Confessions of a Christian Woman: This Month on She.ology
Oh, hey friends! Fall is blowing and breezing it’s way into my little mountain town and it. Is. Beautiful! I hope your autumnal heart is feeling the cozy vibe and loving the look of whatever city, town or village you call home.
In late September, we gathered here in Central Oregon for a She.ology planning retreat. All our contributors came - from Portland, Arizona and right here in my neck of the woods - all eight of us set aside two days without kids and spouses and to-do lists, ready to wait long, think hard and pray fervently for She.ology’s theme for October and beyond. We decided to throw ALL our ideas on the board and then sift through them one by one, narrowing down as we went.
As it turned out, we must have showed up game-ready, because the very first idea out of the gate is the one that held and stuck. We tossed around others, but kept coming back to this one:
Courageous Vulnerability: Confessions of a Christian Woman.
We talked about the things we’ve heard from our sisters and friends, and how they mirror our own deepest feelings:
“It’s so hard to be vulnerable.”
“We’re terrified to say the scary things.”
“Women think they’re alone in their sorrow and sin.”
“Our relationships are often shallow because we can’t be honest.”
“I hate that people think my life is perfect. If they only knew the truth.”
I know vulnerability is hard for everyone, but the Church, with it’s Proverbs 31 caricatures and Perfect Pastor’s Wife cutouts, has become a dark foxhole for suppression and secrets. As we discussed the many reasons women feel they can’t share the deep stuff, we decided: Someone has to go first. Someone needs to pave the way so others can feel safe in knowing they are not alone.
In October, we agreed: We’ll go first.
All this month, our team of contributors and several guest writers will be sharing true confessions - the ways we’ve tried and failed, the places we’ve been hurt and betrayed, the things we don’t usually say on the stage or the page. We’re opening up our journals as an altar, praying it will create a small patch of common ground on which to gather in honesty, empathy and acceptance. We’ll talk about things like body image, betrayal in marriage, pornography, our secret doubts about God and the Church and shame. Not to glorify pain, but to honor it, learn from it, and see the beauty of Jesus through it.
We won’t be sharing our names, and I know that might seem the opposite of vulnerable, but we felt it was important for our ability to tell our stories without exposing the other people in them. Vulnerability is brave, exposing someone else’s weakness or hurt to the watching world is not.
In addition to true confessions, Monday Manifesto will continue (and, oh, we’ve got some GREAT ones planned!) and our Tuesday tips column will be: Transparent Tuesday - practical ways to build a more authentic and vulnerable life. This will include - who to trust, how to let others in, how much is too much to share, honesty vs. transparency, and so on. I think you’re going to love them.
Oh! Also - you guys. We got the CUTEST She.ology mugs for our conferences! I love mine - I use it every day and I’m really happy to say that I’m raising a young man who drinks TEA from a She.ology cup. They’re a special feature for our conferences, but because it’s October and the time for warm, happy drinks, I’m giving away five today for anyone who comments with your favorite fall beverage.
Okay - that’s it from me. Be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss a single, wonderful October second on She.ology.
With happy hope,