Finding freedom

Back when I worked at the Christian bookstore, I always had a sense that I didn’t fit in with the customers. No, I hadn’t read the latest Left Behind book, nor was I likely to. Yes, I had read that book that talked about the evil inherent in Harry Potter, but, actually, it made me really angry, but I’m not allowed to tell you why, since the customer is always right. No, I don’t think it’s a great idea to give a KJV Bible to a six-year-old when it’s on a 12th grade reading level. Yes, I will be dressing up for Halloween. I seemed to be some kind of crazy rebel in the sight of many of the customers, even though I didn’t think my views were that radical. Growing up, I often felt that way, too, as there were points in my life where I was the only one in my youth group who wasn’t homeschooled or at Christian school. I was given some grief about it from time to time by the other kids (and, occasionally, their parents) . . . never mind that, of all of them, I was one of the few who wasn’t sleeping around. That wasn’t the point. The point was that I was going to that evil public school. (Actually, I think the point is that my parents were involved with my education and didn’t leave it up to the school regardless of what kind of school it was, but I guess we can agree to disagree.)

It reminds me a little bit of the frustration Kelly has been feeling lately in a study she’s attending through her church. She called this morning and we talked about some of it again, how rigid it all seems, how wrong it seems to think that wives are required to check their personalities at the altar as if being a wife is our only avenue after that point. No, as Kelly said, I’m a follower of Christ before I am anything else, and being a wife is my primary relationship here, but I’m also a friend and a reader and an employee and a daughter and a sister and a coworker (hehe, did you see how I counted my relationship with books as one of my primary relationships?) . . . and without all those things I wouldn’t have much to bring to the relationship I have with my husband. At this point I need all of those things to be the person I am supposed to be. I may not always have the same job, or maybe I’ll stay at home, but I am other things than just wife and homemaker. I say that even as I remember that I vowed to make my home and family my primary ministry, which I believe it should be.

Today I was looking at some blogs and I thought, “People still argue about Harry Potter? That seems so . . . long ago.” I am thankful that in big ways and small ways, Mike and I have retreated from a lot of that subculture, and it was quite a delight to show up to church on Sunday morning and have people ask us if we’d finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yet (we hadn’t, but when we finished that evening, I called one of my church friends pretty much immediately to dish, and I’ve been exchanging emails with my pastor about it all week long). It feels really freeing to find a place where we can talk about things, where people aren’t afraid, where I’m not told that I’m lesser or that I can’t get to God because I’m a woman.

I think . . . I think it’s hard for me to explain the connection between Harry Potter and a wife’s role, except to say that it’s there in my mind because I see so many people looking at those things and experiencing fear. I am grateful to be experiencing more freedom.

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