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
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