I think women have a bad rap. I mean, really, you can’t even imagine the number of women who tell me they won’t participate in women’s ministry because they “don’t like women.” Not only is that a bold generalization, it’s just plain sad.
I get it. I really do. As a woman I’ve been burned, disappointed, let-down, back-stabbed, betrayed, lied to, ignored, etc., etc., etc. In fact, some of my stories from my past leave me wondering why on earth I don’t hate women, too.
A few weeks ago I was with my daughter at a big dance competition. On this particular day, my little girl was having a mean girl problem and honestly, I had my panties in a bunch over it. Why are girls so mean? Do their parents even know what kind of kids they are raising? Why, I oughtta…
The truth is, it doesn’t matter why. It really doesn’t. There are a million excuses, I mean reasons, why a girl might be mean but can we just all agree that mean is mean?
Mean is mean.
So it’s a little surprising that I’m now passionately living out my calling of ministering to women. We even have a few mean girls in the ministry. Just keepin’ it real. So why do I love what I do so much? The best illustration I can give you happened that same day.
Toward the end of the event each girl who qualified for her solo got to perform for the entire gym. Parents on one side, drill teams on the other. Now just close your eyes for a moment and picture this…every high-school aged girl on one side of the room. Like a posse. Or a mob. Hundreds of them.
And then came the baton-twirling finalist.
Ladies, baton twirling is some of the hardest stuff I have ever seen. To perform alone with multiple batons in front of hundreds of people takes crazy amounts of skill and confidence. (I have a much greater appreciation for Miss America contestants now.)
Then this little girl dropped her baton. More than once. She kept a smile on her face and finished her routine and I was crushed for her. I can’t imagine how crushed her little heart must have been. That’s a lot of people to mess up in front of, including a lot of potential mean girls.
Then something utterly AMAZING happened.
Each time this sweet baton twirler dropped her baton, the gaggle of girls behind her…cheered louder. And not just slightly louder, these girls started booming. Then, when the baton solo ended, this gigantic group of girls stood up and clapped and screamed and whooped and cheered for their brave, fellow performer.
I wanted this baton twirler to turn around and see the solidarity, the encouragement and feel the love. Clearly these drill team girls were not cheering for a job well done.
They were cheering for a job well tried.
They were together on the issue and they were not going to let one of their own go home in tears that day. Except me, who cried like a baby because I realized that yes, girls can be mean, but women are wonderful. It’s no stinking wonder I love what I do.
Listen, chicks. I KNOW we can wear each other out. It’s been done to me and I’ve darn sure done it to others. (Grace, please.) But no matter what happened in the past we can’t give up on one another. Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
I’m not giving up on women. I want more moments where I get to cheer for the girl who dropped her baton. I want more tears in my eyes for the moments when we stand together. I want to fight for women and with women!
Even the mean girl in my daughter’s life that day was part of that standing ovation for the baton-twirler.
There is hope for women. Hope for me and for you. Hope for my daughter and the mean girl. We are wired to not give up on one another even if we grow weary. I’m so impossibly proud of all of those teenagers I just wanted to go hug every single one. But awkward, embarrassing mom is a whole different blog, so I didn’t. I just hugged them in my heart and tried to nonchalantly wipe away my tears of joy. They are going to grow into some amazing women and I, for one, will not give up.
How about you?