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Fully Woman | A Series: Part 4- Anna Diepold

Anna Diepold is from Wettstetten, Germany, who currently doing 2nd Year at BSSM. Anna and I met during Revival Group and it was an instant connection. She is in my Home Group for 2nd Year and she carries a life on fire for what God wants to do on the earth. Getting to create friendship with her is so much fun and her tender, pure heart has impacted my life. Her quiet place with the Holy Spirit is so tender and passionate that I am inspired by the confidence and authority she carries. She is humble and brings people up to help them find their voice.  Below is Anna's story and on how she realized the moment when she is, indeed, a woman. 

Hey Friends,

I am so excited to share my heart with you and try to put together all the pieces that I feel like answers the question, When did you realize that you were a woman? best for me, in the context that shaped me in my identity as a woman. First, I want to tell you how much I love womanhood. I can't put it into words when I see look into the eyes of a woman when she knows who she is. It is awe-inspiring and beautifully dangerous. It truly creates this space of contagious courage and confidence that it often makes people welcomed and relaxed when they are around her.

In my life, I believe that it is very costly that very often one type of woman is getting the platform to be seen, but I also believe that this is the generation that will celebrate the different expressions and ways of being a woman more than any other before. Then it will become much easier again for our younger sisters to realize what it means to be a woman because it is realizing who they are when they are truly themselves. When we are ourselves there is no question to, "Am I a woman in a correct way?" You are a woman, the right way, when you are yourself and womanhood looks like you.

When I think about the broader topic of womanhood, I could think and write for a long time and my fascination for true beauty. Beauty is like something deep in me that gets excited when I am allowed to see into the heart of someone and their whole appearance starts to glow for me, but today I want to invite you into my story. And that is much harder to articulate because English is not my first language. But I will try...

I can not share just one moment with you where I have realized that I am a woman. Of course from a young age onward you know that you are female and then you learn what that actually means throughout all your life. There have been different moments in which I have realized that I am a woman and then other moments helped me to understand what that actually means. There have been times when I unconsciously fought being a woman and then a lot of moments where I have learned to celebrate femininity and have been able to deeply enjoy it.

These moments also had a lot to do with how I was defining womanhood in each season of my life. It was and is a journey to grasp the unique beauty that lies behind "Pride and Prejudice." That's why I want to share three moments with you, where I was able to realize and understand more what it means to me to be a woman.

MOMENT 1 // Daddy Daughter Dance

A memory came to mind when I was 12. We have been traveling to Sweden for our one and only camping holiday. It was so much fun! We lost a tooth on the way, explored Northern Germany and South of Sweden, and jumping over waves at a lonely beach for literally hours. Very relaxing!! We traveled there for the wedding of my older cousin. The celebration was wonderful and in my yellow Zara dress, I was anticipating a big party. And what an opportunity to show off my dance skills! Further into the celebration, they opened up the father and daughter dance for all the guests. I was just screaming excitedly to my father, "Daddy we should dance! They said, ALL fathers and daughters."

My dad wasn't too impressed to be honest, but he took my offer to dance with him. He didn't really have the chance to not dance with me. I could hardly believe my luck, because it is just one of the most fun things to dance with my dad (his very very special dance moves inclusive, I mean really he is far beyond the normal dance moves!!). But why did this come to mind, thinking about this question? I was experiencing in that very moment with my dad how much womanhood has to do with valuing a man and being valued by men and living in good, vulnerable, and committed relationships with them. It starts with our fathers and brothers and continues with our partner. Because of the relationship with my dad and other valued men in my family. I know that I don't have to fight men to be heard. Actually they can be my biggest champions and I am theirs. They don't see me as less, but  they are also aware of where my weaknesses as a woman meets their strength as a man and the other way around.

I know we often hear the message that we need to be independent, but what I have learned out of that moment, and a lot of other moments, is that there is something very special in running hand in hand with men and that it doesn't take away any of my strength, but through the right relationships; it actually gives space and confidence to display my strength when I live in partnership with men.

No matter if male or female, everyone wants someone who knows how powerful you are and who is willing to protect your weakness in a playful, protecting, and not exposing way so that it is fun to you. That is what I have learned dancing with my dad. It doesn't mean you are not enough just because there is a spot that can be covered better by the other gender or because you are waiting to be truly valued by someone. I got to know that womanhood feels good when we have strong men around us. Womanhood can only exist alongside manhood.

MOMENT 2 // From the Girl to Woman

I was 13 years old and standing in front of the mirror for a loooong time, I would not only say things to what I see in one mirror, but in every mirror the house has to offer to make sure that what I am seeing is true. And this was not a unique moment. The way I saw myself in the mirror has been more like a season full of moments. A season in which I have been aware of a pressure around what it means to be female for the first time. Seemingly, I was missing the right timing and it was out of my control to change that. Missing the timing to become a woman, not meeting the surrounding anticipation to change into a woman fast enough. I was mature in my manners and what people would consider wise for my age, but I started to feel pain about seeing my body not change into a woman, because people seemed to differentiate a woman from a girl only by their physical appearance. The person that I was seeing in the mirror was still a girl. I remember standing in front of it with unease about not changing fast enough or as early as my classmates.

I was so frustrated standing there for hours not knowing if I will ever be enough. Not only did I want to have change in my inner world, but my appearance. Will I ever look as mature as I am? Very silly thoughts, but they can be very crashing for the thought life of a 13-year-old. Now I can laugh about it. I was measuring my body as the guarantor to be valued and heard. And the results of my comparison and self-critical measurements were: Not enough. This season closed itself very quickly when-- what a surprise-- my body changed and I got my period even when it was later than most girls.

Being different from others for a time, when only in appearance, taught me to value the people that are able to see my heart. It was this time in my life when I started to develop deep and long-lasting friendships and determined loyalty and commitment in relationships as part of my core values. And it actually was good to be changing later than others, because I really liked the change then. It was a part of my life where I didn't have to be the pioneer.

But what I also found was that it is quite easy to be a girl. In my case, it wasn't strict. I wasn't pushed into a lot of boxes during my childhood, but there are a lot more restrictions and boxes when it comes to being a woman. Messages where added to what defines me. Conceptions such as, you need to be pursued, you are seen when you are wanted, and should not be too much. I went into being too controlling with what I let other people see me because I wanted to keep my heart pure and meet all the expectations at the same time. I learned to be valuable in friendships and really cultivate them intentionally from a young age onward, but when it came to bigger groups of people I tried to not attract attention.

But you have to know, even if it takes some more seasons to redefine womanhood for yourself, it is worth it. Relationship to God and people unpacked layer after layer how I can be without boxes and control and mature at the same time. Now I feel very free again to be authentic with people around me because I took time to understand what really gives me security and identity.

MOMENT 3 // Strength Redefined

I was crying when that blind spot was covered. Bawling my eyes out, when I realized ups that I didn't know was even there. You know the moment when someone or in my case the Holy Spirit is opening up a blind spot to be seen. It all comes to light with a little pain, but more relief and transformative healing. I wasn't aware how I have been building up a wall with my words over years. I so often said, "I don't want to have kids," out of my own insecurity when the question was raised if I want to have them. Not saying that it is wrong or unhealthy to not want to have kids, but I actually wanted them someday, but I have completely connected motherhood with captivity and burying my potential. I couldn't see myself being a wholehearted loving mother and laying down my passions at the same time. Knowing I would be fully in and thinking it means that I cannot be fully into a lot of other things.

In my case, it was out of the wrong motives when I have said I didn't want to have kids. I knew how devoted my heart is when I love someone and how much compassion is driving my day to day, so  I thought being a mum would clearly make me weak. Alone the word, "Nurture" would trigger me, I don't just want to nurture and be left behind from changing the world. But then I was able to first get healing from the comments that led me to believe that being a mum is slowing a woman down. Seeing that my passions can actually meet being a mother. My eyes have been opened to see the value of the work of a mother and then I realize how beautiful it is to change the world by passing an inheritance and being able to build something over the course of generations. Family always goes further than a lone fighter. You cannot change the world in a better way than family and I want to be a cultural architect by being a mother for people-- giving them all they need to be launched and the safety and care that they need to shine, even before I am a natural mum. Motherhood is very strong and brings wealth to our society. Thank you to all the good mums out there (MINE INCLUDED)!! Being a woman means for me, now, to be a mother next to being a daughter, lover, and/or friend, and I am excited to grow with patience and self-love more and more into that role. 

Now at the age of 20, I am actually just at the starting point to take my place as a woman in society. To step up and model how you don't have to please every public opinion and contradicting requests and still be enough. And I cannot wait to see girls skipping the seasons of insecurity in life because they have good mums and dads that celebrate who they are and that we all saying yes to breaking the boxes in which we try to put ourselves and others in. 

I hope you like these little snapshots out of my journey as a girl becoming a woman. And I hope you can see the richness that comes out of all the lessons that you have learned in every season of your life. 

Much Love,


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