The Strength of Women

fran thring on devotional diva

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Fran Thring; Today she shares about the mighty strength of women.]

Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.

I should be at work, but thank goodness I’m not. Instead, I’m seated in my apartment in Cape Town, South Africa in a watery spot of winter sunlight. It’s a public holiday- Women’s day. The day the government of South Africa set aside today to commemorate all the brave and strong women in our past.

Let me indulge you with a quick history lesson. I won’t be long, promise! Let’s head back to 1956 where South Africa was in the midst of Apartheid- the racial segregation system which ruled our country for 46 years. Back then, pass laws were used by the government to try and prohibit the movement of people of colour. Just imagine if you can, immigrations at the airport and then put it inside a country- yip, not a lot of fun.

This system meant if you weren’t white-skinned you had to carry passports when you moved out of your designated “homelands.” It was a whole lot of unfair, and the girls of the day were onto it, so, rallying together, 20,000 women marched to the union buildings to protest.

They left bundles of petitions with more than 100,000 signatures at the office doors of the prime minister. Take that! Then they stood for 30 minutes singing a protest song: “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.

What a great example of bravery and determination. South Africans today reflect on this event with these words: “Makabogwe Amakhosikazi,” let the contribution of women be acknowledged.

Looking back on this, as I sit in my comfortable apartment, I find a powerful resonance in the words, “now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.” Those words remind me of the many women throughout history who have chosen to stand up against injustice. I think of the many examples in the Bible, such as Abigail, whose bravery saved their families and changed the course of history.

So very often I’m overwhelmed by life, the difficulties of the daily journey, the complexities of unanswered questions and the frustrating gap between what I hope for and what I see. To be honest, getting through the day with a smile when my boss hands me more work, my friend calls with boyfriend issues, our house runs out of electricity and the chicken I bought from the store is off is a challenge.

And yet, I cannot deny that within me there is the deep desire to overcome and do something awesome.

Every day we are faced with a battle. Perhaps your battle is not one of pass laws and inequality, perhaps your battle is your kid’s mean school teacher or trying to budget for your family when everyone is so sick of beans they would rather starve. Perhaps you don’t think that overcoming these are significant or feel like a woman of much strength? You are a women of strength.

To tell the truth I don’t feel like a rock, I feel more like a ball of cookie dough that got squashed by a 2 year old’s foot. Yet, know this, you are stronger than you think you are and what you can’t manage yourself, you can do with a friend.

When we feel more exhausted than insomniac at the end of a marathon here’s a plan: let us look to the women of the past who changed history, and let us look to the many inspirational women of today to build our tenacity. Who cares what the status quo says or what Kim Kardashian is doing with her life?

Let’s be women who build up each other, find strength and unity through community and then who use that strength to break down challenges in our paths and change nations and families. Sound good? I’m in!

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Who do you encourage and walk the journey next to?
  2. What wall do you need to muster up the strength to start pulling down?
  3. Who or what inspires you to be a braver person?

fran thringEqual parts fierce, kind and fun- if I was a character in a book I would be Alice. I have an uncanny desire to live a life which bursts at the seams without falling apart and am often found with a good group of friends and a bottle of wine. I explore topics about faith, relationships and leadership and write to work out the crazy adventure we call life. Feel welcome to join me!