly or sinful – not a sinful fear. But in a “fear of the Wisdom of God” type fear. An anticipation of learning something that I think I already have an awareness of but am not able to verbalize.
Before I could “become a Christian” I needed answers. I had SO MANY questions. The Gospel just didn’t make sense. There was some Truth I inherently knew, but couldn’t articulate… So someone sat down and walked me through The Romans Road to Salvation. And it all made sense! It was like – I knew it all – but I couldn’t conceptualize it. I couldn’t connect the dots. And the lack of connections left my spirit in a state that was much like a live wire! I would, now looking back, compare myself to a hot wire bouncing all over the road with electricity shooting out like fireworks! That was me BEFORE I understood salvation.
I know some will read that and say, “Becoming saved is not an analytical moment.” And it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. There was a clear moment when God allowed a complete revelation of the TRUTH to unfold before my eyes and for me to come into a deep understanding of the whole process of Salvation. And in THAT moment – it was not a difficult choice to choose Christ as my Saviour. In THAT moment. The months leading up to that moment – now there was some turmoil!! Ha! But in that moment – when God had clearly called me forth – to the line in the sand – there simply really was no choice to be made. Once I knew and understood the Truth I couldn’t ever go back to unbelieving.
Is that too “out there” for everyone? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve not processed it enough to verbalize it still – the moment of my salvation. I just knew I needed a Saviour and I knew that Christ was the Saviour and that’s all there was to it.
The working out of my salvation began immediately. On the way home from that providential meeting, I was struck with the knowledge of the magnitude of how far reaching God’s hand had been in my life. Even when I had been a sinner. Even when I had been an outright REBEL! Even from the time when I had been a child with no real conscious awareness of Him. The moment when I had realized He had been there all along and IT (my tumultuous life thus far) had served a purpose – it had brought glory to the Cross. No fan fares. No fire works. Just a humble, quiet, Holy Spirit illuminated knowledge of The Truth and an understanding of all that lied between myself and God.
So began my Daily Sanctification. I would quickly discover, digest and begin breathing The Reformed Doctrine of Calvinism though it would be years before I knew there was anything even called, “Theology.” I remember reading the 5 Points of Calvinism and being awe-struck at finding something that articulated what I had believed in my spirit all along. Or at least, at the time, I thought I knew what I was reading. For a time in my walk, I lived what I inherently felt was the truth regarding how God wanted a Modern Day Christian to live. I really did read the TULIP’s (google it) of Calvinism and understand them IN LIGHT OF Romans 8:28 (not the other way around!)
To make an already long story shorter….I have now been delivered from the bondage that IS Reformed Theology. Or rather – from the bondage that comes when one places their Faith IN Reformed Theology. Let me put it that way. I understand now that God allowed me to dwell in Reformed Christianity for quite some time – for a season – for His purpose. Even though I have yet come to fully grasp WHY He allowed that to be a season in my life – I do understand that it did serve a purpose. And there is a lot of truth in Reformed Doctrine. But there’s a lot of Truth in a lot of things. So, one can’t gauge the merit of one doctrinal system by it’s truthfulness. If you try to – you will quickly find the gaping holes all of them (the systems of doctrine). It’s why I am not into theology anymore. I personally find studying theology to be a colossal waste of time.
It’s quite like when I tried very hard to get my degree in Women’s Studies, but couldn’t stomach the very text books that I needed to study in order to study Women’s Studies! Women’s Studies textbooks, in the early 90’s, read something like this:
“Everything that has ever been wrong with women is because of the white man.”
Yeah. I’ve never liked the victim mindset and it was appalling to me that the feminists were using the victim mindset to write textbooks! I thought – how ludicrous. Wasn’t feminism supposed to be about women’s liberation? If so – I don’t believe you can be liberated if you believe you are still a victim of something or someone else’s actions. Liberation comes when you take responsibility for your life.
So anyway when my Mother told me about this book, I was immediately interested. I’ve felt like, for the past year, I’ve grown past the box that I needed when I was dwelling in the land of the Reformed. I needed that box. I couldn’t face God unless He fit into the box I created for Him.
My therapist asked if I was angry at God, right? I thought about this some more. Maybe it looks like I am angry at God because to so many it probably looks like I have turned my back on God. I have not. I HAVE turned my back on the god I crafted in my mind. That god, yes, I have definitely turned my back to. But to God? To YVWH? No. I stand, facing Him today, ready to absorb what HE wants to pour out. Let my cup runneth over…I’m so cool with that!
And I have a feeling – a really strong feeling – that I’m about to read something in this book that is going to articulate for me a truth that I already know but can not conceptualize. Can not verbalize. Haven’t been able to grasp just yet.
And you know what? It’s a little bit of a scary feeling. Growth is scary.
Thank God for His Grace.
It’s a funny thought – me. Turning into a Christian Feminist as some will surely say with hatred in their hearts. But hey. I’m just returning to my roots I suppose! HA! Everything comes full circle right??