Drake and I didn’t find out the sex of our babies before they were born-I guess we just love surprises, and what better surprise could you have in life??!! That being said, I was petrified of having a girl…
There we were in the delivery room, awaiting the arrival of our second precious bundle. (Gosh that makes it sound like I was a spectator. In this unmedicated, natural birth, I would probably be considered a key participant). It was FINALLY time to push, and as if my heart wasn’t already pounding, it just about hammered out of my chest at the realization that I was about to meet my new baby. Would it be a boy or girl? Consider my shock when the midwife told me to reach down and pull the baby out myself. What??!!! I’d never heard of anyone doing that before. But I did it. I reached down and pulled my offspring out of the home it had made in my womb over the past nine months. There it was…a vagina. I was actually the first to see and declare, “It’s a girl!” Jessie Lynn immediately melted my heart, but the anxiety over having a girl did not subside.
So I’ve had to search my heart over my apprehension about raising a girl. What is at the root of my fear?
I have struggled throughout life with femininity and what it means to be female in our culture. As I child I was more interested in balls than dolls. I generally found girls to be catty, back-stabbing, and full of drama-I didn’t want any part of it. I wasn’t goo-goo over guys, I didn’t like to wear make-up, and I wasn’t really into shopping. In turn, I never really had any close girl friends. I often felt isolated and alone.
Do I want to raise a girl who “fits in?” Probably not! Do I want my daughter to be isolated and lonely? Definitely Not! Is there an alternative for Jessie?
Furthermore, what if Jessie turns out to like dolls, is goo-goo over guys, wants to wear make-up, and enjoys shopping? How will I relate to her?
As an adult I have struggled with understanding my role in the church. I don’t think our American 21st century Church knows quite what to do with strong, female leaders. As young women in junior high, high school, and even college, ones leadership skills are welcomed and developed, but when a woman enters adulthood, she may be limited in the use of her gifts, and even feel she no longer has a place in the church. Society at large is embracing strong women, but is the Church rejecting them?
What if Jessie is a strong leader? Will she feel like she has a place in the Church? Will she feel rejected by Christians, though society at large may embrace her?
I am still searching to discover God’s design for women. How do Jessie and I embrace what He has designed as uniquely feminine while rejecting the distortions from our culture and even the Church? How do Jessie and I discover all that God has for us as women? How do we deal with potential rejection from others? How do I enter into her world if she is completely different from me?
God be gracious with me as I embark on the adventure of raising a young lady, and thank you for my beautiful “Jessie Girl!”