Let Me Be A Woman

There’s this struggle deep within me between wanting to be Elisabeth Elliot and wanting to be Anais Nin. Part of me wonders if this stems from being 28 and single and loving Jesus and reading too much. On one side is the draw towards purity and reliance; on the other side lies the enticement of passion and independence. Paradoxical as it may seem, I’m not entirely certain the ideals, dreams and ambitions these women represent are mutually exclusive. I have a feeling this battle takes place in the hearts and minds of most women, but I wonder how many of us have the courage or stamina to let it play out. Should a truce ever be reached, what would that look like? What would I look like?

NOTE: Chances are, most of you reading this are familiar with either Elliot or Nin, but not both. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from each to let you catch a glimpse of why I love them so.

ELISABETH ELLIOT

  • There is nothing worth living for unless it is worth dying for.
  • Today is mine. Tomorrow is not my business.
  • If we give out of love, there is ultimately no way in Heaven or Earth to avoid receiving and receiving more than we could possibly give.
  • A willing acceptance of all that God assigns and a glad surrender of all that I am and have constitute the key to receiving the gift of a quiet heart.
  • Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.
  • Let the Lord of the Universe do the worrying.
  • God never denies us our hearts’ desire except to give us something better.
  • This list should also include pretty much all of “Passion and Purity” and Let Me Be A Woman”

ANAIS NIN

  • And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
  • Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.
  • How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.
  • I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
  • The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
  • Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.
  • We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
  • We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
  • Dreams are necessary to life. Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
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