For many years I wondered if it would have been better for me to have been born male. At parties I gravitate towards the conversations the men are having. I have worked in predominantly male settings. I have a lot of male friends. I have a gift set that is more common in the men around me than the women I know. I have a desire to lead and cast vision. I love to speak and teach and I enjoy doing so in a church context.
In my family and in the denominations of which we were a part, being female and being a teacher or leader within the church did not fit together. In fact, I have been told on more than one occasion that for me to use my gifts in the church setting would be for me to sin.
Living in this tension has been a sub story to the plot of my life. Its only been with in the last few years that I have come to agreement with my gift mix and my gender and how they work together. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed being a woman. I actually love it. I love that I get to do my hair and wear feminine clothing and do an art project with brushes every morning on my face, but in my career world, which has taken the majority of my time and energy over the year, there was a lot of shame around my being a woman.
I desire to be a woman who is feminine and leads at the same time. I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive, though, being feminine can at times impeded my ability to be seen as a viable leader within our cultural context. I desire to be a woman who not only leads well, but who also follows well. I want to be led myself. That is part of being a woman, we desire to have someone lead us so that we shine. Over the years there has been a lot of pain and beauty in my journey of being gifted to lead and wearing a skirt at the same time.