Apparently, some Jewish men would wake up each morning and pray, “Thank you God for not making me a woman.” It makes me incredibly sad to think that like them, there are still too many men today who cannot imagine that being a woman can be just as exciting and energising and amazing as being a man, or react as if being likened to a woman is the worst kind of insult. And it breaks my heart that there are too many women around the world who have been made to feel less than their brothers: less valuable, less loved, less called, less empowered, less worthy. Because nothing could be further from the truth.
This International Women’s Day I am thanking God for making me a woman.
I am thanking God for the delight and privilege it is to embody my life and calling as a daughter of the King. For the exhilarating journey it has been to embrace my calling as a woman in ministry and a woman in leadership.
I am thanking God that on the day of creation He made both female and male in His image and called us to serve and steward this world He had made.
I am thanking God that on the day of His resurrection He invited both women and men to share in and tell of the new kind of life He had made possible.
I am thanking God that on the day of Pentecost He poured out His Spirit on both His daughters and His sons, young and old, empowering them to live out and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.
I am thanking God that on the day when all things will be set right there will full unity and equality between women and men, from every tribe and every tongue, as together we experience the fulfilment and flourishing of all His good purposes.
I am thanking God that I get to live as a woman at a time when women are raising their voices and telling their stories and naming their outrage and stepping out into their calling and using their gifts and refusing to be silenced, pigeonholed, or overlooked.
I am thanking God that although I have never wanted to see myself as a ‘pioneer’ or ‘trailblazer’, that in my little corner of the world I have had the privilege of being the first woman to take on a number of roles and accomplishments. I am thanking God for opening doors that even I couldn’t see, for breaking down barriers before I realised they were there, for giving His grace to walk the road before I knew how difficult it could be, and for pouring out His joy and delight as I step into all He has for me.
I am thanking God for the many men who are my colleagues, peers, friends, and brothers, who have supported and encouraged, championed and advocated for me, and at times stood aside to give me ‘their’ place, who continue to respect and work alongside me as their equal, who listen to and learn from me, who honour and embrace my calling and my contributions.
I am thanking God for the many women who are my sisters, confidantes, mentors and mentees, who inspire and challenge me, who look up to and walk alongside me, who delight in and delight me, who enlarge my own imagination as they model all the different ways they are called to flourish as women of God, who show me more and more of how thankful we can be for God’s gift of making, equipping, calling, and delighting in us as women.
And I am thanking God that although there is still plenty of work to be done for us to lift up and embrace, include and hear His daughters all around the world, that His heart has always been and will always be towards and for them, and that He has made each of us women according to His will and for His good purpose in this world.
Thank you God for making me a woman.
Thank you God for making women.
Thank you God for women.