Saturday, June 27, 2009

And so it begins

"Maybe you could sit in on one of your husband's classes?"

This was the gist of the question I received at the seminary preview banquet a few months back, after a dear woman gave me the upsell on the wonderful seminary wives' group. I told her it sounded like a nice group with good speakers, etc. Never realizing I was getting an informal invitation, until she said something like this . . .

"Maybe you could even sit in on one of your husband's classes."

"Um, noooo," I replied. "Actually, it's me who is going to seminary."

Her eyes widened. I smiled a bit stiffly. She had made such an honest mistake. My husband had been sitting next to me during the banquet, offering his support and enthusiasm for this new leg of the journey. There are only around 100 residential students at this small Midwest seminary--and out of those 100 students, only six are female.

So, you see, I soon realized that come September when classes start, I may be the only lady in the room. We'll see. Except for my "Spiritual Formation" course, where an articulate female professor will be instructing us on how we are shaped spiritually. And it so happens that my husband has been invited to attend. To, um, sit in on one of my classes.

Lest you think I am a bold warrior for female equality in the church, I have to speak up now. I'm just a sister finding her way, asking God how to use her gifts. And discovering His plans for me have stretched beyond anything I could have dreamed up.

I'm figuring out how to claim my identity as an "ezer"--the Hebrew word God used when He created Eve, identifying her as a strong helper, a warrior, and a rescuer. (Thank you, Carolyn Custis James, for calling our attention to this in Lost Women of the Bible; thank you, too, to John and Stasi Eldredge and Captivating, where I first discovered "ezer," although it had been there all along.) In addition to unpacking that astounding piece of truth this last year, God's Word has come alive, with women leaping off the page, showing me the way to obedience, to stewardship of the gifts God has given.

Trust me on this, though: I am not a Bible scholar and I have so much yet to learn. It's high time to dig deeper in the trenches of seminary--and right now, nothing excites me more than seeing what comes next. So if you're a woman who's in seminary, has already attended seminary, or is simply seeking God's will for your life, feel free to post. All I'm asking, sister, is that you keep things positive. Honest searching and questioning? Great. Negativity? Please take it somewhere else.

So how about you? What have you learned about your role and your giftedness from the pages of God's Word? And what are you still hoping to learn? Please post.

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