I’ve been hearing amazing things all day at the CBE “Truth be Told” conference. I have heard that women can be mighty, that we can preach to mixed-sex audiences, that unseen women matter, that women do not need to hide away, that women can … And in my heart, I said: “Amen, preach it, sister!”
I have been so overwhelmed that I stood up to give a standing ovation (Dr. Miranda Pillay). I’ve been so overwhelmed that I could not remember to clap my hands, my whole mind was still on the message I heard (Pastor Janice Kaufmann-Chafunya). When I heard of how humanitarian rights tie in with the basic Bible message I could not take notes fast enough. When I heard of how to spread the message to children (I teach children’s church) I missed even more potential notes: there were moments when my mind wandered because I started to think up ideas of how to implement this with children…
In short, I enthusiastically believe all of this! But… do I really?
Sure, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who spoke on opening night, can publish a damning report that gets president Jacob Zuma in trouble with the South African public, and she can get named one of 2014’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine. I believe women can do it. But do I believe l – female, not-highly-educated, single, short and round, bad conversationalist Retha Faurie with Aspergers and a humble administrative job – could make a difference?
Someone told me this morning I should have spoken up yesterday when male learners dominated the conversation and led it away from CBE topics. I thought: “It is not my place. Speaking up is not my gift“. Someone else, when hearing this afternoon of a children’s book I wrote, said I could get my book published easily. My thought was: “So what if I can get it published through a vanity press? I can’t get buyers for what I paid to print. Wanting this story published actually means I want someone who believes in my book enough to want to distribute it.” When someone said earlier today they like my blog, I was surprised. In short, I acted today like someone who does not believe I, Retha Faurie, can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Other women, yes. But not me.
You may not know much of Aspergers, and therefore can’t guess how it will influence my self-worth. To give a quick picture: There are a hundred little things which most people do every day that makes them seem competent to the outside world. Susan Boyle, a fellow Aspie (someone with Aspergers) walked up the stage on her first Britain’s Got Talent audition – and did not do those hundred tiny things. People immediately assumed her to be not only incompetent but mentally handicapped as well. Then she started singing… Susan did go for singing lessons and sung before, to the audiences Blackburn could offer. She developed her talent as well as she could, but carried herself in such a manner that other people wrongly saw this intelligent woman as stupid. When we look stupid or standoffish because of our communication pattern and people treat us that way, it influences the opportunities people give us and how we think about ourselves – not always in that order.
In a world that told me in a hundred little ways that I cannot, that I am (for whatever reason) not worthy, do I trust the God who say I am? When Simon Cowell told Susan that she can sing, she believed it. Our God has immeasurably more influence than Simon Cowell.
And you? Think for yourself:
> Is there a little voice inside you which make you believe you cannot do the things which another little voice say you can? What does the first voice say? What does the second one say?
> Do you believe either of these voices is from God? If so, which one?
> Is there anything you would do differently when you really believe in your status as a woman created in the image of God, to really portray Proverbs 28:1 “the righteous are bold as a lion?”
Let us join hands and go on a journey with God and God’s power – including His power to use us – together! And please drop me a note – either in the comments or privately with “Contact Me” – if you want to tell me of your journey with this!