We should be thankful for women like Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, Florence Nightingale, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Billie Jean King, Oprah and so many more.
But we should also be thankful for the women whose names we don’t know.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a celebration that I didn’t really know existed. Apparently it’s been around since the beginning of the 1900s, though. While it is more of a recognition of the achievements women have made socially, politically and economically, it made me think more about why women should feel special simply for being the individuals they are rather than the things they’ve done over the years.
After all, not to pull the princess card, but we are daughters of the King.
There are two women in my life who have impacted me in more ways than I could ever actually explain: my mom and my sister. My mom is the most genuine and caring person you will ever meet. She is the epitome of what love is. She doesn’t know how to say mean things about people, and she doesn’t even have the desire to. And she’s a fighter. She never gets discouraged when people shoot her down; instead, she just stands right back up and tries again. She never stops trying.
My sister is a complete Godsend to the world. She is always there for me. She will drop everything when I need her–whether it’s to drive with me to Tennessee, sit with me in a hospital room or wake up at a ridiculous time (for her, anyway) to come cheer me on at a race. And that is only a small list of things. She is more selfless than I’ve ever known how to be, and she never changes who she is for anyone or anything. She’s a gem and the one person I can never stay upset with for long at all. I cherish every moment I get with her, because she makes absolutely every moment count.
I think women are so much more than many of them allow themselves to be. I wish I didn’t see so many young women and even adult women trying to change who they are to try to please others. You were uniquely made to be you for a reason–so don’t walk away from that. This is what I would like to say to all women if I were able to speak to all of them at once:
You are valued. Sometimes you will hear about lists that rank people’s net worths–especially when they’re in the billions. Guess what? None of that matters. And you are worth more than that–but not in a financial sense. Don’t ever feel like you have to prove your worth to anyone, and don’t ever settle for anyone or anything. You are too valued, and your heart is too valuable.
You are loved. There might be times in life when you feel all alone and not truly cared for in this world. Please don’t listen to that voice telling you that you aren’t good enough. There is One who loves you like no one ever can or will. Listen to His voice–it will never steer you wrong. And there are people who genuinely love you unconditionally. Your time line of love and what you originally thought would happen might not happen as you planned, and it might not happen at all–and that’s OK. Your sufficiency and who you are cannot be found in other people. And you know what? If you stay single forever, you’ll be fine. Your relationship status doesn’t define you, and it certainly doesn’t determine whether or not you’re loved.
You matter. Every single person in this world has importance and has the ability to make an impact. And you are no exception. You are not frail; you are not the weaker gender; you shouldn’t be used or treated as an object; you shouldn’t be silenced; you don’t deserve discouragement; you don’t deserve abuse; you don’t have to look a certain way or hang with a certain crowd; and you don’t have to try to be anyone else but you. You were created with purpose–don’t be afraid to embrace your uniqueness.
I’m glad women have a day to celebrate some major historical milestones, and I don’t want to diminish any of those achievements, but I hope we don’t forget to celebrate the everyday individuality of one another. No, we don’t need to be egocentric or over-complimentary of each other, but we need to remember that who we are is even more important than what we accomplish.
Because what’s in the heart is more powerful than what’s in the bank.