midget legs grow....
scared to tears...
The day was over 15 years ago. I was 5. The city was Brandon. The place was Bealls. We were shopping. And I was lost. All I wanted to do was sit down and wail. I had lost my mom and my little midget legs couldn't find her anywhere! I can still remember that overwhelming feeling. You're lost and its scary because what if you never get unlost? What if you never find your way out?
It's funny though. Years go by, midget legs grow, and things change.
The day was 2 days ago. I was 20. The city was Atlanta. The place was the World Congress Center. We were at Passion. And I was lost. All I wanted to was praise my Sovereign God. I had left my group of friends to go drop something off on my own and somehow got turned around in the Go Center and had no idea how to get back to where they were. The 22,000+ other people wandering around didn't make it any easier. But do you know why I was lost? Because for the last 4 days, I had really had to find my own way. I rarely made a decision as to where to go, what to do, when to show up or what to eat. The Lord had blessed our little Passion contingent with men who were gifted and desirous to lead as the Lord has so called them. The Lord had also blessed this contingent with women who were desirous for these men to lead. Being lost wasn't scary. It was representative of just how much these men had lead and just how fully we had followed. Being lost was a moment to praise God.
You see, we girls had been praying for this. Not that I would get lost, but that these men would lead humbly and that we, as women, would follow humbly. That these men were serve us by leading and we would serve them by submitting & allowing them to serve. That the Lord would have both genders playing the roles that we, as Godly men and women, are called to play.
And you know what? It happened. Doors were held. Luggage was carried. Dinner was planned. Seats were saved. Biblical fellowship occurred. Probing questions were asked. Encouragement abounded. God was glorified.
Of course, we spoke up and thanked the guys for their leadership. We praised the Lord for allowing all of this to happen. But I just wanted to take a minute to brag on these God glorifying, Christ exalting, Spirit following male friends of mine. I wanted to tell the world that this type of interaction is not dead. Complementarianism does not just exist among generations of old, but it is alive and well among my generation.
You might be thinking,"So what? big deal. The men led, and you followed. That was nice of you." Oh my friend, it was not just nice of us. It was us, in the grace and kindness of the Lord, mortifying sin in our own lives.
Look at Genesis 3:16:
To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."
This is the text in scripture following the fall of Adam and Eve, and all of mankind. When it says "desire" here, this, in the Hebrew, is saying that your desire will be to overpower, to overtake, to rule over your husband (you can see the parallel language in verse 4:7 as well...it's clearer if you know Hebrew, but it is not totally obliterated by the English translation). Women's desire is for the role that her husband is supposed to play.
Women's desire, if left unchanged by the power of the Spirit, would be to control and subdue man for her own gain. (There are of course, negative consequences from the fall for men, but I'm just talking about women here.) So, just the fact that the men were ABLE to lead is reason enough to praise God, but even more so that we WANTED them to lead. This is evidence of God is stripping away layers of self-exaltation and pride. He is replacing those layers with humility and submission in preparation for the roles we will play in the future.
So to my fellow women:
Thank you for submitting. Thank you for creating environments that allowed these guys to lead. Thank you for the encouragement you were to me in reminding me to die to my sinful desires.
To those guys:
Thank you for seeking the Lord. Thank you for growing in the roles that He has set before you. Thank you for leading humbly. Thank you for serving so effectively, efficiently, and kindly. You made it a joy to follow you.
To my God:
Thank you for both justifying us and sanctifying us. Thank you for answering our prayers. Thank you for working in our lives-molding our wills to your will and our desires to your desire. We praise you for your goodness and mercy and kindness. Keep this desire burning. Keep this growth continuous. Keep your glory central. Keep your name anthemed. Keep us mindful of our stance in grace.
PS For any of you hanging off the edge of your seats, I got unlost. I found my friends. And we all lived happily ever after. :-)