I've been surrounded by church ladies my whole life. But I don't feel like one of them.
Does a church lady eat mostly plant-based meals? Does she do yoga? Does she study theology in seminary? Does she feel more comfortable in Barnes and Noble than at a women's ministry event? Is her favorite color RED?
Not according to stereotypical perceptions. I suppose I realized how much I broke the mold when I was invited to a "mom's night out" at my church--the church's ongoing social offering for women--after getting married at age 35. I explained that I had no children and asked if the event might be changed to "ladies' night out" so that singles and infertiles and married women could be included. The answer was no. I begged off.
Since that time, I've joined the "currently infertile" category, which only makes the designation sting more. There's got to be a better way to bridge the gap across generation and circumstance--a way that every woman would be welcomed at the church of the living God. I'm happy to tell you, there is.
When God named your grandmother Eve an "ezer" (Hebrew word) in Genesis 2:18, you earned your seat at the table, sister. You are a strong helper, warrior, and rescuer, fit for Kingdom service. Married or no. Mother or not. Professional or homemaker extraordinaire. (See this video for details on what it means to be an ezer.) You belong. Don't let any woman (or man) tell you otherwise.
In the spirit of celebrating the atypical woman in the pew, I'm going to a woman's event at my church this weekend. I'm thinking positive thoughts, believing that Jesus in me might draw other atypical women into the conversation. That we might be celebrated, enjoyed, and encouraged. There is room for us at the table. Perhaps we just need to insist on it and pull up some chairs.
Tell me about your experience as an atypical woman in church. How might we encourage our churches to invite all of God's daughters to the table?