Reading Unmasked and hearing your teachings have so stirred my heart that I find myself ministering to women (and men) almost everyday with your message. In a span of just a few months, I have had a passion and stirring in my heart that I have never had before. God is using me wherever I go to help daughters understand their identity. I feel such a call to speak this truth, and it has so revolutionized my heart that if I keep my mouth shut I think I will burst!
I am the oldest of nine children, grew up in Los Angeles, and my family moved to Greece as missionaries when I was sixteen. I always struggled in my relationship with my dad. Growing up I remember my dad telling me that he was proud of me only on my birthdays or special occasions. I rarely heard him say, “I love you,” or that he was proud of me. The hardest part was that he was very critical of me. I never felt like I was good enough. The only feedback we ever got was regarding the things we did wrong instead of the things we did right.
My dad became a Christian when he was 18, but looking back I now see that he never got healed from his father wounds. My grandfather never showed him love or played with him. Naturally, this was something he then carried into marriage and fatherhood. He has a very independent, strong personality, and the controlling spirit on him was very hard to grow up with. It was difficult to respect him because of the way he controlled my mom and us kids in his position of being the "head of the house." I remember thinking about marriage and wondering how and if I would ever find someone good enough for my dad to accept. At the same time, I went through many seasons of not even wanting my dad to walk me down the aisle.
Without my dad’s love and affirmation, I subconsciously thought I was inferior because I was born a girl.
I was really strong and independent, had a lot of responsibility in my family, and didn't allow too many people to get close. I was always on the defense and ready for the "punch" if needed. I built this wall to guard my heart from past failed relationships and from friends who had betrayed my family and me on the mission field. I realize now how I adopted the "fighter" spirit so I wouldn't have to trust others or trust God. I can see how bitter I had become from the rejection, discouragement, and overwork I had experienced. As a result I was pushing myself to be someone I wasn't created to be.
I see how many women (including me) have been trying to play the role of men, leaving us feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
We take pride in the "juggle" mentality of keeping everything spinning in a perfect circle. We are strong, educated, and independent. We can manage our lives on our own, not needing anyone. We don't need a man. However, if we end up finding a man who needs us and will serve us, we'll settle for that. It is sad to see the countless families where the husband is actually the helpmate of his wife in her career or her ministry. A lot of women are unknowingly wearing this mask and walking in shoes that weren't made for them. We are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. No matter how hard we try and how much we adjust ourselves, the peg still doesn't fit. It's not natural to be someone we're not created to be.
God started working on my heart in the past few years, and as a result I have changed so much. I am now thankful that God made me to be me, a daughter of the King! I have always believed that the husband should be the head of the house and that the wife was created to be his helpmeet, but I never understood why it is actually a good thing. After hearing you and reading your book, I feel like I finally have the pieces of the puzzle put together for me. I love the following quote from Unmasked:
Woman was created from the rib of man.
She was not made from his head to be above him,
nor was she made from his feet to be trampled on.
She was created out of his side to be equal to him,
under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved.
About five years ago, God started working on my heart, and I made a choice to love my dad for all the wonderful characteristics he did possess. God also showed me how much I was like him. I realized that I had some of his same weaknesses and sin patterns. I learned to deal with my anger in a better way and to not put fuel in the fire. Last year I experienced severe attacks from the enemy about myself and about God which led to anxiety and depression. My dad stepped up to the plate and became the spiritual covering I needed. He ministered to me and loved me in a way that I had never experienced before. He supported me and held up my hands by texting me with Scriptures and giving me words from the Lord specifically for me. I can honestly say that that difficult period was worth it just because I now have a new relationship with my dad. Now I can't wait for God to bring the right man into my life and meet my dad. I also can't wait for my dad to walk me down the aisle! Praise the Lord! This is truly a miracle!
I was talking with a friend yesterday about male leaders in our lives. We both agreed that we would wholeheartedly submit to and come under the leadership of a man who doesn't take his position of headship lightly. We desire someone who: leads by serving, stays late and puts chairs away, will wash dishes and scrub toilets, will sacrifice sleep to comfort a sick kid, is honored because he honors, and is loved in return for the love that he exudes. I am praying for young men to rise up to be the authentic leaders they are called to be and to have a revelation of all that is in a daughter's heart.