I am a powerful woman with dreams in my heart.
I have wanted to make movies since orchestrating my Barbies through drama of Shakespearean proportions. In High School I spent hours in editing rooms and making overly ambitious vampire short films. That passion followed me to film school and the film sets after, where I learned I actually knew nothing. Thanks to google, I overcame each obstacle thrown at me and learned that I really am smart and resourceful.
Then I met a man who was unlike any man I had known and I married him so hard. He is a dreamer and we love to dream together!
Soon after, we had a baby boy...followed quickly by a gaggle of baby girls. My husband continued to work toward his dreams. And I stayed home and learned how long I could go without a shower. I laid down the dreamer for the good of my family at that time. But it wasn't long before I found myself in a mommy identity crisis.
After several years, I struggled to remember who I was before butt wiping, meal planning, six people’s laundry, homework, ballet lessons, and a hundred little things that no one sees. I have tried to start businesses and failed. I have tried to fit myself into my husband’s world. And though I appreciate what I have learned from each season, I still burn with the same dreams. Where did that smart, driven, dreamy girl go? Was this the end? Was this God’s plan for me? For women? To be completely vulnerable here, while I appreciated the privilege of getting to be home with my babies, I was frustrated. It felt like such a let down. Then I felt like a horrible mom for feeling frustrated! (Cue the mommy guilt)
There are moments when you want to go through all the different emotions. Anger, sadness, regret, guilt, shame, disappointment, fear, hopelessness, loneliness. And you ball them up in your fists and shake them at God for making women so trapped a gender. Why do men get to have it all? I know they have trials of their own, but they have the Earth’s easiest orgasms for God’s sake!? That has to count for something!
Fortunately, I realized that if I stayed in this place, it would eat me alive. I looked for women who had “overcome”. Who had happy, fulfilled children, loving marriages, and hopeful hearts, while achieving their dreams. Why is it that in order to follow the longings of our hearts, we have to sacrifice another area of our life? Aren’t we daughters of the Most High God?
We are a new generation of women believers. We believe we can teach, preach, birth, love, and have it all. Maybe it’s because we are millennials.
I continued to go to the only place I know for answers. Real answers; conclusions based on the character of my God. What I have found may not be the end of my quest…but it’s a start.
There is no such thing as wasted time when you walk with God. He gives dreams and calls us to do things we could never have imagined. But our promise is not the purpose. He is all about the process. Read any story of any biblical hero- male or female- and you will find that their journey was so much more important than their destination.
Children are a call to promotion. If you allow them to be your greatest process, your greatest preparation, they will catapult you in character and stature. I think that is why men and women with many children were so revered in the Old Testament. You know how expensive and difficult it is to raise kids? Especially great kids!
The Lord is ALL ABOUT laying down your life. You aren’t in a time out! You are in escrow! You are investing in the favor you will have later. You, hidden mama, are meant for greatness. And your children just happen to be the fastest tool God has to get you there! Embrace them and lean into the hard days. They are making you ready to carry the desires of your heart, not detouring them!
Being creative isn’t a word used for artists, it’s for any person who creates. I haven’t made any movies or written the next great American novel (yet), but I have formed 5 beautiful humans inside of me. (one of whom we lost via an early miscarriage, but praise God for) I have carried life inside and created a life outside the womb for my people. Your season is temporary and is setting you up. Not many men get the privilege of the identity crisis you are now walking through, so they will never reap the benefit of this kind of incubation. Because life isn’t fair, many of our men will never have the privilege to lay down their lives the way we do.
We live in a society that has fought for years for the rights of women, and THANK GOD for these mothers and sisters who have paved the way for us to walk with greater equality! But somewhere in the process, I feel we left the Moms behind; we forgot to give them a seat at the progressive table. We as a society have lessened the calling of intentionally raising up a generation. We make it something to survive and get through. Rather than looking at it as training future leaders through every embrace, every reprimand, every tear soaked prayer. You are a warrior in a battle for the next generation. It starts in your home. It starts with you.
REMEMBER HOW POWERFUL YOU ARE!
- Ashley Shuck