She said, He said, they said, who said what? Whom do you believe?

My first ‘real job’ was at an engineering corporation where men hung naked calendars on the walls and I listened to the ‘dirty jokes’ until one day, I said nope, this is it. I asked them repeatedly to be professional, but I was the only female in the bunch. So I took it up the chain to headquarters in Boston until someone listened and thankfully they did. Off came the calendars and the filthy jokes stopped. My reputation was that of a Bible changing snob, but really, in the office, this is not where this belongs. Do what you want at home.

My third career took me back into a man’s world in computer science where in my early 40’s I was not invited to join in the reindeer games to compile computer programs or join forces with my male friends as I was seen as ‘not smart’ enough. Luckily, I made friends with a great deal of International students who invested in ME their time, friendship and knowledge of life. It was a blessing that I sought fellowship outside the box. My point is, when the wall is up against you, it is there to climb – not to pound your fist upon it and give up or spew anger. Rise above it. What is happening in our Country is not pretty, but we have got to ask ourselves, “why”. Most of the time when there is confrontation, we point the finger at the other person, instead of examining ourselves and ask, what can I do to change myself to grow.

Granted, I do not see eye-to-eye with liberals and I even dislike ‘labels’ or profiling – that is what we are doing. Authorities are condemned for profiling, but yet we ‘label’ each other by Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, etc. and we profile without getting to know the person.

A couple of months ago, I attended a lecture and round table discussion about gender pronouns (again, if you want to understand get out of your box) and was asked how I see myself. The question was asked, then pushed upon me that I had to label myself even though I was comfortable to say, “I am who I am. I am me. I do not define myself by anyone’s definition, only that I was created in God’s image” (which opened another discussion). I then tried to put it into a baker’s point of view: if I roll out cookie dough – that is my base (God’s creation). Then each cookie cutter can be used to create a pattern. You can really go crazy by how you decorate.  Just as I am an original, you are. Remember, none of us have the same fingerprints.

While there is strength in numbers, there is a great deal of strength that comes from within a single person that is dealt many hardships. I read from an article the following and it really makes sense: today you decide to start lifting weights. For each rep you complete, your arms get weaker and feel like jelly. Your mind tells you this is crazy. You are not getting stronger, but weaker. And yet, it would seems so. For the next week, you complete your reps with the same gusto, only to be rewarded with weakness. However, what you do not see is beneath the layers of skin, your muscles are getting stronger and soon, weakness turns to strength and the evidence shows in your arms.

We face disappointment, poverty, insults, harassment, rejection (to name a few), but underneath our demeanor, we are building courage and strength. It will take time and patience and forgiveness. But, I guarantee, He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of completion. That, I believe. (Philippians 1:6)

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