Updated: Jan 27
There is more healing in store for femininity,
This past weekend I gave a talk on Femininity to a group of high school girls at a youth retreat and it reminded me of how much I don't just love this message of femininity, but I want to live the message and do my very best to honor it well.
In the church I've heard many messages about femininity and I often think it has become a new popular phrase or a trend on social media to throw around in both Catholic Christian and Christian communities. I see the term "authentic femininity" followed up with conversations about emotional chastity, dating and marriage.
1.) Emotional chastity is not just a woman's struggle. It's also a man's struggle. We can all overshare our hearts at times and not know when to draw boundaries.
2.) There are more concerns on women's minds than dating and marriage.
Somehow though it's like this message of femininity has been watered down or even romanticized at times. Although, I agree with the general messages of emotional chastity and drawing boundaries I don't believe women are just thinking about men/relationships all day. I think women are thinking about so much more because we were all made with desires, hopes and dreams.
There was once a point in time where I really thought I wouldn't be worthy enough to talk about femininity unless I worked directly in ministry or was married. I know this sounds ridiculous and couldn't be the furthest thing from the truth, but it can be difficult to be a secular working, single girl at 25 that gets up to speak truth about the gift of the feminine heart. It can feel like an "outcast moment" to push the conversation beyond dating, marriage and vocation. Don't get me wrong these are important conversations to be having with women, but femininity is so much more.
I don't want important conversations being missed in return because we were all just focused on romanticizing what a woman can do rather than talking about the human experience and being of a woman.
There are girls struggling with mental health issues, deep rooted loneliness, struggling with seeking validation, constant comparison in social media, eating disorders, the addictive nature of masturbation, pornography, self-deprecation and doubting the faith that have many questions.
& I want to speak with these girls. Things tend to suffer when the silence and shame is remains.
I would know because I was also a girl with many of these struggles and I just felt like I spent a lot of time trying to romanticize femininity myself instead of looking at the places in my heart that could benefit from healing or being brought to the light.
I still struggle with questions about the faith and I don't have all the answers and I can't pretend to anymore, but it's time to hold the hands of young women and speak into the messy, it's heavy and it hurts and young girls do not need to be walking into it alone. I just don't want the human experience struggles to get masked or hidden. Femininity is not a word to romanticize. It's a word to speak truth in.
So much of the cross and wounded-ness in femininity lies in the secrecy and there is more work to be done here. We have young girls dreaming big dreams and my greatest hope for women is that they are comfortable enough to come out of hiding.
Young women need messages from all of us, from every walk of life.
God has something to reveal in the uniqueness of each woman's heart and that's what I want to see more of.
So I really want to see a room full of young women unapologetic and excited about the hearts they have. That's the dream, man.
A dream I'll advocate for and show up for right here today.