I grew up learning about you

I saw you in the love shared by everyone around me

I heard about you in the sermons and sang about you in the songs
I read about you and thought about you

And so I came to you, and you met me
You loved and cared for me
You grew me and taught me
You fashioned me and called me

And I took what you had given me and went back to the place I had first heard about you
I was filled with anticipation – what would they have me do? You had given me so many gifts

Perhaps I could speak about you
Perhaps I could teach others to follow you
Perhaps I could spread your message to the world
Perhaps I could invite others to your table, to take part in your supper

For they had always prayed for you to raise up people of my generation
They had always said how desperately your kingdom needed more voices, more hearts, more hands, and more feet

So, with anticipation I presented myself to them
Only to be confused by their response

For when I offered them this voice that you had given me
When I offered them these hands that you had strengthened
When I offered them these feet that you had guided

They gave me a box

They gave me a box in which to keep my passion
They gave me a box in which to store my wisdom
They gave me a box in which to put my words
They gave me a box to hold my hands and my feet

They gave me a box and they told me it was your “will” for me as a woman

When I asked if they had a box that fit a bit better, they told me to be happy with what you had given me
When I told them you had given me things that wouldn’t fit inside the box, they told me I must be mistaken
When I asked if there was anything else they could offer, they told me the box was a perfect place to keep my questions

And so I come to you

Me, and everything you have given me
Me, and everything you have created me to be
Me, and everything you have called me to

And the box

I’m a bit bruised from trying to fit inside of it
And now that I’m standing in front of you, I realise that you don’t want me to

And I see that I have a choice

I can keep this box they have given me and throw out all the things that don’t fit
I can ignore the time I spent with you, the gifts you have given me, the calling you gave me
I can dismember my soul in order to fit into the dimensions of the box
I can live for them and let their box define me


I can trust the way you made me, the way you prepared me, the way you called me
I can lean on you for guidance and walk in the footsteps of brave women who’ve gone before me
I can live fully alive in you and trust that you are a God who is bigger than the box
I can set the box down and walk away
I can live for you and let you define me

They gave me a box – and called it yours
You offer me freedom – and call it mine

So I take the box
And put it on a shelf
And label it history

Then I take your hand and we walk away, because life with you is far better than life in a box.

This article is part of a special series commissioned by guest editor Claire Rush to celebrate and remember International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March.

Written by Kate Wallace // Follow Kate on  Twitter //  The Junia Project

Kate Wallace is a co-founder of The Junia Project and an adjunct professor in political science. She is a committed Christian and millennial feminist who enjoys studying the intersection of politics, religion and gender. Her favourite theologian is Gilbert Bilezikian, and she loves chocolate, dogs, hiking, J.K Rowling, theatre, and political theory.

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