Monday, February 17, 2014

God IS For Women

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Galatians 3:28

It pains me tremendously to even write in the subject of this blog that "God is for women". That declaration seems to be answering the question "Is God for women?" In the year 2014, women should not be asking the question, is God for us?  But I understand the question.  

A few months ago, my sister jokingly said "in my next life, I will come back as a man".  We both laughed hysterically about the statement but underneath her comedic words were years of pain, years of seeing gender based injustice, years of seeing wives submitting to husbands who did not have their best interest at heart and abused them, years of being silenced in our place of worship and if you're a black woman, years of being on the bottom of society's hierarchical latter.  So I understand the question: Is God for us? 

I could fill this blog with biblical passages answering this very question in the affirmative that God is for women because there's Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, the woman by the well, Huldah, Priscilla, Lydia and so many more but there are also modern day examples like Dieula.  Yes, Me!!!

Part of the reason I've been absent on this blog for the beginning part of this year is because God was busy proving to me that He is for women with my church installing me as pastor and speaking/preaching four times in the first week of February.  So yes God has been busy saying I AM FOR WOMEN. 

Just briefly, here's how he has proven that in my life: 

In 1975, I was the fourth daughter born in Haiti. Let's just say being born a female in countries like Haiti isn't always the greatest news especially for the girl that's born.  God saw it fit for me and my sisters to move to the US to study and get a chance at life.  And that we did.  God is For girls and women.

Years later, after graduating college and pursuing my career as a school teacher, God called me once again to move.  This time it was to attend seminary. What?? Seminary??  Isn't that the place where men learn to be pastors??  When I first started seminary, family would ask: are you going to seminary to learn to pastor?  I wouldn't even let them finish their question, I would quickly respond with a "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"  In my mind, I just wanted to get a degree in biblical counseling; never to preach and never to pastor.  

I graduated seminary with every intent to pursue counseling, every door to counseling closed except for one: a class to learn to preach and present a biblical message by Jackie Roese.  I walked in those doors and the more I walked, the more doors God opened.  I began to preach in women's bible studies, conferences, retreats, seminars, I preached at my dad's funeral, I preached at a Haitian church which was not for women on the pulpit but I stepped forth by their requests for a woman to preach for their Sunday morning service, I preached in India (have you done any research on how they treat their women?  And there I was, a black woman preaching in India...Tell me God ain't for women), I preached in Africa and in Haiti.  Please, please, please don't tell me God is not for women to be used in every aspect in the church.  

And just recently, I felt the spirit moving once again, saying I want you to be used in your local church to preach and pastor.  I shared what I felt with my husband.  As my number one fan, he said "do you want me to go and talk to the pastor for you?"  I said "No, if this is from God, he'll find a way to talk to my pastor and he'll approach me".  A month later, I was contacted by my pastor, affirming my gifts in preaching and pastoring and he invited me to a conversation. 

And that's how God has been writing the story of being for women in my life.  I wish I were making these things up as a way to convince you that God is for women but I'm not as creative.  I tried so hard to run from this call but God kept seeking me out, he kept digging through the rubble of societal earthquakes to bring me out so I could speak on his behalf.  

This has been by far one of the hardest journeys I've traveled, there are insecurities, disappointments, the pain of not being affirmed by your brothers and sisters in the faith but this journey has brought me closer to the heart of Christ. I've had to learn what it means to live in obedience of God, when to speak when not to speak, when to sit and when to walk.  So I continue to say yes to God and I continue to walk as he leads. 

God is for women.  God is for us.  God loves us.  And God is good.