Come Alive!

My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”

I am tired and sweaty and dehydrated. My feet hurt from high heels, there’s way too much paint on my face that I still need to wash off, and I hope that whoever invented upper underwear had to wear it every day of their life (sorry, if you’re a kindred spirit of the male persuasion I know that one is a little too much information…).

But I’m alive, and still pumped up with adrenaline (and chocolate ice cream – I just finished off a carton of it all by myself).

Today was my “little” (she’s 17) sister’s dance recital. I was a part of it also, because I’m the music teacher at her dance studio, so I accompanied the Musical Theater class. They (we) did Mary Poppins as the first act of the show.

Music – playing and performing music – makes me come alive. As a musician, I constantly have gigs to play, and while I tend to whine and moan about them beforehand (“I’ve got that damned concert I gotta do this Friday…”), when I’m up there in front of people, playing my piece, I just come alive. I am touching my audience in the best way I know how – through music – and it energizes me. I have so much fun and… well, the best way I can think to put it is just that it makes me come alive!

My sister is the same way with dance. And acting. She gets up on a stage, playing a character, and she comes alive. She dances her solo, and it’s like you can see her heart and soul. You watch her come alive, and it’s a beautiful sight! (Sorry for all the poetic nonsense… Honestly, I’m not usually all “rainbows and unicorns” like this!)

But this has me thinking about something else, also.

There is a mindset in some “Conservative Christian” groups that it is not a good thing for a woman to have a dream, a vision like that, of her own. For her to be passionate about something outside the home, and do what makes her come “alive.”

We like to say about marriage that “the two become one.” What I’ve heard far too often from the Conservative Christian crowd is something more along the lines of “the two become him.”

God gives everyone talents to be developed and used. God gives everyone a dream, a passion, something that makes them come alive. And then God can use that passion to minister to others.

In the mindset I grew up in, however, I received the message far too many times that once a woman is married, she follows his (as in, her husband’s) dream. I can remember that idea really bothering me even when I was much younger (“You mean, if I ever get married, I probably won’t be able to play organ at churches anymore? Or do concerts? Or play piano?? NOOOOO!!!!”)

Now, being that I’m already shocking myself with how “feministy” this is starting to sound, let me hasten to clarify that I am a HUGE believer in traditional men’s and women’s roles. The Bible says that the man should be the leader, and the woman is to follow (and, yes, obey) his leadership. Believe me when I tell you (unfortunately from experience) that God sure knew what he was talking about with that one!

But I think we women have to be very careful that we don’t let this turn into “don’t have a life or dream of your own. Just follow whatever your man’s passion is.”

Because I’ve been there. I have tried to follow someone else’s dream. I’ve tried to make it my own and live and breathe that vision. I have been tempted to drop my whole life (I didn’t, thankfully) – multiple times – and go live my brother’s vision. (Yeah, I know. How lame is that, that the dude in my life that I end up following is my brother? There’s a whole other letter I can write talking about that, but I’ll save it for another day…). And let me tell you something:

It doesn’t work.

My dear kindred spirit, you need your own vision! You need your own passion. Something that you do that is unique to you and makes you come alive!! You can’t follow another person’s passion and expect it to magically turn you on and make you come alive. You need to use the talents God gave you.

I understand everyone has seasons in their life. In some seasons – such as parenthood – I can certainly understand that there may be less time for your passions. In some situations, it may be dang near impossible to use those talents. But don’t give up that dream! Don’t give up the vision God has placed in your heart.

And for the girls out there, please don’t let being a man’s helpmate, assisting him in following his dreams and his passions, drown out your own talents. Use your talents to assist him. Use your talents to minister to others. Use your talents to bring glory to God. The important thing is – use your talents!!

Don’t try to replace your vision and talents with another person’s.

Live, my friend. Live your life. Come alive!!

Love, N.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Come Alive!

  1. Amen! Don’t ever marry a man that is more interested in having you support his passions than he is in suppporting yours. When he really loves you, watching you “come alive” will make him “come alive”!

    Like

  2. my Mom was always keen to remind us girls about the woman in Proverbs that ran her own business and bought land and her husband thought her above rubies….yes we need to live together as one with our spouse but I believe we can live our dreams also. Just gotta be careful that we go about it the right way which is, I believe, what you meant about this. So true.

    Like

  3. Awesomely well said! So very true.

    “Use your talents to minister to others. Use your talents to bring glory to G-d. The important thing is – USE your talents!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a man I find this post slightly concerning, at least coming from a conservative Christian. Eve was created to be Adam’s “help-meet” or ‘qualified helper,’ which implies a supportive role and a unity of purpose. Again, look at how the “help-meet” concept is elaborated upon in Proverbs 31:10-31. Basically, it sounds like the woman of Proverbs 31 is managing most of the mundane and financial affairs of her household so that her husband is free to focus on his political ambitions. Was this role her dream in life? Perhaps. Hopefully so, but the text doesn’t really tell us. Now, you certainly are correct that every individual has unique talents, and that those talents should never be neglected. However, as you look for a prospective husband I would challenge you to seek one whose ambitions you can support through your talents, and not merely one who is willing to support you in the development of your talents.

    Like

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of a leader/helpmate dynamic in relationships. However, I have seen far too many women who mistakenly believe that they must either find someone who has the same talents and dreams as them, or resign themselves to giving up their talents. I think it is extremely important for women to support and encourage their man in the pursuit of his dreams, but I think it is equally important for men to recognize the value of a woman having the opportunity to use her own talents. Playing a supportive role should not always mean sacrificing your own desires, and unity of purpose does not mean complete conformity of talents, dreams and goals.
      While I would encourage women who are in a situation where they are being forced to choose between using their talents or supporting their husband’s talents to choose to sacrifice their dreams and support their husband in his ambitions, I would also seriously question the Godliness and health of such a situation and relationship.
      Thank you for the comment, and I would like to encourage and challenge you to show an interest in and support the talents of the women in your life whether their particular talents directly correspond with and support yours or not.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s