I’m not a Christian. In fact, I’m a deist who dabbles in atheism. But I’m morbidly fascinated by all the Christian ladies who blog about their life and their faith.
One of the blogs I’ve been following for a couple months is Take Heart Daughters which is a daily devotional authored by ~12 women of various ages, backgrounds, and denominations. For the most part they write decent advice for when life is trying to drag you down, which highly I’d recommend if you need a faith-based pick-me-up. It’s been rare that I’ve felt the need to correct advice that comes across as anti-feminist.
Feminism has always been the driving force behind my morbid curiosity. One of the first websites that alerted me to this sub-culture of woman against feminism was shared with me by a pen pal who listed it as one of her favorite websites. I wish I could remember the name of that specific website, but the only hint I have when I think about it is that it was a forum-type website with mom’s asking for advice about their daughters (not very much in terms of articles) and I want to say that the web address seemed benign (like I wasn’t expecting to find an anti-feminism website when I checked it out). Of course, it could be Ladies Against Feminism and they’ve just had a major makeover since I first learned about it.
Anyway, whatever the website that first grabbed my attention was, one of the things that struck me was the numerous questions by moms (usually) about how to convince their daughters that what God was actually calling them to do wasn’t what the daughters thought that God was calling them to do. Usually it had something to do with the daughter going away for college and/or work. It understandably pissed me off that these parents were seeking ways to invalidate what may actually have been a calling from God!
Remember, I’m a deist who dabbles in atheism. I am incredibly open minded about the possibility that a God may be playing some role in the direction of individual lives. I respect this 1,000,000 times more than the idea that parents can tell their daughter that instead of the idea that might possibly have been planted by God isn’t a valid life-dream. Only the woman (or man) can decide if something is or isn’t a calling by God and parents need to butt out of their adult children’s lives!
So while I was defending these daughters’ right to do whatever they damn well please and that it’s disgusting for parents to use religion to pressure their children into a specific path in life, I was wondering about this thing: “A Calling from God”.
Like, what does this feeling feel like? Is it some pipe-dream like the parent’s claim–no more than a whim of a teenager looking to be too “worldly”? Or is it a substantial, metaphysical calling? The parents’ weren’t of any use to discover a description for this phenomenon and the daughters were most likely to do one of two things with their calling: either ignore it because they were bullied by their parents or rebel completely against the restrictive household and most likely end up off that path just because of the financial and mental hardship that comes with suddenly being dumped into the real world.
The only time these daughters (and sons, though I’m sure there’s less pressuring down a very specific path for sons) would be able to investigate their calling is when it aligns with that of the parents (being a stay-at-home wife and mother, namely). Sure, she can have some life ambitions, but only those that keep her close to home and under her parent’s supervision. Not like, say, going across the country to attend a secular university. If she gets to go to university, it’d either be one close to home (including online) or a Christian university with lots of regulations, just like home.
So, for the most part, I’ve figured that I’d never fully understand what this “Calling from God” feels like to these poor girls. I just can’t relate to feeling something so strongly that I’d need to rebel against my parents to do it (because my parents have never told me I couldn’t do anything since everything I’ve ever wanted to do is relatively normal; dating my now husband was the sole exception and I was 25 at the time so my dad just bit his tongue since he’s just old, not dangerous).
However, since I decided to go back to school, I’ve been persisted by this feeling that “this is what God’s calling me to do”. Not that I’m suddenly a Christian or anything like that demographic. Not even like I really think God is involved in so many coincidences (I don’t have delusions that I’m so special that God rearranges the entire world to suite my needs). But, there have been a lot of things that have happened that make me feel like this is right. And I imagine that if I were one of these Christian women, I could easily call this my “calling from God”.
Which, you know what, makes me EVEN MORE PISSED FOR THOSE GIRLS I FIRST DEFENDED! Grrrr. Do you know how much it would hurt if I had someone in my life telling me that this isn’t what God wants for me! As each block has laid itself on this path before me, making the path easier (like suddenly not needing to take the GRE or MAT the very same semester that I wanted to start), to be told that this isn’t what I’m called to do, that this isn’t God, that this is in some way a sin because I’m being selfish or self-centered…it’d be bullshit!
Ladies, if you feel that you are being called to do anything, you are more than entitled to pursue that desire. There is no more reason to believe that it isn’t God that to believe that it is. If your parents are trying to make you stay home and under their control, that isn’t fair to you! You deserve to get the most out of life and yeah, that may mean making a few mistakes along the way. I would hope that your parents would accept that that raised you right, but that they can’t raise you forever. Independence is about proving that you are the person that you want to be, whomever that person is.
If your parents are afraid of you being independent, then they are afraid that you will become someone that they don’t like–that means that they don’t think that they raised you right. If is up to you to decide if you want to be the person that your parents want you to be or if you want to be the person that you want to be. But keep in mind that it is you who will be living the life and dealing with the consequences, not your parents. It is your happiness that matters, not your parents.