I love Wonder Woman. You may know this if you have seen my water bottle, computer or socks. I recently bought a Wonder Woman shirt that I couldn't pass up at a local overstock store.
I have always loved Wonder Woman. I grew up watching Super Friends on Saturday mornings. And Lynda Carter on rerun. I loved her star-spangled leotard, knee high boots and gold bracelets. I spun around as fast as I could, transforming from an ordinary little girl into a super hero. I ran around my house flashing my wrists at everyone. Ping! Ping! Ping! Any shot aimed at me would ricochet off. I felt invincible. And strong. And able to do pretty much anything. In that moment, I knew I could be Wonder Woman too.
I would like to tell you I have outgrown this childhood fantasy, but that just isn't true. I still want to be Wonder Woman. I don't wear the leotard or the knee high boots anymore, but I do flash my symbolic wrists at people. Ping! Ping! Ping! I want to be invincible. And strong. And able to do pretty much anything. And regardless of how arduous to admit, the desire to be a type of Wonder Woman still drives me.
Several years ago, this came to the surface for me. I attended a women's retreat where several prayer stations were set up, and one station consisted of river rocks and Sharpies. The instructions were to take a small rock, write on it a word that represents something you were having difficulty releasing in your life, then throw it into a nearby creek. This time of reflection coupled with action was intended to represent a letting go and releasing to God of things we often hold to very tightly. On a beautiful fall afternoon, I handed my 3-week-old infant to a friend (yes, I was attending a weekend retreat with my almost newborn - do you see my personality arising in this?) and prepared to participate. I needed this time of meditation and prayer in each of the stations prepared. When I approached the setup with the rocks, I thought I would write something simple on it, hurry down to the waiting ripples of the creek to toss my rock, and then return to feed my hungry baby.
Yet the task was not as easy as I expected. Cradling that rock in my left palm, my right hand took the black marker and - with almost no conscience thought whatsoever - wrote "Super Mom." I was surprised with how quickly these words appeared on the rock. Super Mom? Is that my struggle? I started the short walk across an open field toward the creek. I passed other women on my way, though I didn't make eye contact as I was deep in conversation with God and the Spirit inside me. Super Mom? Is that really a stronghold in my life? Am I really trying to be too much? To appear invincible? To do anything or everything? (Ahem, remember the newborn I was currently attending with...) And, by the way, God, why is this something I even need to part with? What is wrong with being Super Mom? What is wrong with being Super anybody? I'm pretty sure I really can do it all.
Oh yea, I had a pretty tight grip.
It turned out that throwing the Super Mom rock into the creek took a lot longer than I want to admit. I clutched that little brown rock tightly in my hand and even considered simply tucking it into my pocket to keep. Truth is, I didn't actually want to let go of that desire in my life.
God started the conversation with me on that brisk fall day but, even though I eventually hurled the rock into the water with much gusto, the letting go was just beginning. The day of the Super Mom rock was merely a day of awareness. God and I both realized that letting go would be a lifelong process.
Fast forward to today. I sit here in my Wonder Woman leggings, drinking tea from my Wonder Woman mug. I could even be wearing the Wonder Woman costume glasses my friend bought me because she knew I would enjoy them. I don't remember ever verbalizing my desire to be a superhero when I grew up. I didn't actually think I could become Wonder Woman, did I? Yet as I look around at myself in this moment, maybe I did. Maybe I do. Yea, most of it is simple enjoyment, but there is still a part of me that wants to be Wonder Woman.
To be strong.
To be invulnerable.
To deflect any words or actions aimed to hurt me.
To overcome any obstacle with combat prowess.
To endure beyond normal limits.
To be all things to all people.
To do pretty much anything. And everything.
Yep, if I'm honest, I aspire to be all of those on a regular basis. And if I'm really honest, what I'm trying to be is more than Wonder Woman. What I'm trying to be is God.
Ouch. More than ouch. More like hmmfff as my legs are knocked out from underneath me and I fall to the ground. Face down. Exposed. Humiliated. Humbled.
God! You're right. I did it again. I picked up that Super Mom rock again. I wore the Wonder Woman shirt too many times this week. I tried to be you again, God. I am sorry. Thanks for reminding me that it is in my weakness I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). That vulnerability is the way to relational proximity (Romans 12:15-16). That rest is part of growth (Leviticus 25:4-5, 20-21). That you heal all wounds (Revelation 21:3-4). Thanks for reminding me that there is one God and no one like him. Not even me.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.