As we enter the third month of 2020, which is Women's History Month, I can't help but think back to my time as a Soldier in the United States Army and was deployed in Iraq. As a young Soldier stepping into a new season and evolving as a woman, I had the opportunity to witness and stand in solidarity with women of different colors and backgrounds as we protected an Iraqi female in a store. I watched as my female Officer confidently defended our guest's right to be in the store, her culture, and privacy as a woman. As the situation escalated, she stood up to the blatant disregard of her request and rank by a male soldier. If I wasn't a soldier, I would have grabbed a cup of tea, crossed my legs, and screamed, "You Go, Girl'!" However, I maintained my composure and was able to Hold the Line, which means that we do not yield to the pressure of a difficult situation from opposing forces.
Before we pull out our war stories with men, this chat is about women standing in solidarity against this culturally transient social norm that tends to make it acceptable to put women on the back burner in many areas of life. One area we see and hear of often is within the walls of our places of worship. The church is a place where we are encouraged to come as we are and joyfully serve the Lord alongside our brothers in Christ because the work is plenty, and the laborers are few. Just so long as that labor of a woman is not in a leadership capacity.
Do we still live in a world and worship within an institution where most believe women are to be seen and not heard?
Can we only be evangelists or children ministry teachers?
Why can we lead intercessory prayer but not be licensed ministers, ordained elders, confirmed senior pastors, or apostles?
Are we living in 2020 still believing a woman's presence should never be in the pulpit?
How do we respond? We ban together. We raise our voice confidently while putting our words in action as Zipporah, Deborah, Esther, Mary Magdalene, and many other women who came before us.
As a woman, a Christian, and a minister, my voice and my words are the two most powerful things I possess. When I walk in the power of the Truth and the authority that comes with it, there will be plenty of people I will intimidate as I continue to serve in a leadership position within the church. In the same way, there will also be plenty of people I will inspire and empower as the opportunity to influence comes my way as a result of my "unorthodox" position as a proud PreacHER. The Kingdom is built on one principal purpose: the Truth that Jesus is Lord. Both men and women were used in the Bible to deliver this Truth.
Sisters, as you walk in your authenticity, break down barriers, and open up opportunities for the generation behind you, remember we must hold the line. Do not yield to difficult situations you will face as you go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation. Trust the Spirit. He will not lead you in the wrong direction. Be confident that the same Spirit will not only make room for you at the very tables some said you were not supposed to have a seat at, but He will also soften the hearts of those to see that work of the Kingdom is not bias to any gender or race.
In the meantime, ladies, let's get in formation and hold the line.
Writer: Danielle Parks
Danielle Parks is a Brand Strategist, Freelance Writer, Published Author, and speaker who enjoys advocating for Mental Health Awareness and Wellness among women of color. She is a mom to her amazing daughter as well as a cat mom.