by Joy Wong
Late last year, it was decided that this blog needed to expand to represent the stories and voices of evangelical Asian American women leaders outside of the immediate AAWOL core group. Getting busy and multi-tasking women with ministry and familial responsibilities to write blog entries understandably proved to be difficult. To lighten their load, I decided to do short interviews instead, and take on the writing and editing work myself.
After requesting and performing interviews with evangelical Asian American women for the past six months, I’ve noticed patterns. Most are flattered and honored to be asked to share their stories and insights. But mostly I’m struck by how many are surprised and in disbelief that they have something to contribute, and a few women have shared their insights and then been very quick to go back and judge what they shared as “stupid,” “foofy,” or some other disparaging adjective.
I also have the same tendencies towards self-judgment, and I wonder why Asian American women in general have these tendencies. Personally, I have felt incredibly blessed to be able to hear these women’s perspectives and stories first-hand, and to have the privilege of making their insights accessible to others. I feel that evangelical Asian American women have an enormous amount to contribute (and the snippets on this blog don’t do justice to that — but it’s a start). But I do worry that our own self-judgement may be so severe that we judge ourselves into invisibility. We’ve determined that we have nothing to contribute before we’ve given anything of ourselves at all.
Any insights on this would be greatly appreciated, as I certainly have not figured this all out. And not all evangelical Asian American women leaders have this kind of struggle with self-judgment. If you don’t struggle with this, I want to interview you to learn from you. And if you do struggle with it, I want to interview you too, to learn from you as well. All our stories contain experiences that others can learn from (both in their similarities and differences from ourselves and our experiences). For the sake of others, will you step out courageously to tell your story?
Joy Wong completed a Masters of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. She and her husband currently attend New City Church of Los Angeles. To contact Joy, please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.