With it being Women’s Month, I really wanted to do a piece which would empower my readers. Initially I wanted to celebrate the month with an interview of a successful woman. Someone who could encourage us and point us to the path of true success.
In my mind, I had a few candidates who would perfectly fit the profile. My plan was to share her testimony and success story. Someone who has a lengthy list of accomplishments and achievements. We would have been left tremendously encouraged and ready to take on the world, it was going to be great!
But when I started to look at various Women’s Month campaigns, all the posts I found, fit the same mould. Successful and empowered women encouraging other successful and empowered women, businesswomen uplifting other businesswomen. The pattern was always the same. The same women, the same faces, the same message, different platforms.
Now do not get me wrong, all these incredible women have earned the right to these platforms and many of them do have amazing and powerful messages to share. But I felt the timing was not in sync with what I wanted to drive. It occurred to me that most women out there are not in positions of power, neither are they all successful businesswoman trying to grow their networks.
In fact, most women out there are normal, ordinary women just trying to get by. We work, we stay at home, we are wives, we are mothers, we cook, we clean, we face problem after problem, we look after our families and in the morning, it starts all over again.
When we look at our own lives, how many times have we compared our ordinary life with someone living an extraordinary one. How many times, myself included, do we look at all the incredibly successful women in the world and wonder why can’t I be there, what have I done wrong that I cannot reach the same success? And then, what do we do, we try to make changes to our lives by trying to replicate their success, only to hopelessly fail? Right? ?
As much as we want to look up to. And mould our lives around those who have found material success. We need to realise that we already have greatness within us, we just need to find it. The thing about success, is that it looks different to different people. The problem is that we are conditioned to only recognise success in material form. (Wow, that was a mouthful, you welcome to read that again! ?)
So, based on this, I spent some time thinking over it. And praying for a word to share with you for Women’s Month. God gave me the following portion of scripture…
Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, they will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”
So, they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so, the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labour the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
So, God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.EXODUS 1:8-21
Now these 2 women, Shiphrah and Puah are not names we often come across. In fact, I have never heard of their names until I came across this chapter. I am sure I read over these verses time and time again and never truly appreciated the gravity of what their roles were in the history of the Israelites.
When you think of it, how foolish was Pharaoh to think that a woman would go against her natural instincts and destroy the very thing she was designed to protect with her very life, an innocent child?
But what we see, when we really look at Shiphrah and Puah’s lives, is two ordinary women who played an extraordinary role by being faithful to God and just doing their job.
These exceptional women made a moral choice that even though what Pharaoh asked them to do was barbaric and evil, they made a concerted effort to listen to their hearts and conscience and went directly against the authority of their wicked leader. And they were rewarded by God for their efforts.
The greatness of these two women was not in their position of power or success. But in their simple job of helping women during childbirth. They will forever be recorded in history as the women who single handily aided a great nation to be born.
It may seem like a simple, ordinary life, but like Shiphrah and Puah, you too are part of a bigger, a greater story. It does not mean that millions of people are not applauding or following you, that what you are doing is anything less important. You are raising a family, you are taking care of the future generation. You are building up and inspiring all those around you, by simply being you.
Have you ever heard an accomplished person be interviewed? Ever notice that in most cases when asked who can be attributed for their success, the answer is always the same? My mother, my father, my grandmother, my brother, my sister, my teacher, my best friend. It is always someone else who has been an inspiration to them.
Well, this is my message, this is who I want to honour for Women’s Month. The ordinary women who are doing extraordinary things. The ones who are the inspiration for greatness. This Women’s Month I want to honour the millions of women who are just doing what they were called to do.
I want to honour the working mother who is juggling her career and household, the single mother who works herself to the bone to put food on the table. I want to honour the stay at home mums who often go un-noticed. The faithful wife who is holding her family together. I also want to honour the women who are not mothers but look after their entire family. I want to honour all the women out there who are doing amazing jobs in the many roles they have.
Keep going, never give up no matter how great or small the role, remember there is a much greater and bigger picture that you are a part of.
Moses famously asked God at the foot of the burning bush…
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”Exodus 3:11
If I leave you with anything today let it be this…It’s not who you are and what you are capable of doing or not doing, it is about who God is and what He can do through you.
God’s response to Moses was simply…
And God said, “I will be with you.”Exodus 3:12
This month do not look down on yourself because you are comparing yourself to someone else. Do not feel down because have not achieved all that you would like to. You are exactly where God wants you to be. He will bless you, increase your borders and give you more than you expected, if you remain faithful to Him and stay true to your call. Happy Women’s Month, God is with you!