Oh, Yes! My Husband Does Lead Me
Two years ago today, March 11th, Will and I met for the first time. This marked the beginning of our whirlwind romance.
One of the first things I let him know was that I am an Egalitarian. I was still shaky at that point, just finding my feet, but the doctrine was increasingly important to me.
It was our second date and I don’t mess around. We were sitting in his car outside of an overcrowded Starbucks. He was listening to me rattle on about gender equality and my journey to believing in it. To be honest, I was surprised at how well he took it, and that he didn’t interject any negativity. Instead, he told me that he was attracted to the fact that I wanted a family, but it was just fine if I wanted to do something else too. I think it was his first time hearing the term Egalitarian, but he always treated me like an equal. It was almost like a non-issue to him.
We had dated for a few more weeks, less than a month I guess. It was all feeling right and we knew in our souls that we were meant for each other, but I was still afraid. I would drop comments about women pastors, Egal. vs. Comp. debates I was attending, men I had met up with so I could teach them theology and about the ministry I would like to start. I was hoping he would support me, but bracing for the moment when he would put me in my place or scold me for my associations and dreams.
In one such conversation, I was sitting close to him on a swing outside yet another coffee shop. I point-blank asked him if he would mind me having a ministry. What he said still moves me to tears.
“I want YOU! I don’t care what you do. You can be a stay at home mom or you can work or minister or sing or write or travel. I really can’t see my life without you. Just do your thang, Baby, just do your thang!” (that’s “thing” for you Northerners)
Maybe that’s when I was sure he was the one — when I knew I was free to serve Jesus without restriction and that he was someone who believed in me.
Will has always believed me. In fact, he is the reason I still write. After ending my “Stay-At-Home Daughter” blog, which I had written for 5 years from a patriarchal world view, I felt like a failure for leading people in what I now believe to be the wrong direction. I felt paralyzed with fear about what people would think of me, and the controversy that would surely out come over my changes and truth telling.
But Will was the one who, after only reading one or two of my writings, affirmed my wordy calling and urged me to write.
“Write! Just start writing!” He would say.
He rebuked all of my fears, every one that I could think of, as I washed the breakfast dishes one Saturday morning in the early months of our marriage. But I was still afraid of my calling, and I was still afraid he wasn’t with me, and I was still afraid that it was pointless for me to even put my fingers to the keyboard and try. So Will lit into a rousing speech about how I don’t need affirmation from the “notables”. Whatever I write WILL make someone unhappy, but I shouldn’t be writing for them. I should be writing for me, for God, and for the hurting. It was the most inspiring discourse I had ever heard, and he ended it by pulling me close, kissing my forehead, and whispering “don’t be afraid.”
So, I started writing again, and he was right all along. This is my gift, this is my calling, and this is helping and healing people (most of all myself).
Will is continuously believing in me, pointing out and reminding me of my gifts and potential, not just with words, but also with action, financial risk, and support. He is the one who whispers over and over again, “don’t be afraid”.
I love you, Will. I am so thankful for the day we met two years ago. You are to me a hero and a healer. Every day you teach me what good leadership looks like, empowering and inspiring others to live out their God-given destiny. Lead on Baby, lead on.