One warrior’s journey to discovery of the power of a tribe of women
By Micah Pascual
I was listening to Priscilla Shirer (the protagonist of War Room) when I started remembering how precious my time was with my pack of women. I remembered for almost three years, I always looked forward to Wednesday nights to meet with my sisters and just talk about life; not to mention other days when we just meet over lunch or dinner or coffee. I would boldly claim that this kind of company helped me and is continuously helping me until today.
Looking back, I realized eventually that I was robbed of this company…this space to flourish with my womanhood. I had been seeking validation and worth by trying to do what young boys do, making thinner or smaller boys cry to affirm my strength, being an honor student “beating” others intelligently…or so I thought. Then came adolescence, I started validating myself through my relationships with young men. I was striving to validate my beauty through relationships, comforting myself that somebody sees me the way I wanted to be seen…or so I thought.
After my redemption, I started reading a book entitled “Captivating” by Stasi Eldredge; this book absolutely turned my world upside down and made me get back to my true identity as a woman, as a warrior. To the lovely ones reading this, how many times have we felt like other women do not understand us as much as some men might? How many times have we felt like, between men and women, it`s the women first who judge us by how we look or how we smell? How many times did we dislike other women just because we don`t like their attitude? or worse, how many times did we hate women not because they are rude or unpleasing but deep inside we were envious of them, we were envious how they live and we wish we could have lived that way but we can`t.
Growing up, I was never used to opening up my darkest and saddest emotions with my mom nor my dad. I was the eldest so I was seeking older siblings I can talk to. I ended up harnessing so much anger and sadness in my heart, I used to mask myself as this strong person that my friends can depend on. My friends cannot see this side of me or else they might leave me. I thought if I just kept it and not pay attention it will just evaporate and leave me…I was wrong. I became a control freak, a master of this art, people didn`t even realize that I was already manipulating them. I guess until now they won`t think that way about me. I was so ignorant about being a woman, all I did was try to be intelligent and witty, never ever be emotional or people will leave you.
The deception and division of women have been a historical yet unnoticed dilemma of the society. The enemy who schemed this illusion still continues to instill competition and ignorance among women, sometimes to win a man`s heart or today`s quest to be self-made so and so. To think about it in a logical sense, who else can understand women better? To seek validation from our Creator then affirmation from other women is one logical way to break this illusion. Though some would argue that the perspective of a “male” creator invalidates this logic, we can clearly identify a tree from its fruit. A person who grew up in a more liberated and sadly, sensual society might have a hard time accepting such concept or even misunderstood this for romantic or sexual preferences. One, because she has not experienced this kind of company of women and two, because this same kind of society does not allow people to show weakness in order to maintain an “image” of progress and being educated (some like to use the term socially aware and active). I still ask how can this be resolved..
It always makes me happy how I can talk about anything to the friends and sisters I had back home. I never had such comfortable space to cry, to get mad, to laugh, to dream, to stay still, to hide and to pray, if not for this company of women. I realized that this is my design. I was designed to fight a battle for women that`s been long due. The reason why an Esther dared to talk to the king at the risk of her own life, the same reason why a Rahab dared to hide spies, a Priscilla to keep moving and traveling, an Abigail to calm down a raging David, a Hannah to weep and pray until something happens, a Eunice, a Ruth and Naomi, the Marys, the Hagar and so much more. The battle only women can fight together hand in hand; the cause which proves she is an equal and not a slave.
This post is not to shame men, I equally love my women friends as much as my men friends. This post is written to awaken and break the stereotypes women have between one another, especially those who were not used to listening, talking, opening up to other women; those who have been wounded by other women, their mothers, aunts, sisters, the women who were supposed to be present but were apathetic, the women who were supposed to listen but were too occupied. It is possible to flourish with other women.
It is possible to be friends with women, be accountable with them despite differences in preference, attitude and even faith. It is possible to meet one on one just to talk about how your day went or how frustrating the hairdresser was. It is possible to just talk with women, not because you are romantically attracted to them but because you have the confidence that they are listening and you also want to listen to them. It is possible to travel with women because, at one point or another, you may be walking with the same journey only with your own unique details to it. It possible to share your load with other women because that`s what we are called to do…to carry each other`s burden.
It makes more sense to grow first with the Designer then with the ones who have the same design as we do. Most of the time, when we seek validation from the places or people who we think can give it to us, the amount of damage is greater than the so-called benefits of it. I`ve never met a perfect woman, all I have right now is a group of women from different ages, with different experiences and wisdom. Some are still seeking answers, some are already on the other side, the side who can already give answers. Some are artists, some are writers, some are thinkers and overthinkers. Some are fashionistas, some are mountaineers and daughters of Poseidon. Some are near, a lot are far. But I am confident of the impact they continue to put in my life. I am continuously grateful that once in my life I started making friends with women, who I never imagined will be accountable for me until now. Most of all, I am grateful for the boldness they have to pray for one another and to the people who they never knew or they will never know. This is the heart of a warrior. This is the heart of a woman.
Micah Pascual is a Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. Micah works to strengthen the bond of community with local churches, educational institutions and church projects in San Pablo, Uruguay.
This article was originally blogged at http://lazysneakers.tumblr.com/.