To my “nasty” women,
Let me start off by saying that you are absolutely beautiful, wonderful, strong, and brave.
Oh, sweet women, this week, I see the despair in your hearts. I see the division among you, I see it as I am cut off for my stances, I see it as we cut each other off for other differing positions – and it breaks my own heart. I could spend forever telling you about the wholeness and the goodness that I find in the positions I so love and champion, the beauty in my own march; But sisters, something even more fundamental tugs at my attention when I see the happenings of this week – and it continues to eat at me.
It breaks my heart to see you hurting, it breaks my heart to see your sorrow, most of all, it breaks my heart to the very core to see the world attack who you are. It breaks my heart that we allow it to make us forget who we are.
I began this post with sharing a short list of a couple of the things that I believe all women are. And although I so strongly believe them to be true, I do not define you, nor does a single person on this earth.
You are the woman you are through the love that breathes life into you at every moment of the day. You are a uniquely designed woman, and you have been since the dawn of creation (Jeremiah 1:5).
But our understanding of who we are as women is so often attacked and morphed by the examples that the world offers us. Our strength is displayed in rage, in vulgarity, in “reclaiming” the insults thrown at us. And It breaks my heart to see false icons and labels become what we turn to.
I saw the march in which you all so beautifully came together from a distance, yet, I was greatly saddened at the underlying anger and despair.
I thought about whether or not we had been given another way, whether or not we have been provided with a truly whole example of womanhood and strength. How we could navigate womanhood when the world hands us false inferiority and Beyoncé.
And despite Beyoncé’s widespread influence, I thought of someone regarded as the most powerful woman in the world, Mary, our mother. I thought of her gentleness, and her strength, so beautifully mingling – the way she embraced her womanhood and her feminine genius as she was attacked by the world around her.
She reminds me to strive in these moments, and she allows me to rest in her loving gaze in the same way my savior did. I look to what Mary did when she was caught in between such commotion – she pondered things in her heart.
Women, when I see you hurting, I wonder what sort of pondering takes place in your hearts. I pray that your first thought may be a reminder of who you are. I pray that you become so deeply rooted in the reality that the Lord has called you His, so much so that no comment made by any being may take that away from you. That you may never need to reclaim a title, because every fiber of your being has already been claimed by that of daughter. I pray that we may be kind to one another, that our empowerment may never fall on the insult or destruction of another, just as our very nature is creative. I pray that we may not resort to anger, but that we sow kindness. I pray that your ponderings may be constructive and goal oriented, that they may lead you to transform the world.
Women, I write this tonight, because I know you are greater than any obstacle that could ever be placed in your way. I write this tonight because I know who you are, and I can only begin to imagine the wonders that you were made for. I think of the time spent in anger and in shouting, and I hope for the time spent with Love Himself.
I write to you tonight to remind you that need not be anything other than what you are to transform the world. I see your hurt, and I invite you to rest. I ask you to ponder. I beg you to turn our hurt into inconceivable love. I implore you to embrace your God-given gifts with charity and transform our culture, inspired by the one who shows us the way – not always what the world throws at you.
I oftentimes giggle at the amount of times I hear this Saint Catherine of Siena quote tossed around, but never has it seemed more fitting… “Become who you are meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” Women, the world needs you. Not what you have – who you are.
You are not nasty. You are fierce, bold, beautiful, brilliant, and you are loved.