I want to be a woman after God’s own heart, a woman who fears the Lord, has ears to hear and eyes to see, and walks in step with God’s Spirit. I want to be authentic and transparent, avoiding “God talk,” in other words, language that is depersonalized, institutionalized, nonrelational, and unlistening.
I want to be a woman who prays. I want to be reflective, responsive, and relaxed in the presence of God, so that I can be reflective, responsive, and relaxed in the presence of others. I cannot do that on the run. It takes time.
I want to be a woman who reads and studies. I want to worship God with my body, soul, and spirit. I want to be a woman who moves in the power of God’s Spirit while honoring the intellect and its place in spiritual formation. I want to embrace miracles and mystery.
I want to be a woman who spends time with others in leisurely, unhurried conversations so that I can understand and accompany them as they grow in Christ, working through their doubts and difficulties, their desires and delights.
I want to be a woman who is contemplative, a woman who is able to accept people just as they are and guide them gently and patiently into a mature life in Christ but not get in the way. I want to let the Holy Spirit do the guiding.
I want to be a woman who is unbusy.
I want to be a woman who makes scripture accessible, present, and alive. I want to handle accurately the Word of truth, to skillfully weave together biblical truth and storytelling, and to point people toward freedom in Christ.
I want to be a woman who listens, shares, and asks questions to help others discover God’s will for their lives and support them as they take “next steps” in God’s plan. I want to help others look for and listen to God in their daily life and respond to His Spirit.
I want to be a woman who writes to transform lives, to edge into mystery, to explore and discover what I don’t know. I want writing to be a way of entering into language and letting language enter me, words connecting with words and creating what had previously been inarticulate, unnoticed, or hidden.
I want to be a woman who is led and anointed by God’s Spirit. I want to use language in a way which God, implicitly or explicitly, has the first word. I want to listen before I speak — to the words of scripture and the words spoken to me by the people God brings into my life. I want to speak words of Spirit and words of life.
I want to be a woman who fulfills her God-ordained destiny and gives God the glory.
*Inspired by and adapted from Eugene Peterson’s memoir, The Pastor.