A Letter to the Women, On Finding Your Place

Church can be complicated. It’s a place we go to feel at home, to find our place. Yet how many times have you walked into a gathering of the saints and felt foreign, invisible, a misfit, out of place?  Oh my sisters, we can change this! For we need each other; in fact we were made to live in community. I wrote the following letter to the women of my church family that may speak to many others — especially those of us searching for a church home, for those of us wondering, is there room for me here?

Dear Vineyard Women,

Happy Summer to you! As you go about your days, hopefully indoors, Kitty and I extend a heart-felt hello and we love you and safe travels and SPF 50 and miraculous ease in traffic and ice cream consumption. Really, though, we write to connect at a heart-level with a thought God has been highlighting for our larger female body. Of the church, I mean.

We are a beautiful body, aren’t we? New folks and long-timers, college students to great-grandmothers, every-weekers and occasional-weekers. Speaking of new folks, if that’s you, we really want you to know that 1) there are lots of new members, so you are not alone; 2) this is a safe place where you can be yourself; and 3) welcome, welcome, welcome! Make yourself at home! There is room for you here.
There is room for you here. That one is for all of us, I believe. If you’ve heard an opposing voice in your head, hear me now: that’s not the truth. There IS room for you here. We need each other! Together we are glory and beauty and life and healing to our community, shining bright.  {Also together we are fun and refreshing to each other.}
All of you together are Christ’s body,and each of you is a part of it.

Lately the Lord has been speaking to me in puzzles… literally. {Anyone else love doing puzzles?} As I was pondering all you wonderful souls and this idea of Making Room, I saw the Lord dumping a box of puzzle pieces onto a table. It occurred to me that in the beginning it takes a lot more room to spread out all the pieces than it does to hold the finished puzzle. At first it is messy – cardboard dust billows, dull brown pieces somehow resist being face up. What is the next step? Each piece is hand-picked, turned over to reveal its color and design, and placed into a pile of like pieces.

My dears, we are this puzzle. We are each pieces of one another, and joined together we make a beautiful finished work. I forget this sometimes, especially during these transient summer months: we were made for Jesus and for each other. Specifically. Think of it! The Father has brought each one of us – with our stories and theologies, skills and giftings, victories and defeats, doubts and dreams – to be right here right now at this church to “fit together perfectly… for the building up of each other in love” (Eph 3:16). Oh how I wonder what the finished puzzle will look like!

Consider your part in the grand design. Have you allowed the Father to turn you over, to reveal your true colors? If you haven’t yet, how about let’s do it together? This is a healing place, to be sure. We need you, even if you’re broken… especially if you’re broken. {Brokenness is the greatest gift.} Without you, the puzzle will have a gap.  Paul says it this way: “If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance” (I Cor 12:26). Discovering who you really are is a life-long pursuit best done arm-in-arm with sisters and mothers who hear the heart of God when you can’t. I am so grateful for such women I’ve come to know here in the last five years. We do this well. Let’s be purposeful to continue in it.

If you’re familiar with your piece and looking for your spot, let’s get creative! What’s something you’ve always wanted to do – spiritual, non-spiritual, whatever? How can we help you do it? What’s an upgrade or enrichment you could bring? What do you have that the body needs? Let us know. For real. Let’s spread all these pieces out and get to puzzle-building, beautiful glory-lights!


With joy,


3 thoughts on “A Letter to the Women, On Finding Your Place

  1. Rachel! This is just beautiful. Thank you for embracing me and speaking truth to the lies that have held my mind for so long. I am so grateful God led me to The Vineyard and specifically to the message he had placed on your heart.


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