That’s today’s question: What is a Strong Woman, exactly?
A Strong Woman should know, because she’s been told she is one more than she can count. But when she hears that, she has no clue what it means. Does she look physically strong? Is this the world’s way of telling her she looks more Eastern European than she thought she did?
Or does she just appear so emotionally confident and put together that people are frightened of her prowess? It must be the latter. Because the other word she gets called as much as “strong” is intimidating.
Intimidating. Her. Can you believe it?
That’s another word that has no real meaning. And apparently when she repeatedly asks someone to tell her what it means, they just feel more intimidated and are too scared to answer the rest of her questions.
It’s a frustrating cycle.
But back to the topic at hand. What does a Strong Woman do? Is she just like every other woman, with her own dreams and pursuits and talents? Or is something more expected of her?
She finds herself frustrated because she was given this title against her will, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to break out of it. She knows she may have lost some of you here, because maybe some of you long to be a Strong Woman. And it has its perks, she gets it. You don’t have to politely act interested in the guy who sells cell phone cases at the mall kiosk. You can tell the waitress that you actually ordered the fettuccini alfredo and not the beef quesadilla. And you think that you’ll finally be able to walk into a room and be unequivocally you, and not have to worry about what people think.
But that’s just not what it’s like.
Because being a Strong Woman, especially in the church, feels like being put into a box.
Because she feels like she’s not allowed to be anything other than a Strong Woman.
She thinks to herself: Is a Strong Woman allowed to cry? Is she allowed to be delicate and feminine? Is she allowed to be led? Because from her experience, it feels like she isn’t.
People assume a lot about a Strong Woman. They assume that her heart isn’t as breakable as others, because she does so well on her own. They assume that she wants to lead in every aspect of her life, because she does so professionally. They assume that she’s not interested in being desired and pursued, because she seems so independent and “intimidating”. They assume that she doesn’t want help, because she doesn’t ask for it. They assume she can constantly help others, because she’s strong enough to care for people. And they assume that she’s fine.
But she isn’t fine. Because she’s not a Strong Woman at all. She doesn’t even know what that means.
She’s just a Girl like any other. And yes, she has her strong days. She’s bold and outgoing and seems fearless and joyful. And it seems like she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. But she has her weak days too. She’s sometimes lonely and confused and lost in life, and has no idea what she’s doing. And she worries about what people think of her.
She’s just a Girl. She’s weak and strong and everything in between. But despite all the confusion and labeling and boxing in that she feels, she’s one thing above all else.
A Child of God. And because of that, she can be a Strong Woman, even if she has no idea what that means.