By Tryphena Perumalla-Gagnon
Women’s Panel Contributor
The longer I live the more grateful I am for the trauma-informed individuals in my life. Simply put, individuals, who are aware that many symptoms and behaviours are often a result of traumatic experiences. Thereby they continuously extend grace to those around them. In the same way when I think of the idea of “grown up mean girls’ I cannot help but wonder what has happened or is happening in these women’s lives that is causing them to act out in a non-loving manner. What is the pain they have experienced that is causing them to lash out? Or what are the oppressive lies they are believing because of the systems and structures they were born into?
This conversation, however, is not new. When we look at biblical times, I love Jesus’ grace in the story of Mary and Martha. Both women chose to handle “hosting” Jesus and his disciples in a different manner. In a culture where women were not believed worthy of education but expected to maintain a myriad of domestic duties, Mary chose to insert herself at the Teacher’s feet, to listen and learn. Martha, on the other hand, held to expectations and prepared for her guests. She quickly, I imagine, grew frustrated and jealous asking Jesus to reprimand her sister. However, Jesus graciously affirmed Mary’s worth to join the heavily male-dominated conversation and invited Martha into it. Jesus understood the system and structure that kept Martha in a box. He also understood the courage it took for Mary to step out of it, and celebrated both women and the worth they carried.
I encourage you to take some time in the coming days to reflect on the women who have hurt you, or the women you have hurt and consider the following questions.
- In what areas of your life are you like Martha, exhausted and / or jealous? How is that impacting your behaviour towards the women around you?
- How, like Mary, have you stepped out in courage, only to be criticized? What was the impact of that on your heart?
I am so grateful that not only is Jesus well-informed on our trauma and bestows on us endless grace, He also desires to crush the boxes we have been arbitrarily placed in. He sees you and your worth and holds you in high esteem.
May you experience this endless grace today.