Take Heart!


Sisters, mothers, and daughters,

My heart has been very heavy the last week or so listening to the Church’s response to ugly words and actions towards women by one of our presidential candidates. I have been feeling the need for some encouragement. So I’m writing some — to you and to myself, too.

Women, we are valuable. God fashioned us with His fingers, shaped each of us in our mothers’ wombs, and blessed us with His Spirit. He Breathes His Spirit into us. God delights in us; He rejoices over us with singing.

Women, we are strong. Every day we birth new humans. We withstand terribly difficult pregnancies, sacrificing our bodies for the next generation. We care for our families and we work outside the home to give our children the gift of food and houses and strong professional role models. We give up careers to give our children the gift of our constant presence and availability and strong homemaking role models. We sacrifice the idea of families altogether and focus on the differences we are making in the world outside our homes. We support our family and friends through divorces, deaths, stress. We fill in for brothers and sisters when they need help. We ask when we need help.

Women, we are smart. We go to school, we run businesses, we lead churches, we provide hospitality, we teach children (our own and others’), we work in hospitals, we support our husbands, we run homes, we invent things, we research, we write, we design. We graduate high school, college, and grad school at ever higher numbers.

Women, we are complete people. Every woman that we see sexed up to sell hamburgers – she is not just someone’s daughter – she is a complete person on her own. She has a favorite color, a favorite way to relax, hobbies, a soul that needs love and care, same as ours. She is one of us. We are whole people and we will not be objectified, made to think that we can only be defined and valued based on our attractiveness to or interactions with men.

Women, we are united. There is no division among us. We are all sisters. We all lift each other up. We all work together to be heard in meetings and to get our babies fed. We all protect each other from dangerous men, gather to support sisters who were hurt, and support them as they heal and (we hope) press charges.

Women, we are waking up. We are realizing that we have been oppressed. We are finding our voices to say, “No more!” We are loving our husbands with peace and humility and we are leaving those husbands who are refusing to stop abusing us. We are realizing that abuse doesn’t always look like bruises and broken bones – sometimes it looks like control, pervasive belittling, and constant threats. We are quitting jobs where we are consistently harassed. We are leaving churches that teach us that our voices are inherently sinful and must not be used in public. We are speaking up when we hear people telling our daughters that their well being and safety is worth trading for political power.

Women, we have God in us. He fills us with His Spirit and Gifts and Love. We are co-heirs with Christ. We will judge the angels. On this earth, we are sharing in the humility and service of Jesus; and on the New, we will share in His glory (and, I expect, serve and love even better than we do now).

Women, we are sisters of Aslan — we are daughters of the Emperor-over-the-Sea. And He is on the move.

Published by Nikki Holland

I am a Quaker wife, mother, pastor, and writer. I work as the country branch director of a fabulous NGO in Belize City and I recently graduated with an MDiv from Earlham School of Religion. I love my family, and I love my community.

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