So, Beyonce came out with a whole new album.
And here's the thing: I'm a fifteen year long Bey fan. So we can totally just put that on the table. I was a casual fan for a bunch of years and then in 2009 I caught wind of a live performance she did and for real - the Lord used it in a mighty way in my life.
Also - I know that her clothing choices and lyrics and dance moves are not Christian-based, but I'm not really here to talk about that today. I've got my own thoughts and convictions, and I'll let you have yours, and the swirly thoughts in my heart today have got literally nothing to do with that.
I listened to the whole album and I came away with one major conclusion: Even Beyonce feels like she's too much and not enough.
Without quoting lyrics and dissecting the whole thing, if you haven't heard anything about it, the album seems to be themed heavily around hurt in a romantic relationship. The songs move through anger and frustration and hurt and brokenness into a mixture of hope and some themes of reconciliation. But there are some lines in some of the songs that have stopped me in my tracks as I've realized - Beyonce feels just like I feel. She feels like she's spinning her wheels trying to be the best she can, and she is still hitting rejection. She is still not enough. It's almost as if, in some of the songs, she's acknowledging - I'm BEYONCE, I shouldn't feel like this! I shouldn't feel so broken, insecure, hurt, wounded.
She speaks to how she doesn't feel enough, but also I cannot imagine that someone like Beyonce wouldn't struggle with feeling like too much, somewhere deep in her heart. Wondering if she's too successful, if that's alienated people. Wondering if she's too talented, too exposed, too passionate. And none of this is a reflection on Beyonce and if she's doing it right or doing it wrong, because genuinely - what I've come to learn is that every woman I know struggles with both sides of this coin.
I've met college girls who feel like they're too much and not enough. I've met homeschooling pastor's wives who feel like they're too much and not enough. I've met women in business, artists, teenagers, women in ministry, and single women who all feel like they're too much and maybe still not enough.
Whether it's in our marriages or our motherhood or our callings or our careers. If it's in friend groups, in ministry, our relationships with the Lord, our families of origin.
Most of us are walking the tight rope and trying as hard as we can to stay within the invisible lines THAT WE CAN'T EVEN SEE to make sure that we're not too much and at the same time, we're not too little.
We don't want to be too loud, but we don't want to fade into the background. We don't want to make a fuss, but we don't want to come across weak. We don't want too much attention and we don't want to be forgotten. If we seem too excited or passionate, we don't feel humble and if we discount our ideas or our worth, we seem like we don't care enough.
Some of us get loud and angry and bang up against the cages that culture has thrown us in (that's people like me and Beyonce) and some of us tend to get small and quiet, curling up in a ball to protect our heart and our world. Whatever our response, whatever our situation - I believe there is a way back. I believe we can feel at ease again. I believe, with every inch of my soul, that the answer is in Jesus.
(and sidebar: that's why I think we don't have a second of time to waste debating Beyonce's lyrics or whether or not a secular artist has holy things to say. Because we have an epidemic on our hands of women not knowing their worth and WE HAVE THE ANSWER, so let's talk about that instead.)
I believe He's created us wild - with beautiful, full, abundant, different identities. And I believe that He created us- women, His daughters, as good and as in His image. I think the more we look at Him, the more we learn about ourselves, the more we're able to take a deep breath and walk in the wild identity He's give us.
Secondly, I believe in and through Jesus, He's given us freedom. He's taken away the threat of messing it all up through the sacrifice His Son paid on the cross - eliminating our debt and our lack in the past, the present, and the future.
I believe that in CHRIST, we are not too much and we are always enough.
So my sweet friend Hayley and I have written this book for you - for all women who struggle with feeling like they're too much, not enough, or a deadly mixture of both. We haven't written it to teach women how to be wild and free, we've written it to tell them they already are and to unpack how we can walk in the bold and beautiful liberty we've been given in Jesus.
We've got about five days till this book launches and we're trying to tell the whole world about it because the idea of God-following and honoring women moving throughout life, trying to stay inside the invisible lines and feeling incredibly broken and out of place does not sit well with us.
So we've made a ton of gifts for people who preorder the book between now and then and we'd love for you to check them out, share them, tell a friend, grab a sister who you can process this with, or lead a group of women through Wild and Free.
We'd love to see the Lord change this issue and bolster the women of God in our time, for HIs glory, to know they are created in His image and set free from the bondage of death, brokenness, and sin.