This is for all the women who have ever been held back because of her gender:
I am a woman.
Beautiful, strong, and kind.
Teacher. Leader. Educator. God lover.
Spiritual. Emotional. Trying not to be cynical.
Because there are people who don’t see me for the person that I am – inside.
They see me as one-dimensional. Daughter of Eve. High heels. Tight jeans.
Sometimes I like red lips and too much mascara.
They see my womanhood as a threat. A temptress. Seductive.
Even with 30 extra pounds and graying hair, I’m a distraction. A nuisance.
Am I a disturbance? Someone to put on a shelf. Not needed. Not appreciated. Not valued. Not included.
I am feminine. I am a mother. Daughter. Friend. Human being.
My voice matters. My opinions are valuable and significant. My ideas are worthy and creative.
I am NOT Charlie Brown’s teacher – open your ears and listen.
My existence should be praised. Honored.
If my presence makes you uncomfortable, that is on you – not me.
I will not apologize for my body type and my hair length.
Women are not just curves and shapes in clothing.
We are brains, strength, power.
If you would see us for who we are, not what we look like, you could learn.
I could teach you.
You could see that we could have a seat at the table. SHOULD have a seat at the table.
The lies need to be silenced and you should awaken to the truth, that I – that women – can do and be ANYTHING.
We are enough. I am enough.
Man – YOU are enough.
If you believe that, you wouldn’t be threatened by ME.
This beautiful post originally appeared on my friend Amber Jone’s Facebook timeline, where she regularly ministers with inspiring and encouraging messages. Her husband Dale and my husband Logan grew up together and remain close friends. Both Amber and Dale are pastors at Forest Park Church in Elizabeth City, NC. Her bio on their website says: “[Amber’s] role is to provide creativity and style to Forest Park, during the weekend services and online. Amber has a passion for the Arts and is talented in many aspects, including music, drama, design, fashion, and social media. She has been singing in churches since she was eight years old and has served on Praise and Worship teams since she was a teenager. She is passionate about seeing people recognize the love and grace that is offered through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Her other passions include her family, music, Ecuador missions, friends, and shoes. Amber married the love of her life, Dale Jones, in May 2001. They both share the love of music and have ministered together through singing since they met. They both serve as Worship leaders in the FPC Worship Band. Her heart also belongs to two other guys – her sons Barrett, born in 2004, and Chandler, born in 2007. Amber earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and was employed by the Elizabeth City Pasquotank Schools from 1999-2004. In 2004, she became a stay-at-home mom. Amber’s favorite passage of scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!'”
Her post also included this disclaimer: “This is not about the men close to me. I am surrounded in my inner circle with men who are very supportive of me and women in general.” What a gift!
And I can’t leave this post up without also blessing you with Amber and her brother Ricky Braddy’s beautiful singing in a service at FPC (posted by their mom, of course!):