Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I want to be a dangerous woman!

A few months ago, I discovered Lynne Hybels and she has quickly become a woman that I greatly admire. You probably have heard of her husband, Bill, who is the senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, which happens to be one of the 10 largest churches in the United States. I can only imagine the pressures and expectations placed on her as the pastor's wife of such a large congregation.

She actually writes about her struggles of living a life she thought God demanded, her husband wanted, her kids needed, and her church expected in her book Nice Girls Don't Change the World.

Her book encouraged me so much, because if a pastor's wife of that magnitude can break through ministry stereotypes and expectations to be the unique woman that God created her to be, then surely I can as well!

Her definition of a "nice girl" is one whose behavior is often safe, passive, and people-pleasing. A woman who lives out the script she learned as a child - a script too often grounded in powerlessness. A woman who tends to live according to the will of others.

She writes that the opposite of a nice girl is "a downright dangerous woman. A woman who shows up with everything she is and joins in the battle against whatever opposes the redeeming work of God in our lives and in our world. A dangerous woman delves deeply into the truth of who she is, grounds herself daily in the healing and empowering love of God, and radically engages with the needs of the world....From college students and empty-nesters. Young moms and grandmothers. From women crossing lines of age, race, and culture. Women mentoring one another and sharpening skills. Women volunteering time. Raising money. Thinking creatively. Taking risks. Reinventing their lives. Following their God-given dreams. Dangerous women. World-changing women."

Last week, I wrote about how God is slowly stripping away my image of a "godly woman" and replacing it with His own. She looks a lot like this dangerous woman that Lynne describes.

So today, I join Lynne in claiming her Creed for Dangerous Women.

Dear God, please make us dangerous women.  
May we be women who acknowledge our power to change, and grow, and be radically alive for God. May we be healers of wounds and righters of wrongs.  
May we weep with those who weep and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  
May we cherish children, embrace the elderly, and empower the poor.  
May we pray deeply and teach wisely.  
May we be strong and gentle leaders.  
May we sing songs of joy and talk down fear.  
May we never hesitate to let passion push us, conviction compel us, and righteous anger energize us.  
May we strike fear into all that is unjust and evil in the world.  
May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with truth.  
May we shine like stars in a darkened generation.  
May we overflow with goodness in the name of God and by the power of Jesus.  
And in that name and by that power, may we change the world.  
Dear God, please make us dangerous women. 
Amen.
Lord, please make me a dangerous woman. Amen!

Always, 

Amanda