I’ve Heard It Said (More Times than I Can Count)

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Tina Osterhouse -I've Heard it Said3

I’ve Heard It Said (more times than I can count).

In church, people told me women are more easily deceived than men because, Eve.

They also said a woman shouldn’t be an elder in the church because we are too emotional.

Also, the argument that a woman should not be the senior pastor of a church because when she’s on her period she’ll be moody.

***

resonate |ˈreznˌāt|
verb [ no obj. ]

1. produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound: the sound of the siren resonated across the harbor.

2. to have particular meaning or importance for someone.

3. evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions: the words resonate with so many different meanings.

***

When I was young, some of my classmates told me a woman shouldn’t be president of my country because when she’s menstruating, she might start World War III.

I heard we need to be modest so as not to tempt the men.

Someone sexually abused my friend. People spoke in hushed voices, saying she had a seductive spirit. It was her fault, or at least partially her fault.

A pastor once told me I needed to step away from full-time ministry after my baby was born because motherhood was my new ministry.

Once, I heard a sermon that if a woman lets herself go, if she gets fat, maybe her husband will stray. Wives, you best take care of your man, or he’ll find someone who will.

A librarian explained, you’re cute and small and that’s why they talk down to you. They think you’re just a dumb blond.

Behind my back people said … She is hard to manage, too free-spirited.

Does this resonate?

What kinds of things have you heard?

Maybe different words, but the same spirit. The effect was the same … confusion, shame, self-contempt, stifling silence.

Here is something interesting.

A resounding gong, a clanging symbol might echo across the hills, but truth and love intertwined are what changes lives. Truth and love intersect and set people free, create the power for new beginnings.

A bold statement that is also a lie may be powerful

but it’s empty, it won’t bring forth life.

Lies bring death.

Truth and love bring forth life.

Why don’t you try this on, let it stretch out in the inner landscape of your soul and see what happens.

See if it resounds.

God engraved your name on the palm of his hand.

God called you beloved from before the foundations of the earth,

which pretty much means you’ve been loved for a very long time.

The spirit of God is upon you, has called you to prophecy, to dream dreams, to set the captives free.

A nation you know not, will call to you.

God sees you.

You are a holy priest.

Deep calls unto deep and rich springs of living water will flow from you as you dwell in God.

You will be called restorer of the breach, repairer of the paths you dwell in.

You are loved.

You are respected in the kingdom of God—the kingdom that has no beginning and will have no end.

You bring forth life from your womb

* * *

May we talk about the word “Resolve”?

Resolve: To decide firmly on a course of action.

(It’s a good word, isn’t it?)

It’s time for us to resolve a few things …

How about if we resolve to expose the lies, to stand on whole truth. To step away from partial truths, shifting shadows, and weights God never meant for us to carry?

How about we settle in and reason together, discern truth from lie as a community?

Maybe it’s time to let God’s voice become the whisper of affirmation that resounds in our hearts and in our minds.

Now is the time

to step away from lies,

and instead,

Step into the Light of Life,

and Truth made Real.

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Tina Osterhouse
Tina Osterhouse is passionate about living deeply and authentically. Through fiction, blog posts, and creative essays, she writes about ordinary life and the way God meets us in our everyday circumstances and creatively weaves the sacred into them. She studied ministry and theology at Northwest University, most recently lived on thirty acres in Southern Chile, and finally returned to the Seattle area in June of 2015.
Tina Osterhouse
Tina Osterhouse

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  • Robin Baldwin

    Tina, you have know idea how timely this is for me. This stops me in my tracks because it is exactly what I’m struggling with at work: “How about if we resolve to expose the lies, to stand on whole truth. To step away from partial truths, shifting shadows, and weights God never meant for us to carry?” Thank you for shining the light on the beauty of truth.

  • The only thing I’ve ever found that will muffle the lies in my head is steady and regular doses of Truth. Thanks for this admonition from the heart that encourages me to let the Truth resonate more loudly, more pervasively than all the silliness.

    • I like how you say, a steady and regular dose of Truth. That’s exactly it. xox

  • Thank you for declaring this truth, Tina. I resolve to love myself because I’m a woman; to love my daughters strong spirits because they are powerful; and to stand with a community of women because we are stronger together and because we are women.

    • Amen. I love the image of standing as a community of women. Theres such strength in being together. xox

  • Sandy Hay

    Resolve is a very good word Tina. Let’s do it 🙂

  • tim cole

    “Someone sexually abused my friend. People spoke in hushed voices, saying she had a seductive spirit. It was her fault, or at least partially her fault.” Sounds like the lyrics of popular male vocalists supportive of the rape culture: “You call it rape, but you were such a tease.” (Justin Timberlake). “You can’t have a drink with me and not expect this to happen.” (Justin Timberlake) “It would be over quicker if you stopped struggling.” (Timberlake)Imagine: Jesus’ church echoing the attitudes of rape supporters like Timberlake. Thanks for empowering women, Tina. Jesus’ church is a better church when its women are strong, bold, and not intimidated by sexism or bias. Three cheers for sheloves magazine.

    • Thank you for writing. Most importantly, thank you for empowering women to be strong and bold. And yes, three cheers for SheLoves. They are awesome. xox

      • tim cole

        Should have added, “three cheers for you”, Tina, as well for what you are doing. Don’t be discouraged. If you need additional Scripture grist for your mill on the value and significant role of women in Jesus’ church, don’t hesitate to ask. I believe in what you are doing.

  • Tracy Nelson

    gorgeous, inspired writing. it DOES resonate. thank you.