I am a woman. Sou uma mulher.
A few posts ago, I told you that I walked out on God at church. But I didn’t tell you what happened when I left after the homily, trying to pull myself together sob by sob. I sat in my car and tried to catch my breath. I had lost it and was terrified my spirit had fled the scene too. It took me 10 minutes to compose myself, finally calm before whatever kind of storm I had imagined to reign down on me. Hurricane Unknown.
That was in January. It is now February and I haven’t been back to church since. I didn’t even get my ashes on Ash Wednesday. I ate meat instead. I didn’t consult God before I made these decisions either. He wasn’t part of the conversation, though I’ve thought about letting him in on the confession. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been…since my last confession.
God, I realize now that the moment I walked out on you, I stepped into who you made me to be. Sou uma mulher. I am a woman. I am not a former athlete. I am not my current day job. I am not just a sister and a daughter and a friend. I am so much more than the roles I play. Forgive me for trying to fit the purpose of a woman into the content of these characters. But thank you, for allowing me to overflow into each of them. Forgive me for sacrificing the essence and beauty of everything feminine, for sake of a home run, a high five, a game-winning shot. But thank you, for empowering me to break gender norms, stereotypes and my own self-doubt in the athletic arena. Forgive me for turning a blind eye when looking in the mirror. There is a difference between seeing beauty and believing it when you see it. Thank you for making me believe. I am a woman. That is who I am. As I write my story, as you meant for it to be told, help to develop my soul daily–if my spirit flees, let me chase it. If my mind wanders, let me scale the big ideas and magnify the little ones. If my body stretches, let every fiber sing. And if a man captures my heart, let me surrender.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been my entire life since I have seen myself the way you always have–as a woman.
Stepping into my golden birthday has been a magnificent celebration of who I truly am, and not the things I have done, am doing, or will ever do. It’s one thing to do something spectacular and worthwhile. It’s another to be purposeful. Whoever it is you believe to be, is at the very foundation for all the things you do, the dreams you have, and how resilient you are when you bounce back from mistakes. Make them. They make you. All of my previous faulty reasoning and illogic thinking has somehow, the way all of God’s graces seem to work in his reverse economy, made perfect sense in this moment. With a single thought, a tiny belief, he has changed my life’s path–even if it meant walking out of church. He already knew I had found him elsewhere, leading me from a life of listening and observation to adrenaline-rushing action. Calling me from the benches and into the game.
Maybe that’s why I couldn’t catch my breath that night. I was so out of shape. My life was just about to begin, as a woman of 25. Though the fear of the unknown was overwhelming, I wasn’t going to be afraid of my own beauty. That’s what groundhogs are for.