amy courts: en route

In response to a response to… (On Men, Women, Romance, and Stories)
August 11, 2011, 10:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I wrote this in response to Rachel Held Eveans’ response to Donald Miller’s blogs about Great Love Stories (for men and woman). I figured I’d post it here as well. Why not? Tangents and rabbit trails are always fun.


I’m gonna go ahead and say the thing I think a lot of women (in my experience) are afraid to say:

I am a supporting character in the story. So is my husband. But in our marriage, I’m the supporting character, the Helper. He’s the leader, I’m the Helper. Which I used to think was bad or somehow inferior, until I realized the only other Person to whom that title (“Helper”) is given is the Holy Spirit. I don’t mind keeping company with the Holy Spirit, who was sent to be my Helper. It’s pretty exclusive company. And that makes for a fairly interesting story.

Whether I like it or not, I am defined by my sexuality, past, marital status, and body. …And a lot more. But those are elements I can no more abandon without abandoning my self (and becoming something altogether different) than a fish can abandon its gills and still be a fish, or a bird its wings, or a shark its dorsal fin. And I think all those definers make for a fairly interesting story.

I have cried into my pillow, waiting for someone else to give me purpose and direction in life. And when I’ve done it honestly, God has appeared more visibly and audibly – more powerfully – than ever before. I’ve learned to cry into my pillow often, because God likes when I’m weak and vulnerable, at the end of myself and finally willing to hear Him. He did it in Africa and it change my life forever. And that makes for a fairly interesting story.

I do fit into some of the predictable roles well-meaning Christians have prescribed for me as a woman, mother, wife, artist, and Believer. I’ve been pretty passive, at times, expecting and then allowing God to do things I didn’t try to do because they were beyond my comprehension, much less my action, and have seen some pretty amazing things form thereafter. What makes it interesting is the fact that those well-meaning Christians (and their counter-parts who defy those roles & prescriptions) didn’t actually expect me to do it (neither did I, for that matter), and I’ve done it much to their chagrin, because I’ve done it within – but without – their parameters. I’m an artist who would rather be a stay-at-home mom, but takes her baby on the road anyway. I’m a wife who loves being her husband’s Helper, despite that I’ve been told I should take offense at the very idea. That can be pretty interesting in conversation.

And all of that makes for a story that transcends race, gender, nationality, socio-economic status, family and creed. It makes for a story whose characters are single, married, celibate, gay, young, old, male, female, rich, poor, powerful, and weak, and of which I am only one, but a significant one within the ever-relational community. And stories about relationship are always interesting.


4 Comments so far
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I love it that I’ve lived to see the day when it would be radical to consciously choose a role that seems conservative or a throwback to the past. I’ve always said that if a woman were married to a man who loved her as much as Jesus loves His people (laying down his life for her), it would be a natural response to respect him (which is what we are asked to do for our husbands). I think I see those principles at work in you and Paul, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Comment by Gwen

Right on! Love it!!

Comment by Johanna

Thanks for reminding me that helper isn’t inferior, otherwise the Holy Spirit is inferior.

Comment by journeytoepiphany

Great post, Amy! 🙂

Comment by Amy

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