Today I shoveled two driveways, my front and back walkways twice, all in the midst of a snow emergency. Just your average day in Minnesota!
While I did get a kick out of the stupidity of not wearing a hat – and seeing the reflection of my black hair, turned snow-white in the reflection of the window, something else was stirring inside me as the snow tumbled down.
Just last year, I would get so triggered by having to rake leaves and shovel snow by myself. I would rage at the fact that I had been abandoned by all the men in my life. “That I was out here breaking my back to rake leaves and shovel snow with no help at all, if he hadn’t been such an addict, then I wouldn’t be in this mess.”
It was a constant fighting of cognitive dissonance. First, that I’m a strong capable woman who can do it alone, and yet it’s nice to have a partner to do these things with AND second, combatting the learned helplessness taught by the church to young women. (Grow up, get married, have kids, men do all the outside work and women do all the inside work)
We waited for the Christian men to come and rescue us. We were taught they would. They would show up, lookin’ all godly, talkin’ the big seminary talk, and quotin’ all those “godly things” men say. Soon, we would find out – their words meant nothing and they weren’t the great rescuers we thought we had.
While that belief system is ENGRAINED into us from the first day in the church nursery – we grow up and ANOTHER message begins to emerge: “You are a strong, independent woman! You don’t need a man! You can do anything you set your mind to!”
So now, I’m in this conundrum… I am DROWNING in being a single home owner. I need help ALL THE TIME. I WISH I had a man around the house, because honestly, I can’t do this alone and I don’t always have money to pay a repairperson or technician. At the same time, my friends and my knowledge are often limited. The truth is: no matter how many youtube video’s I watch I still can’t figure out how to change the bathtub faucets, nor rewire the electrical in order to get the front porch light finally working! (and yes, I changed the bulb)
Sometimes I cry in the throws of problem solving these projects. And often, my other single homeowner friends do too. We don’t really talk about it corporately because it’s not “woke” to say , “I need a man.” The truth is … what we are really saying is “I want someone to come and rescue me”. That brings me to my next soap box:
I often hear people say, and I see this on Facebook, and I myself, have said it but it has NEVER sounded real and true for me, and has NEVER felt right in my body…. “Healing happens when we realize that no one is coming to rescue us- and so I learned to rescue myself” I will be blunt: while I understand the sentiment behind this: I HATE IT, because in my experience it is completely untrue. What is true, is that I am rescued, in fact I am rescued DAILY.
Am I strong? YES
Am I capable? YES I have proven that to myself a billion times over!
Am I independent? YES
Am I comfortable being alone? YES, I find power in my aloneness.
So does this mean I need to do EVERYTHING BY MYSELF? IS IT OKAY if I want to be rescued? To be seen in my mess? To be helped and loved in the process? YES, YES and YES.
To RESCUE means, “to save from a distressing and dangerous situation, the experience of being saved from danger or distress”
As I shoveled the heavy snow and heaved it into a pile to clear away the pavement, I imagined Jesus on the other end of the driveway humming a tune and smiling while he heaped his pile of snow just as high as mine. I turned to watch him and smile, as he shot me a wink. He wasn’t there because I am weak and incapable, he knows that I can do this all by myself, in fact, he says so in Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
He is there helping me because he ENJOYS spending time with me. He sees me, he sees that it is hard to shovel all this by myself, he is happy to be with me and loves on me in the process of digging tunnels thru piles of snow.
With help from God and those he mobilized to assist and strengthen me, I was able to escape abuse, because it was a part of my rescue story. Jesus held my hand during my rescue on more than one occasion, I have been rescued a million times over – and will continue to be until the day I die.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the LORD supported me.
He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. -Psalm 18
I was rescued when a couple gave me $500.00 out of the blue, and it was the EXACT amount I needed to start my own bank account before separating from my ex-husband. I am rescued now when my friend comes over to change the headlight on my car, or when he listens to me cry about hard decisions, and prays over me in my mourning.
I am rescued when I text my sissy and she reminds me to ground myself or says the thing I needed to hear in that moment of panic. I am rescued when I meet with my book club and our perspectives pour into my spiritual cup. And, I am rescued by my Jesus when he comes to me in memories, or comforts me from the pages of old letters, with the exact right verse at the exact right time.
I am strong, wise, and able to make financial decisions and choices. Are we PRACTICALLY capable of helping ourselves? Most times, yes! That doesn’t mean we don’t need a rescuer – someone to save us when distress happens and danger is lurking around the corner, or within the next room. So to say, “no one is coming… I need to rescue myself.” ???? FALSE! Please don’t continue to perpetuate the isolated, individualized society of the Western/American culture. Let’s switch to Kingdom culture, where everyone is equal and everyone needs help. Let us reach out for ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS during our rescue process!
We were NEVER meant to do this life alone. We were MADE for interdependence. It started the day you were born, you depended on your primary caregivers for food, safety and shelter. God saw you and loved you first, He’s always had a plan to rescue you – to bring you back inside your own body – back to the beautiful soul you were always designed to be, and the rescue doesn’t end there. Because of this INTRICATE design of interdependence, I get to hold your hand, in your rescue process and you can hold mine.
To be rescued is to be seen, heard and loved in the midst of your danger and distress. I am proud to say I have been rescued, I KNOW my Rescuer and I will need to be rescued again and again during the brief time I am here on this Earth.
So please, my friends, instead of saying, “no one is coming to rescue me, so I learned to rescue myself” can we instead say, “Healing happens when we learn our true value and understand that we are WORTHY to be rescued. I will stand by you in your rescue, will you stand by me in mine?”
You are not alone.