I don’t really remember a particular moment that I was saved, like the exact moment I accepted Jesus, all I know is I was a member of children ministries and kept on leveling up the older I got. I remember being in teens, tweens and then the women’s ministries. I don’t remember seeing men’s seminars being frequent as ours were, somehow women’s ministries at least in my experience were about teaching me to be a good woman, a good submissive future wife, a good praying wife, they were about fixing me to be the ideal Christian wife, ready to use all the tools given to me to land a Christian man and in my future marriage.
They suddenly shifted to be about something serious more than I was ready for, I remember in our teenage groups we were just talking about feelings, growing up and we used to go swimming but all of a sudden I found myself prepared to be a good wife, well that escalated quickly.
The way women are viewed in churches is toxic, it is as if they are second class citizens in god’s kingdom, even though Paul said we are all equal before the Lord (Galatians 3:28). Men can ask for prayers about jobs, callings and businesses, women seem to just go to church in hopes of finding or be prayed for a good husband or praying for the troubles in their marriages to end. I always wanted to be a missionary so I wondered if I fit, if I will see a female missionary coming to give a testimony, not a missionary’s wife supporting her husband’s calling, I wondered if being prepared to be a supporting wife of a man who does a different calling than mission was for me, I just wanted to learn how to know my calling, if god called me how will I be supported, if the way that god made me to be, the deep passionate and amazing callings he put inside me will be of any use to the church.
Also Read : Here’s how you can find your calling
Women ministries are built on the idea that men love the same type of women and they have the same type of behaviors, and if you become a certain type of a woman, a man will love you, if he hasn’t well you are not yet that type of a woman sis, you are failing. They don’t care about personalities or learning more about you, they are about fixing you to be a certain type of a woman, they are not about god’s experience, they are about what the teacher wants to teach you about what she has been through, forgetting that life experiences are diverse. Don’t get me wrong it is good to learn from others, but what someone else goes through doesn’t necessarily mean that I will go through it too.
Women’s ministries were doing the job that my mom does, my grandma does and every female in my family has been doing since I was born. I have always been taught what things my husband will hate, what he will love, what I need to change to be loved by a man and even the right way to sweep a floor because if I sweep it while not bending down enough what kind of a wife will I be? I was taught all of this when all of us don’t even know who my husband is and what he likes, or even what I like does anyone care about what I like?
To me, women ministries became a voice that I have heard so many times, it was too repetitive. No real healing, nothing is different, they didn’t see me as a person apart from a ‘wife to be’. That’s why I walked out.
I love me a sisterhood, a sisterhood that celebrates differences, not forces you to conform. I love a sisterhood that brings healing, equal healing to everyone, not a platform for one to be exalted and others to bow down and be followers of this one perfect example of a woman, I love sisterhood that elevates, that builds, that shows up for each other and not one where there are murmurs of lamentations in the background and masks that people wear to appear perfect for two hours.
Womanhood is messy, I wanted a space to show up as myself, womanhood is divine, I wanted a place that celebrates that, womanhood is powerful, I wanted a space that elevated that, womanhood can be a lonely journey, I wanted a place that acknowledged and provided solace for that, womanhood can be diverse, I wanted a place that was a living proof of that, in the ministries that I have been in, I have never felt the above.
It felt like even in this spaces that we could center ourselves we were still centering others’ needs, future husband’s needs, I wanted a space to break, take off my mask but it felt like I couldn’t breathe even there, I felt like I wasn’t seen through an individual eye but a group eye and it was assumed that an advice that has worked for the troubles that sister A has could work for me even though we were living different lives, I didn’t feel seen, I didn’t feel heard, I couldn’t see others or given space to hear these amazing individuals’ stories, I yearned for those things, I yearned for that experience and women ministries didn’t meet my needs and that is why I walked out of women ministries.