Disillusioned and Dissatisfied: The Inner Struggle of Every Woman

laciortiz_disillusioned_dissatisfied

Oprah Winfrey, Miley Cyrus, Hillary Clinton, Kim Kardashian, Barbara Walters, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Sheryl Sandberg, Martha Stewart, and Kate Upton. In reading this, you may wonder what all these women have in common. These women are currently listed as Google’s most searched women[1] and the most successful women of our time[2] . These women are a reflection of what our culture is searching for, in what it means to be a woman.   

As we can see from above, women today are bombarded with so many messages. Success, intelligence, ideal beauty and sexuality are the pretty package surrounding the real roles we are called to every day: student, career woman, wife, and mother. Each of us carries our own ideas of what it means to be a woman, shaped by our childhood, society, church, and the women around us.

As a young woman, I believed that being a woman was having financial success (on my own without a man) and I admired women who seemed to “have it all”. If a woman was beautiful, desirable and financially independent, I wanted to be her. As I obtained success in my career, I felt so let down. I began to pursue the next item on my list: a man. The harder I chased, the more difficult it became. My sense of self- worth bottomed out and I felt so hopeless.

I had believed the lie that a career would satisfy me. I believed the lie, that if I had a man that desired me, I would be fulfilled. It was a very dark time and I was so desperately searching for purpose.  It was during this time, that God began to work through a co-worker to invite me to church and listen to sermons online. As I came in to work one day, I slipped on my headphones, turned on yahoo music, and a song began to play. As the words penetrated my heart, I began to feel God speaking to me through every word:

I'm lost and broken
All alone on this road
The wheels keep turning
But the feeling is gone

When I fear
I'm on my own
You remind me
I am not alone

You say, I'd leave 99
Leave them all behind
To find you, for you alone

I'd leave 99
Leave them all behind
To find you

As my face began to flush, I quickly got up and ran to restroom, where I cried and cried. It was through those words, that I began to understand how much Christ loved me. The moments led me to give my life to him and from that day, I have been blessed for all of the wise women that the Lord has placed in my life. They have taught me to be a woman of grace, a woman who loves and encourages, and point me to my Father, when those thoughts creep back in that something else in this world will satisfy me.  

While reading “Let Me be a Woman”, Elizabeth Elliot states:

“We are called to be women. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.”[3]

These powerful words were written almost thirty years ago, yet this timeless truth of our calling as a Christian woman does not change, though our culture would inform us otherwise. What does it mean to be a woman and what is the calling the Lord calls us to?

Whether you are single or married, every woman faces a reality on what her calling is. As young women, we are told to focus on education and our careers, and to not find our identity in a man. Yet time and again, in candid conversations with women, I have not met one who does not struggle with how she juggles this reality with the inner longing of giving ourselves as wives and mothers.

Looking for Fulfillment - Finding Freedom in Christ.

The biblical reality is that neither the cultural view of an independent woman or the secret longing to give ourselves to a man, is the calling we were made to fulfill.

Both of these paths will leave you unsatisfied and longing for more.

From Genesis 3:16, God clarifies the sin that will cloud women from the fall is seeking false security (in a man or career) to fulfill her in way that was never intended. This false sense of security becomes an idol that will leave her dissatisfied and disillusioned.

The only way to fill the void that longs for relationship and validation is to surrender our hearts to the Lord. It is only when we seek Christ that we will be whole and complete. Only Christ can fulfill us on this level. No man or achievement in this life will do this for you. If you operate thinking that your performance or a man is going to be able to complete you, then you will be a slave to your desire to find validation in an imperfect man and in a world that will always leave you longing for more. [4]

Calling Out The Lie

Let’s call out the lie, the lie that creates shame and condemnation to all women.  Homemakers shame the working mom as a neglectful woman and working mom shames the stay at home mom on her “ordinary position”. The debate is not working woman vs. homemaker, neither is more shameful than another. You see we are called to find our fulfillment in Christ and God gifts us all in unique ways. We must seek God and ask what His will is and how we can serve him best. A woman may have been called to be a missionary, a doctor, a writer, or even an “ordinary” housewife. 

If you are married and are struggling with the role of working outside the home and your role as a wife, remember that your vocation as a wife, is a true constant, but not the only calling. Women are called to a variety of tasks besides marriage, whether it is parenthood, serving the church, or serving in a career, “every task requires faith. All must be recognized and accepted or rejected by faith, believing that God who orders all things can order and direct your life.”[5] Go to your Father, pray and ask Him what His will for your life is. No matter your life stage or vocation, examine your motives (see Philippians 2:3-5), ask if you are you seeking to please others or God[6].

We are called to seek God, surround ourselves with biblical community and serve the Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls. [7] If you are single, ask the Lord how you can serve Him as a single woman. If you are married, when your heart is looking at the Savior first and your husband second, your Husband will have the freedom to lead you and love you, because your eyes are not on him, but instead on your Heavenly Father.

In seeking humility, understand that a woman, who lies at the feet of Jesus, will find true peace. Your heart will no longer ache because you will give the Lord all of your heart and find true contentment in Him.[8] Be encouraged sweet girl, you are known and you are loved. 

 

 

[1] http://www.google.com/trends/topcharts#vm=chart&cid=people&geo=US&date=201404&cat= 

[2] http://www.pbs.org/makers/home/             

[3] Elliot, Elisabeth, Let Me Be A Woman, Carol Stream: Tyndale, 1976, Print, 43

[4] For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

[5] Elliot, Elisabeth, Let Me Be A Woman, Carol Stream: Tyndale, 1976, Print, 105

[6] Galatians 1:10

[7] Matthew 22:37

[8] John 12:25-26