My husband and I recently made a trip to our nation’s capital primarily to partake in the beauty of the cherry blossoms. I expected crowds and history lessons, but what I didn’t expect was the empowering reality check I walked away with as a woman.
Everywhere I turned, I seemed to be confronted with the influence and impact women have made in our history.
Here’s just a little taste:
Vietnam Women’s Memorial- dedicated to the 265,000 women who served in the Vietnam War. The names of eight women can be found on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall hidden amongst thousands of male names. The efforts of these women shouldn’t be overlooked as these military nurses died during the war while ministering to the wounded.
The efforts of Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist- born into slavery, escaped and purposefully returned thirteen times to lead seventy additional slaves to freedom. She was instrumental in creating a network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad and was a fierce activist for women's rights. After her death, she became an American icon of courage and freedom.
The passion of Pocahontas - a young Indian woman who by challenging her father, Chief Powhatan saved the life of Colonist John Smith. She was considered by Colonial Virginians to be a savior of their entire colony! She was an essential bridge between these two civilizations and became the first Native American to be honored on a U.S. stamp.
The courage of Haviva Reik - a young woman who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II to work with local resistance efforts against German occupation. She established a camp for escaped Russian prisoners of war and helped to organize a Jewish resistance unit. The Germans eventually captured Reik, and she was executed for her resistance efforts.
The tenacity of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an early leader of the woman's rights movement. Stanton was an eloquent writer and wrote not only the Declaration of Sentiments as a call to arms for female equality she also co-wrote The Woman's Bible, which highlighted the ideals that the Bible and organized religion played a significant role in the denial of women's rights.
Although we cannot dispute that religion has been used throughout history to twist and promote evil agendas- we shouldn't dismiss the positive attributes the Bible brings especially through the lives of Biblical women.
In a prior series of articles, I expanded on the women of the Bible that epitomized integrity, courage, dignity, capability, and leadership. Women of diligence and bravery that model the characteristics of strong women that are still relevant trailblazers to us today:
Esther- A woman of valor (A Courage to Act)
Ruth- A woman of loyalty & character (A Woman of Character)
Deborah- A natural leader (A Mark of Leadership)
Martha of Bethany- A faith warrior (A Measure of Faith)
Rebekah- A woman of compassion & kindness (An Act of Kindness)
Abigail- A woman of diplomacy & peace (Breakers, Fakers & Makers)
(Articles are linked above for your convenience.)
Here is my take away from all this history- the common thread all of these women...
They were all imperfect, filled with flaws and fears- yet, they possessed courage, bravery and the belief that their actions would have an impact.
They believed they could make a difference, they believed in a cause, they believed in themselves, AND they acted.
Their impact continues to ripple throughout history. And guess what?
We too have the power to impact… we are just as capable as the women who have gone before us- all we need to do is BELIEVE.
Believe in ourselves and never underestimate the power
we have within these feminine walls.
Father, thank you that you have created women to be influencers. It is through your design that we are more than capable of overcoming any obstacle placed before us- we are fierce, strong, brave, vigilant and mighty. When we believe in your promises and believe in the abilities that we possess, we can influence the world!
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her." ~ Luke 1:45