Spirit – Sup­port­ive women

Pas­tor Pushie Wat­son on why women are POW­ER­FUL yet gen­tle

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I’IMBOKODO — STRONG WOMEN

The com­mon be­lief that women are strong is spot on. But we are even stronger than we know. When God got ready to cre­ate a woman, He only used a bone, not flesh. Bone is the strong­est el­e­ment of the body; so strong that it vir­tu­ally can­not be bro­ken in the same place twice. You can break the same bone, but once it’s fully healed, it will be thicker, denser and stronger in the re­gion where the first frac­ture took place, mak­ing the chances of break­ing it in ex­actly the same spot twice very nearly zero. That is how strong a woman is. A woman will carry and give birth both phys­i­cally and spir­i­tu­ally, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously look­ing af­ter her other chil­dren — even if she is forced to do it alone. She will lay aside feel­ings of lone­li­ness, iso­la­tion and ne­glect for the prece­dence of what she be­lieves lies ahead. She knows that giv­ing birth to her baby, her pur­pose, her call­ing and all that lies within her means there are some things no­body can do for her. When it comes down to it, she will muster the strength to push out what God has placed within her.

And yet she is ten­der at the same time — strong on the out­side, but soft on the in­side. She is both pow­er­ful and gen­tle. She pos­sesses a strong mind but a soft heart, be­cause she was created from a man’s rib (the same rib that cov­ers and pro­tects the heart). A woman was made to be loved. God did not take her from the head, to stand above a man. Nor from the foot, to be be­neath him, but from the heart so she could be along­side him, and be loved and pro­tected.

Mosadi o tshwara thipa ka bo­haleng

Women are in­deed a won­der. To those still won­der­ing why there’s a whole month ded­i­cated to South African women, the re­al­ity is this: For most of the year, month af­ter month, day af­ter day, women put every­one be­fore them­selves. She sup­ports his dream, takes care of her chil­dren, is there for her friends and fam­ily

If you’re not go­ing to win the race, don’t trip the sis­ter in front of you. Push her over the fin­ish line so she breaks the record.

and runs her home like a For­tune 500 com­pany with­out ever de­mand­ing pay, over­time, re­ward, recog­ni­tion, or a day off. She is sim­ply aware of all that’s ex­pected of her be­cause we’ve been con­di­tioned to be de­fined by our roles, of­ten at the ex­pense of the well-be­ing of our souls. Af­ter many years of liv­ing for every­one other than for our­selves, our own iden­tity some­times eludes us.

And no mat­ter where I go — from Africa to Amer­ica — the sto­ries are the same. Ev­ery con­fer­ence I speak at, no mat­ter where in the world, I see the same woman. Dif­fer­ent coun­try, dif­fer­ent eco­nomic back­ground but same story. We are more sim­i­lar than we are dif­fer­ent.

I can dis­tinctly re­call when I first started speak­ing at women’s con­fer­ences a lit­tle over 10 years ago. I had to work hard to con­vince my lis­ten­ers that we are beau­ti­ful. Self-con­fi­dence was mis­taken for ar­ro­gance and it was al­most more ac­cept­able to put one­self down, as if life hadn’t al­ready done enough of that. I re­mem­ber hav­ing to be per­sis­tent in my mes­sage that, re­gard­less of race, shape or eth­nic­ity, we were all beau­ti­fully, fear­fully and won­der­fully made in the im­age and like­ness of God. And although it was ini­tially re­ceived with hes­i­ta­tion, I per­se­vered. I con­tin­ued to speak what I be­lieved to be true un­til I be­gan to wit­ness a grad­ual rise of the self­es­teem of women ev­ery­where. Soon we were no longer skat­ing gen­tly on the sur­face, but could go deeper into the heart of the mat­ter that had clouded the true essence of our strength and beauty. How we feel about our­selves on the out­side of­ten be­gins way down on the in­side. Even­tu­ally I saw us be­gin to reach a place where our self­worth didn’t rest on the opin­ions of oth­ers.

As women we have evolved. We have come a long way. And yet we strive to be bet­ter. There is some­thing mag­i­cal about the tenac­ity of a woman that does not per­mit her to quit. In all of her chal­lenges, she has some­how man­aged to raise politi­cians, doc­tors, busi­ness­men, pres­i­dents and world-chang­ers, and is of­ten at the helm of a suc­cess story. And the world has taken no­tice. Right here in South Africa, we have be­gun the di­a­logue for equal­ity. Gender par­ity is about equal recog­ni­tion, ac­cess, op­por­tu­nity, and free­dom from sys­temic prej­u­dices. Noth­ing about it denotes re­verse ad­van­tage. Women are not ask­ing to ad­vance at the ex­pense of the male gender, just sim­ply seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­cel in their gifts. In a cul­ture of ‘blessers’, ‘slay queens’ and so­cial me­dia, if women strive to be con­fi­dent, we will be af­forded the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as our male coun­ter­parts, with the same pay for the same po­si­tions. We will not tol­er­ate or even suc­cumb to the risk of po­ten­tially abu­sive re­la­tion­ships in ex­change for a de­signer hand­bag, rent money, car, bond pay­ment, or child sup­port, be­cause we will be able to af­ford all of those on our own.

My prayer is that we one day be af­forded the same op­por­tu­ni­ties to be bosses, CEOs, man­ag­ing di­rec­tors, busi­ness own­ers, em­ploy­ers, se­nior pas­tors and min­is­ters be­cause none of these po­si­tions re­quire any­thing that a woman does not pos­sess, or would not be able to ac­quire with proper ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing. When a so­ci­ety is so­lic­it­ing from only one half of their gender pop­u­la­tion, they are al­ready at a deficit. The na­tion that mas­ters the abil­ity to ex­plore the full po­ten­tial within both their male and fe­male pop­u­la­tion, will be in a league be­yond any other that is still pool­ing from only one half of their cit­i­zens.

The word of God is full of great ex­am­ples of pow­er­ful women who, de­spite chal­lenges and op­po­si­tion, were able to rise be­yond their tri­als to be the cat­a­lysts that change cities and save en­tire na­tions. From the woman at the well with a ques­tion­able past, who got an en­tire city in Sa­maria saved, to Es­ther who used her beauty and wis­dom to save the Jewish peo­ple from ex­e­cu­tion — the Bible is ev­i­dence that from the be­gin­ning of time to the present, we women have al­ways pos­sessed within us the abil­ity to birth, in­flu­ence and im­pact na­tions re­gard­less of tri­als.

What a glo­ri­ous time to be fe­male. I am so proud to be a woman. I to­tally adore and am in­spired by the beauty and re­silience of women across the globe.

So while it’s be­com­ing ‘fash­ion­able’ to em­ploy and pro­mote women into se­nior po­si­tions, let us as women not only co-op­er­ate with gender par­ity by as­sist­ing each other to rise, but let’s be the most vis­i­ble, loud­est and great­est cheer­lead­ers of each other. That PHD (Pull Her Down) syn­drome is so out­dated. This a new era where we em­power, en­cour­age and in­spire each other to greater heights and where we fix each other’s crowns with­out telling any­one that it was crooked in the first place. Your suc­cess is my suc­cess.

“If you’re not go­ing to win the race, don’t trip up the sis­ter in front of you. Push her over the fin­ish line so she breaks the world record.”

I am con­fi­dent that we can get there. I have full be­lief in our ca­pa­bil­i­ties and so does the en­emy. In fact the devil is greatly aware of a woman’s in­flu­ence and po­ten­tial. That is why he’s sought to op­press and sup­press us for so long in hope that we never dis­cover who we are. But the devil is de­feated. We are strong, we are pow­er­ful, we are amaz­ing. So to all the strong women out there...

Happy Women’s Month. Love ya, P

‘There’s some­thing mag­i­cal about the tenac­ity of a woman that does not per­mit her to quit in all her chal­lenges.

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