On Being a Woman

The youngest of four girls. Two daughters. Six granddaughters. There’s a lot of estrogen in my family (at least for the younger ones).  On this International Women’s Day, and every day, I am grateful to be a woman, created by God with value and purpose.  I long for every woman to know the life giving freedom and soul fulfilling love that God designed for his daughters. As sisters around the globe have shared in a day of prayer and fasting, and today are living boldly, I am more encouraged than ever. More filled with hope. With passion. With determination to change this world for the good. Thank you for your faith. Your comments have spurred me on.I am grateful for the women who have gone before me, overcoming “impossible” obstacles for my benefit.

I posted this blog, “Jesus, the Value Giver,” on another site earlier this week, but it seems particularly fitting as today the world celebrates women.

Certainly, no one was more of an advocate for a woman’s value than Jesus Christ. He was radical in the careful, purposeful, and counter-cultural, priceless worth he gave to women—shocking the social norms of his day. He was attentive to their deepest needs, and strategic in who saw these interactions. He gave women true value and purpose—spiritual bread for their hungering souls and unending, life-giving water that quenched their thirst. And his offer has not run out or expired. His desire for a life giving relationship with us is meant not just to quiet and save our souls…but is the solution for every longing soul.

With the ever-present and deep-rooted need for purpose and value—will we, as Christian women who are truly liberated in our souls, be silent to the outcry?

Jesus was not.

No matter the social freedoms offered or missing—never forget—we are all enslaved without Jesus.

Enslaved to all kinds of guilt and shame; enslaved to hurtful and harmful habits; to insecurity and to bitterness; to money; to men; to success; to gossip; to alcohol; to what others think; and to all kinds of sins and worldly thinking.

Listen carefully, truly see, initiate, and share scriptures that have changed you. Share your life. Open your mouth. Pray.  Everyone you encounter has a story. Many are suffering quietly. Others are unaware of their needs. Either way, Jesus is the only happy ending.

We have many examples of women who prayed, were purposeful, and bold. We are not alone.

When Esther understood the plight of her nation, Mordecai’s words resonated and called her to action.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance from the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
  “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
 (Esther 4:14-16)

When the Israelites were saved from the vast army of Egyptians, crossing the Red Sea on dry land Miriam picked up a tambourine and led the women in song, “Sing to the Lord for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.” (Exodus 15:21)

The time is now. We have a song to sing, a sea to cross, and the greatest message ever to share. Together. As one.

We could go on…with Rahab, a courageous prostitute who God used to save many as she trusted his plan and his desire to use her—a once-broken woman.  And the woman from Samaria (from the wrong side of the tracks in everyone’s eyes—except the eyes of Jesus) who told her entire town about the man Jesus who liberated her. Jesus gave her his ear and his heart. He gave her value, forgiveness, and showed her respect. He gave her a purpose.

The woman caught in adultery—Jesus showed compassion and grace. He shut down the evil and judgmental thoughts (and rocks) aimed her way. He said “go and sin no more” and convicted the hypocritical, demeaning and smug attitudes that had flowed from the once assembled crowd.

God has done great things in our lives, most importantly, saving us.

It’s time to act. Together. Purposefully. Boldly. Let us speak as one, loud chorus that offers hope to women around the world. Teens are needed, grandmothers are needed….as is everyone in between. You can make a difference in this troubled world—in someone’s eternity.

Words can be many. We can post, we can carry signs, and we can tweet. But the question remains, what will we do?  As the Scriptures state, Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

Who will step out on faith and boldly share Jesus’ life giving words?

Who will find ways to serve the needy?

Who will live as examples of righteousness?

We will.

 

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