I love this question. I love that my friend Erin even thought to ask me. It took me two whole days before I could barely form words to respond. Even then, it was garbled and was essentially an “I’m going to write a blog on that.” answer. What I am going to write below gives any human the ability to judge me, but please know I am a year past it all and I now love to reflect on it.
When I was pregnant with our dude, it was somewhere in my third trimester that I began to experience a high sex drive. Unfortunately, sex at that point in a pregnancy is tremendously uncomfortable. So, my brain did what it does and gave me dreams. Strangely, these dreams were lesbian dreams. You read that correctly — I was a lesbian in my dreams. Apparently, I was not alone in this. (Side note: this is why it is of extreme importance to make friends with those who are also pregnant!)
At first, I was completely embarrassed. I had no idea where this was coming from and I didn’t ask for it. But almost every night, for a long time, I was back to my sexual encounters with women. God, what a strange thing to write on the internet. Well, I talked with my therapist at length about it and she convinced me that she didn’t think anything was amiss. Then, one day on a Reddit thread for pregnancy, another woman posted about this same thing happening to her. I wasn’t alone! I reached out saying I was experiencing those dreams, too. I will never forget her response:
I think for me it’s something to do with the softness and gentle nature of women.
I loved her description: the “gentle nature of women.” It so aptly described what I was feeling. While I realized my physical body was morphing every single day, I did not realize how it impacted my psyche, too. There can be a lot of complaining when pregnant. Everything hurts and is swollen, acid reflux becomes a close friend, and sleep does not come easily. But on the other side of the coin, I was becoming something completely other. And I didn’t allow that softening to impact me until reading that.
So what do lesbian dreams have to do with Advent? Well, all of this reminded me of the feminity of Jesus. Mary was so young yet so open and willing to let her body be the surrogate to a spirit that would be Jesus. And I have no doubt that that willingness — to let all things unfold as they should — was cloaked in softness and gentleness. Jesus grew up and under those entrusted and holy traits, and he lived them, too. I believe this is not only because he was both fully God and fully human, but also because Mary taught him what it meant to carry a tenderness and humility in him from the onset.
We can see it in the lack of privilege and class he was born into.
We can see it in the way Jesus approached the women of his day with respect and dignity.
We can see it in his non-violent actions.
We can see it in the three women to whom Jesus revealed his resurrected self.
If the act of my calling Jesus feminine alarms or offends you, I ask that you explore that feeling. Embodied feminity is beautiful whether you are male, female, or nonbinary. We would not be here without its touch. Perhaps some of us missed that along the way. I think my dreams revealed to me that I did. For so long I thought I had to portray an exterior of toughness. Honestly, I still struggle with this. However, the more I unpack this idea of softness toward myself and others, I feel freer.
In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say feminity is strength, and Jesus may have been trying to convince of that the whole time.
What do you think?