So I haven’t blogged in awhile. I just haven’t had anything to say and anything I have wanted to say I’ve needed to sort through in my brain before I processed online. However, this past weekend changed that.
I was invited last minute to a ski trip with a bunch of twenty somethings from Minnesota and Colorado Springs, including a few co-workers. I was really excited to go but also incredibly nervous. Making friends is so scary and I was terrified they wouldn’t like me. A couple times I almost called the whole thing off, but man, I am so glad I didn’t. I had a BLAST.
I got no sleep, a few bruises, had tons of laughs, skied AMAZING snow, and learned a few things in the process. Seriously one of the most fun weekends I can remember. Throughout the weekend there was about 40 of us that came in and out. By Sunday afternoon only 7 or 8 remained. We decided to head to Denver to the Grizzly Rose (a country bar) and do a little two-stepping / line dancing.
In all my years in Nashville I don’t think I ever line danced. I went to Wildhorse maybe twice? It was cheesy and touristy and I despised it. But it is different here. People aren’t as cynical in Colorado, they enjoy the simple things, and I’m starting to operate in that mode of life.
So anyways, we get to the bar and one of the guy’s oldest brother met us there. He’s incredibly good. Like professional good. He took each of us girls around the dance floor and it was so fun, twirling and spinning and twisting. I had no idea my feet could move like that. One of the guys and I started two-stepping and all of a sudden he looks at me and sort of yells, “Stop trying to lead!!! Don’t anticipate the move! Let me lead!”
It caught me off guard but struck a chord in my spirit. I know I have a tendency to lead in life in general. That statement was a shock to my system. It was a simple comment and I’m sure it isn’t even a passing thought in his brain, but it stuck with me and rubbed me the wrong way for a few days.
Through conversations and some soul-searching I realized how much I try to lead in relationships, not only in my friendships but in my relationship with Christ. I don’t know how to be led. I love the picture of Christ as the Shepherd and we the sheep. Thinking about a sheep trying to lead a shepherd is just absurd.
In turn, how absurd is it for me to think about leading the dance of my life? I have to trust the one leading me to keep me from running into obstacles. The more I look down and focus on my feet or try to lead, the more flustered I get. When I let go, look up, and stop over thinking, I enjoy the dance so much more.
The other thing I was completely called out on was my inclination to be too independent. When you leave home at 17, don’t have a boyfriend, or really any type of men in your life that are protecting you, you learn to just do things yourself. This weekend I had a hard time letting the men on the trip be gentlemen. Things need to be carried? I have two hands. Cars need to be loaded and unloaded? Done. The snow needs to be scraped off the windshield? Why wouldn’t I do it.
Yet every time I started to do these things, one of the guys was around to stop me and take the task on themselves. The one thing I will let a guy do is open the door. When Scott took me to dinner one time last April, I started to open my car door and he made me stand outside in the cold with no coat for a full minute to teach me a lesson. Never again have I tried to intervene if a man is making the motion to open my door. Mission complete. 🙂
In other areas I realize I can come across as too independent and too strong. I don’t want to be in charge. I want someone who is stronger than me. I don’t want to change who I am, but I realized I might need to change the way I come across. The phrase that has been bouncing around in my head today is quiet strength. What would it look like for me to be a strong, independent woman, but not to wear that as a shield? How does it change my interactions with people and especially guys, if I retain my strength but am secure enough in being a woman and the beloved of Christ, that my strength is quiet and hidden? What needs to change in my words and actions? This is something that I’m really curious about.
I think it’s all related to being led. Because I try to lead, I have to be strong. If I allow someone else to lead it makes me vulnerable. If I’m vulnerable, I’ll get hurt. So the wall of independence comes up.
I have a feeling I’m going to be sorting through this for awhile. Guess it’s time to break out Elisabeth Elliot’s “Let Me Be a Woman” again 🙂