Learning to Walk Through the Open Door






Everywhere around me I’m being told that strong women are self-reliant, hard working, unstoppable forces. I cannot tell you how many Instagram posts I’ve seen featuring sloganed materiel with the phrases “make sh*t happen,” “girls run the world,” or “girl power.” The list of idioms is pretty much endless. 

When I first started seeing these posts, I double tapped with furver. I believe in the power of women. I believe that women can change the world. I believe that women are unstoppable forces. I believe women can and should be able to do everything a man can do. But now, years later, I have to wonder if the women’s rights dialogue is doing us any good. 

While there’s plenty of truth to the importance of a woman believing in herself and supporting herself and supporting other women, I’m afraid this dialogue has failed at its original purpose. Instead of empowering women to partner with men, cross gender boundaries, the only success I see is making the hearts of strong women hard and unkind and the minds of weak women stubborn, unteachable, and completely self-centered. 

Before we start calling for pitch forks or a Handmaiden’s Tale stoning please read with my heart’s intent. I believe women are entitled to as much education as they want. They should grow their knowledge and their understanding. They should have equal paying jobs. They should have meaningful work that employs their strengths. They should find fulfillment in their life’s purpose. 

As a woman in full time ministry, I clearly see the social injustices on women in the professional world. I live in a man’s world. I know, from personal experience, the loneliness I feel when I walk into a room of ministers and pastors that are all male. I’m excluded from conversations, given polite smiles as the token woman, and never recognized for the importance or influence of my life’s work to the people I love and serve. Instead, I’m recognized for my beauty, my "female" talents, my personality, my social media charm, or my father or grandfather’s ministerial success. 

It’s hurtful. It’s painful. And it’s wrong. 

But, I have to tell you, I have difficult time believing that just getting my masters in an all female cohort or just joining a support group where my grievances can be aired or just demanding attention from my leadership will do any actual good. In fact, I believe it does more to hurt my reputation than anything else. 

Women have the power and authority to be anything God has called them to be. But, I know God’s character enough to know that He did not create any woman or man to be hard, unloving, closed-minded, self-centered, OR self-reliant. God created us for relationship with each other and for partnership with God. 




My parents raised all their daughters to be individualists. There’s a bunch of family dynamics that play into my personality and the choices I’ve made. But, just so we don’t muddy the waters, let’s just say that I am generally very strong, slightly stubborn, and hard working. I’m pretty blunt and definitely determined. I’m not a perfectionists, but excellence is a personal value. To top that off, for many reasons, I’ve been in a season of singleness for quite awhile which essentially means, if necessary, I can change a flat tire myself. I rarely allow anyone, man or woman, to assist me. 

Recently, my closest guy friend and I retrieved lunch for ourselves and a few friends. It was my turn to drive and I happened to be carrying the take out meals that we had purchased. Purse on my arm, keys in my hand, I had a plan on how I was going to get in the vehicle. I would just put the drinks on top of the car, open the backseat door, throw my purse and the food in the backseat, and then put the drinks in the cup holders in the front. That was my plan. I was ready to make it happen. 

And then my friend did something I hadn’t

Hello, My Name is Danette

After being gone for over a year, it feels like I should reintroduce myself.

My name is still Danette Dillon.  Jackson is still my beloved schnauzer.  I still live with my sister, Dalayna,  in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I still passionately love and serve the CrossPoint community.  I'm still involved in the Tulsa Arts community.  I still love Jesus and His presence more than life.

Through those constants in life, there's been quite a shifting too.  In the blogging world transparency is the best gift we can give a reader.  Generally, I'm an open book, but, for now, could have permission just to keep these things to myself?  Maybe someday I'll want to share more, but today's not that day.



And it probably won't be tomorrow either.

How can change and consistency coexist?  It's like they both live congruently in my life.  And I both love it and hate it.

As I've been processing some of the changes happening in my life, I've decided to journal/blog.  My experience is not incredibly unique.  However, I bet if I'm feeling a little lost, a little hopeless, a little waterlogged, perhaps, there's someone else out there in this great wide world of the internet that might feel the same way.  And if someone else feels the same way, then I'm not so lost or hopeless or waterlogged.  And, I'm not alone.



And that gives me great comfort.

The writer of Ecclesiastes 3 shares a long discourse on the different seasons of life.  There's a time and a season for everything that happens in life, but whether mourning or laughing, God is sovereign.  Whether you feel scattered or pulled together, God is sovereign.  Whether a war wages deep in my heart and mind or if I live in the perfect place of peace, God is sovereign.

My emotions do not dictate the character of God.  He is loving whether I feel Him or not.  He is present whether I feel Him or not.  He cares for me whether I sense Him or not.  He is just whether I see justice or not.  My emotions do not define God's character.

And, your emotions do not define God's character either.

I wish that I could tell you that your emotions and your circumstances are going to change.  I wish I could tell you that your whole world is going to be turned right side up.  From over here in the Upside Down, I wish I could.  But I can't.

However, I can tell you that your emotions and my emotions do not change who God is.

And He is enough.

Welcome to 2017





I believe 2017 is going to be a wonderful year.  Just like every other year it will be marked with it's own set of difficulties and challenges.  That's life.  But my response to those difficulties and challenges will shape my future.

I am believing for God to bring many exciting blessing to 2017.  I will embrace the challenges and the blessings together and trust God to lead me through both with grace.

Today I'm guest posting on The Pearl Press.  The Pearl Press is an online magazine, mostly for women but not entirely, helping us discover beauty under pressure.  I'd love for you to jump over there and check out their site.  They also have a very active Facebook community that you might want to engage with.

I've made my commitments and I've written my life values and I'm ready to live those out with purpose!  

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Short and Sweet



Talent doesn't mean a thing if you don't have humility, work ethic, and vision.
K.O. Olusola
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