Oh my! Are you gasping for breath…
Well, you know you’ve heard it before, “put your big girl panties on,” “suck it up,” “do what you gotta do,” and my personal favorite, “take it like a woman.”
I first heard the big girl panty terminology from one of my friends in grad school, Marsha. Each week we would have a writer’s workshop, a session where each student would submit their creative ramblings to the class. Once the work was submitted the student had to sit quietly while their colleagues practically mangled the written work to a bloody pulp. Many of my peers were quite nice, others were like mass murderers, brutal, unrelenting, embarrassingly critical. And each week when my writing was on the table, Marsha would tell me, put your big girl panties on. When her time came, I would deliver to her the same mantra. Writers, any creative human beings, are sensitive about their work, they take it personal at first when someone says, this is over-written, or I don’t know why I’m reading this. But during this journey I’ve found the must harsh critics made me a better writer.
So what does this have to do with you as a woman becoming, as a sojourner on this Christian trek through the human spirit? I must reference God’s edict to Job when he got all pissy-pants about the trials he was experiencing, being stripped of his home, his wealth, his family, and even his health. God said to Job in chapter 38 (in the New DiAnne Malone Translation), so you wanna play rough, you wanna talk to the creator of ALL things? Sit up straight, Listen to me, Gird up your loins and let me break it down.
For a woman, Gird up your loins is simply saying, put your big girl panties on! You say you want to know the truth? Only God can tell you, and just when you think you’re ready, He speaks and you FEEL like you weren’t ready to hear what God had to say. You’re reading your Bible and the next thing you know your spirit is bleeding to death. You think to yourself, Lord is that me you’re talking about? He answers, yes it is. And you wanna know how I know? I know because I made you. He talks to us just like He talked to Job. I know all about you, even the stuff you wish I didn’t know. So let me reveal to you the truth of the inward parts of your spirit, the dark parts of your soul, so that I may be able to bring forth light there, so you can be a testimony to the wonderful works I’ve done in you, that you may be a wise testament to who I am, that you may bring Me glory. Now what are you gonna do?
I’ll tell you what to do. Deal with it with grace and with a spirit of excellence. Let God’s word be the lamp to lead you as you walk through the tumultuous time of pruning. If someone told you that this Christian Journey of Femininity would be a walk in the clouds, they told you a fib from outter space. It ain’t gonna be easy. You’ll have some challenging times.
Just a week ago I had to put my own big girl panties on. The week before that my best friend texted me to say “had to put my big girl panties on today.” I texted her back and said “well, if they start falling down, put a pin in them and work the runway like Naomi Campbell.” And not too long ago a friend of mine said, “I put my big girl panties on, popped the elastic and did what I had to do.” So this is not a new thing for any woman, especially Women of God; it’s just uncomfortable while we’re in the midst of it all.
Ultimately, when God gives us the honor, the privilege of revealing to us who we really are, He is extending an opportunity for upward mobility. He is showing us ourselves so we can choose to let Him remold us and make us better. In Psalms 51 (to which a lot of this post is credited) David asks to be purged, cleansed, washed. Then we look at Job and realize that it was only after Job girded up that God restored him above and beyond.
So Who’s That Lady, put your big girl panties on, and watch the Lord work a great work in your life.
Popping my Elastic,