This last week was International Women’s Day. I’ve always disliked IWD because I never felt I needed a day to validate my existence and confidence in who I am.
But this year, I’m excited about it. It's a wonderful opportunity to share with you a personal story of how I found my #girlpower.
I’ve struggled with liking myself my whole life. So many people tried to define me. I was bullied and called names. And those names turned into little voices I fight inside my head. I deal with them every single day. “You’re fat. You’re lazy. You’re not enough. You’re not worthy.”
And sometimes they all get together and have a party up there in my brain. That's always fun. *sarcasm*
For years I listened to them but all I got in return was an eating disorder, anxiety, grief, dissatisfaction, and a bunch of other things. I am slowly learning to rid them out of my life, but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
I made the classical female mistake--I thought if I worked hard enough and dedicated myself to perfection, I would attain it.
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in hard work, self-improvement, a healthy lifestyle, and doing my best to the best I can. But I believe in doing it for the right reasons.
This is so important on IWD because I see women every day who don’t know who they are. I think this is why we have events like International Woman’s Day. It's because so many women feel inadequate. And by having a “day” they can celebrate their feelings and receive validation. I get that, I truly do.
As a woman who has been writing about women’s issues for over 10 years, I think it all comes down to one big issue:
most women struggle to experience the depth of their own worth.
Toxic Sexual Relationships
These are just a few habits women engage in when they don’t understand who they are.
Regardless of faith or background, all of us are searching for this answer. Some of us blame men, others blame the church, history, some say its politicians, some blame modern-day feminism.
The truth is, the answer to where our worth comes from and how we tap into it has actually been right in front of us the whole time. (SPOILER ALERT! Our worth isn’t in the feminist movement.)
Worth isn’t in your womb.
Worth is not in your job or career.
It’s not in your ability to give life.
Your worth is not found in your looks.
Your worth is not your paycheck.
Your worth is not your body.
Your worth is not in #girlpower hashtags.
Your worth is not in clothing,
status, popularity, friends, or any other
thing you can possibly think of.
These are all part of WHAT we are.
But your real value is knowing WHO you are in Jesus Christ.
This is a huge sentence to comprehend, I understand. But let's explore it.
God created woman in His own image, giving her the mindfulness and reflection of the Deity.
This verse alone gives you all the #girlpower you will ever need!
You are made in the IMAGE OF GOD. Wow. Your form reflects the beautiful side of God. Your ability to give life comes reflects God’s power in giving humanity life. Your unique biology, your spirit, your skills, and gifts--they all come from God and are part of His image manifested in a human woman.
God is not like any other man you have ever known. The world objectifies women, Satan hates us, men are still sexist and abusive. But only God could look at a woman and say, YOU are in the image of the God of the Universe. YOU are my daughter, my princess. YOU are worthy because I love you and I give you value. YOU are valued, and I proved that by dying for YOU.
I used to reject the things that made me a woman because I thought that they made me vulnerable and susceptible to abuse. Once I realized who they came from and that God gave me a powerful purpose in life, I was free to be me. I didn’t need a movement to save me or a hashtag to define me because I had God crown me with dignity, value, and purpose in this life and the next!
You are worthy because you have a God who loves you!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
You are worthy because God said,
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Psalm 139:14
You are worthy because God says,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
You are worthy because God died FOR YOU.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us…” 1 John 3:16
You are worthy because God says He made you beautiful,
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11
If women celebrating International Women’s Day would understand God’s deep love and honor He has for them, feminism, hurt, pain, and self-rejection would crumble overnight.
We are seeking the answer to our identity in all the wrong places.
Human rights are important and we should advocate for them, but we can’t truly live or offer freedom to those in bondage if we don’t know who our Rescuer is.
Happy International Women’s Day, sisters!
Don't forget who you belong to!