It was early in the morning when I awoke from sleep. I sat up, grabbed a paper and pen and began to write. Time passed as I filled each page with words. I looked over the pages, and saw boldness. I was a shy sixteen year-old teenager. These words were bold, authoritative, and different. These words weren’t mine. What was this? Was this a sermon? Was this an article for a magazine? “God, what is this? What are you trying to speak to my heart?” A calm silence filled the room. A gentle presence surrounded me. “But, Lord, I am a woman.” I have never heard a woman preacher. “How can this be? Are you calling me?” I laid down the pen, closed my eyes, and fell asleep.
In the secret hours of the night and in the minds of many women are dreams which no one knows. God is constantly moving and breathing life into the dreams of our heart and mind, but sometimes there may not be created spaces for these dreams in our traditions and cultures. Women do not believe, and men do not believe. We have lost our dreams. While there have been hundreds of women preachers in the past, we are still stuck in a rut. There are women preachers, apostles, prophets, disciples, mothers, and leaders in the Bible, yet we do not know their names. We have lost our dreams. Our silence has become our chains.
I wonder what could happen if the secret dreams of women were brought into the light. I wonder what would happen if women stepped up to the plate, and said “God has called me, and I cannot go against this calling. I cannot sin against my God.” I wonder what revival would look like. I wonder what would happen if the Church followed the lead of the Holy Spirit, and lived in the words of Joel, who said, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17a-18, ESV). What could happen?
We are living in the last days. Many preachers have said before it was the end times, but we are seeing circumstances like we have never seen before in history. There should be an urgency in our spirits and hearts for the kingdom. None can predict the end, or the return of the King, but we must be ready. We must always be ready.
I challenge you to dream. I challenge you to bring the secret places of your heart and prayers to God. Woman of God, I urge you in the Holy Spirit to examine your gifts and use them for the kingdom. Man of God, I urge you to support and encourage your sisters in the Lord. Do not hinder them. Do not quench the Holy Spirit, but allow the Spirit of God to bring liberty, reconciliation, and healing. And to all, take on the burden. This burden does not belong to women only, but it belongs to all. We need both women and men to support women in leadership and ministry. We need everyone on board, because the harvest is great, and the laborers are few. Let us go together to the fields which are white and ready for harvest, and work for our Jesus, knowing all gifts, dreams, and callings come from our God. We are nothing without the vine.
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz