I love being a woman. I love women. I love the fabric of a woman’s being. I love her fight, her tenacity, her ability and willingness to get the job done. I love her versatility, her structure, her wisdom of knowing when to wear what hat and just at the right angle. I love the possibilities that await her and those she creates for herself.
I love that when I consider my history, I see fore-mothers who knew that maybe not in her own lifetime, or even her children’s, but somewhere down the line, her sacrifice would be needed. I love that when I look at my family—often rampant with the absence of male presence—I see women who took controls of their lives, made choices the world frowned upon but still raised their children and kept their homes. I love that when I look at my husband’s family—where there is male presence—I see the same fight and determination in the women who didn’t always have a man around. I see business owners, nurses, teachers, paralegals, labor workers, stay at home mothers—I see it all. And what I see, I love.
The women in my life are truly irreplaceable and I thank God for the connections—by blood or by choice—that have shaped me into the woman that I am. On this International Women’s Day, I want to give a little encouragement as an homage to those who have spoken life and love in and over me.
Know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Much of the historical, political, societal, cultural, and even religious discourse would tell the story of women as those who are lesser than—outcasts incapable of having equal opportunity and power. Do not believe this lie. Just because something is written doesn’t mean it captures the whole truth. Most of our truths are hidden in what has been left out. That is why we must continue to tell our stories and uncover those of the women who came before who were unable. After all, it is sisterhood that pushes and pulls us through when nothing else can. This, as my Mama would say, is tried and true. Which leads to my next point.
Women go through A LOT. Each of our stories may be different, but we all experience some of the same emotions. When you see a sister down and out, do what you can to lift her up. If it’s just a word, a hug, a silent prayer she never knows about—do something to build her morale and help her regain her strength. Be the woman God created you to be, understanding that the next woman is not you. Embrace your differences. Focus on your strengths while you work on your weaknesses. Recognize that you don’t have to be besties with everyone, but as the old golden rule says, “do unto others as you would have done unto you”. This part is quite simple.
Lastly, be true to yourself. Do no try to fit in with people who don’t accept you. Do not try to follow trends and change your opinion about something because it seems like the right thing to do. Make up your own mind. Research. Trust your gut. Develop your sense of self without wearing the labels someone else made for you. Nine times out of ten, people who want you to feel bad or are so adamant to MAKE you believe what they believe hold insecurities of their own. You standing up for yourself just might free them too.
Like I said, women hold a lot of power. We need to start using it correctly. Look in the mirror today and say, “I love you. For all that you, and all that you aren’t. I promise not to give up on you. Your best is yet to come.”
If you ever feel like you’re alone, know that this woman is always praying for us and you are never by yourself.