“When I learned that I’m not called to be tamed, I began embracing who God made me to be.”
This is a REAL BLOG. If you’re not interested in reading some raw, vulnerable, transparent truth, turn away! If you’re uncomfortable hearing stories of life and lessons learned and perhaps even some humorous cautionary tales, run for the hills! If you are craving any of those things, I am so here for you.
My name is Danielle McEntee. I am a 36 year old woman, wife and mother of three. I am a photographer, a writer, a homemaker, a runner, a yoga-er, and I serve alongside my husband, who is a high school youth pastor in Los Angeles. I tried to homeschool for two and a half years and realized it wasn’t for me (more on this later).
I deal with a lot of females. A lot of women. A lot of teenagers. I have three daughters of my own. I am here to speak to the Ladies. The Women. The Girls. There is a full blown war going on and we are at the center. We are the targets. As members of the female race, we have been oppressed, we have been abused, we have been taken advantage of, we have been objectified, we have been shoved to the side. And I don’t mean just by our culture either. We have been targeted by the enemy. And we have often been targeted by the Church. God wants us to live fully, to appreciate our femininity, to embrace our beauty, to live with compassion and grace and power and strength! He wants to use us as a Deborah, or an Esther, or a Rahab, or a Mary. And if you aren’t familiar with the Bible, please, don’t let those random names turn you off. There is something in here for every woman, trust me. You don’t really know me yet but please, trust me. I am convinced that God does not want us to stand timidly in a corner, waiting for our name to be called. He does not want us to be valued and esteemed only by our purity, our virginity, our sex appeal. He won’t stand for our voices to be silenced, our thoughts to be quenched, our ideas and our contributions to be ignored.
There are women who are silent, living in the background, hidden completely by the shadow of men and I don’t believe that is the way God designed it. We have our own unique journey as Christ followers too. We have a life to live in His will too. We have talents, we have minds, we have wells of knowledge and power and competence. Being “gentle” does not mean you must be meek and mild and silent. It does not mean we are called to shut our mouths and never leave our homes until the laundry is done and the dust has all been eradicated. We can be Mary and we can be Martha. We can be called to serve and host and take care of those around us, but we also can stop and sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him.
Growing up, I always assumed that a Godly woman was like one of the elder’s wives in church. Turtlenecks, long skirts, floral patterns, quiet smiles, stay-at-home mother, homeschooler, mild mannered, in a constant state of ethereal prayer, always using the term “Praise the Lord” in between every sentence, baking cookies for every event from scratch, never swears, never drinks, never did anything wild or inappropriate, always smiling. I strove to be this my entire life. I thought that if I acted Godly enough, I would become Godly enough. A Proverbs 31 woman! But you see, I don’t do mornings. I don’t want to get up while it’s still dark outside and plow fields. I’m the kind that needs at least 3 cups of coffee, likes to sit with my Bible for a little while and then I’ll be mentally and physically ready to take on all my responsibilities. I never wanted children, never even wanted to get married. I thought I’d travel the world, have an incredible career and make a lot of money to buy my family amazing gifts and spend our Christmases in Europe.
I’m also not a quiet woman. My dad is a loud, Italian New Englander whose normal voice sounds like shouting. His whole family, his parents and his 6 other siblings, are all this way. What can I say? I know how to project with my diaphragm. I’ve always had a boisterous, excitable, passionate way of carrying myself. My mom used to tell me, “People notice when you walk in a room!” My laugh can be jarring and obnoxious and my sneezes cause an earthquake sized rumble. I always assumed that this was something that was wrong about me, though. I thought that perhaps, being more withdrawn, more rule following and more gentle, would mean that somehow I was more holy. Let me tell you something about gentleness, though. Gentleness doesn’t just mean being quiet and restrained. In fact, true gentleness is having strength and power, but having the self-control to restrain that power until it is necessary. That’s why the term is “gentle giant”. You’d hope that a giant would hold the power of restraint so she doesn’t go around crushing people. But, when the time comes to save a city from a threatening villain (comic book shout out here), she’s ready to stomp some bad guys for the greater good.
Maybe that’s a poor example. So, perhaps this giant doesn’t stomp bad guys, but she can lift an entire car when someone is stuck underneath it. She can carry 10 children on her shoulders as she escapes a burning building. That strength has its time, its place, its use. So, gentle doesn’t just mean nice, kind, sweet, soft spoken. I couldn’t believe what I was discovering. I was gentle after all. I have the ability, I have the strength, I merely needed to know when God was calling me to use it.
I always felt as if I had this unbridled monster living inside of me, one I had to suppress, one I had to contain. I always felt that my dynamic personality was something that needed to be tamed. But here is the truth: that’s who I was created to be. My passionate, wild, rebellious spirit needed to be channeled toward my calling in Christ, used for His glory, used for His kingdom and then I would be fulfilling my own personal calling. My destiny, if you will. The unfortunate thing is that for many years, this force inside of me led me down the wrong road. I used it to fulfill my own personal desires instead of His own. I used it to hurt others and myself instead of loving them and myself. I was always searching for the next best thing to fulfill me. For many reasons, this searching resulted in finding, but not finding anything in the right places. I am learning that I was created to be wild. I am learning that I need to live passionately and fearlessly, rebelling against all that is wrong in this world. I lived for a majority of my life wildly and rebelliously for all the wrong reasons. I am learning that I am called to be exactly who I was created to be. When I learned that I’m not called to be tamed, I began embracing who God made me to be. And when He made me, He made a Wild Rebel Woman.