By Cindy Koch –
Have you ever wondered if one little event could change your whole life story? I have. What if I invested my teenage savings into a skateboard instead of a surfboard? Had I taken a different class in college, would I have cultivated the same passions and career today? If I would have said yes (or no) to this or that, how much different would my story be? For years and years, I’ve wondered. And at first, I thought I was the only one. The nagging little questions, unspoken fears, and short-lived victories played their part in the secret narrative in my head. But soon enough, I heard your unsure tale as well. Sister, you trusted me enough to reveal your hopes and fears, advice and disappointments. You also wonder about your story.
Friend, you taught me that every girl, in one way or another, seeks out her identity. We all want answers about our own special place in the cosmic story. We know it’s a different path than the men have taken. We consider the generations before, if they really knew what they were doing. We look down at the young little girls listening to our words, and we wonder if the story we pass along is true.
It was when I looked into the curious blue eyes of my second daughter, I finally realized the gravity of our story. Here were two little humans that had only begin to toddle around the world and their eyes were searching: for safety, for food, for play, and for identity. I immediately recognized that same longing from the teary eyes of seasoned grandmothers who sat in Bible study with me. I saw that familiar scared and hungry look that my adult friends tried to hide behind their self-confidence. It was then that I finally realized that all of us – mothers, teenagers, widows, grandmothers, children, girls, women in every stage – need to hear our true story. And so, my search began.
I read the stories of independence and liberation. I found the stories of unrest and abuse. The struggle for identity of woman was not a new one. I was wrong to think it only began with me and my own daughters. Reaching back into the pages of history, the longing and strife stretched back, back, back… to the very beginning. Our story began when woman began. We can trace our true story from the very creation of the world.
I was thrilled to stumble upon this well-worn path of clarity. I began uncovering our story piece by piece about 15 years ago by studying the Greek and Hebrew of the Bible, by struggling alongside other women studying the Word, by conversing with great theologians at universities, by having quiet discussions with my dear female friends, by living and breathing this story with my husband, all while figuring out what to tell my own four daughters as they grew into women.
But then I began to listen the shallow versions of this history told to women. I must be quite honest, my friend. I was shocked. I was so very disappointed with the shell of our story that remained for us, today. The beauty and fullness of this gift we live has been reduced to a succeed or fail program. The comfort and wisdom contained in this ancient story has been suffocated by causing us to focus internally. Especially during these bleak years of a female identity crisis, our story of woman has been forgotten.
My sister, I wrote this book for you. It’s for me, too. Because no matter how many times we hear about our gift of creation in the beginning and about the great hope of life in the end, we often forget the most important middle. We are given our restored identity because of the death and resurrection of Christ.
So if you’ve ever wondered, If you’ve ever searched, if you’ve ever struggled, if you’ve ever wanted to tell or even just hear a story of your identity as woman- this is for you.