I love seeing International Women’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on the past and where we’ve come from, while also looking ahead to what we can still do to make sure women and men have equal opportunity to bring their unique contribution to the world, without privilege or persecution. I am proud to be a woman, but like most women I know, have experienced challenges based on people’s perceptions of gender and how they thought I should look or act, or which roles I should aspire to in my life based on the fact that I am a woman.
I think the one word I would convey to people, both women and men, boys and girls, this International Women’s Day, is that you are enough. God sees you and he loves you just as you are. I, in fact, believe he has made you and given you everything you need to be all that you desire to be in your life.
This International Women’s Day I want to honour and celebrate all the women who are thoughtfully, intentionally, passionately and prayerfully going after everything that is in their heart to bring to the world. Whether it’s in business, family, work, leadership or ministry, I am here today cheering for you and reminding you that you have been given everything you need to accomplish what you feel called to bring to the world. Whether it’s an entrepreneurial enterprise, a strong family, a contribution to your local community and the social fabric of your sphere of influence, senior leadership in the corporate sector or not-for-profit space or church and ministry leadership that’s on your heart, your contribution is NECESSARY.
To the men who empower women in your world, don’t get tired or give up! Your contribution is equally necessary in a world where men have throughout history been automatically given more power, influence and authority than women, simply based on their gender. I am so grateful for the men in my life who have not only empowered me to bring my unique contribution to the world, but have gone above and beyond by taking a step backwards in their own career trajectory in order to reset the equilibrium as their own contribution toward equality for women.
Let me finish by saying this: Jesus, the person throughout history who I personally allow to have the most influence into my thinking and actions, spent his short time on earth beginning the work of turning a culture where women had little value, power or opportunity to better themselves and their families, upside down. And here’s what he said about you being enough: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.”
In these words lie the answer to feeling overwhelmed as a mum of young kids or a woman juggling the tension of solo parenting or work and study. Here is how we can carry a grace for dealing with infertility, or relationship breakdown, or the toxicity and evil of abuse in all its forms. Here is how we find our calling and become reinspired that we are, in fact, enough. We bring our full selves, simply, honestly, authentically, just as we are, to the God who loves us. We pour our hearts out to him and just watch how he begins to build us back up again when we empty our hearts out to him.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Ps. Rachel Main