Recently I have been coming across a lot of inspirational stories about women who are making an impact in the world today. Some of the most inspiring stories I came across include that of Sara Blakely (Spanx), Barbara Uchenna Okereke (Oven Secret Nigeria) and our very own Tererai Trent (Author, Scholar, and Humanitarian). You can click on the links to get more details about their stories. The one thing I picked from their stories is that success takes courage, self-belief, and commitment to your vision. Seeing all these inspirational stories brought to mind some amazing women in the Bible. I was drawn to three particular women namely Deborah, Esther, and Abigail.
As I took the time to revisit each of their stories, I found myself intrigued and challenged at the same time. Deborah (Judges 4 & 5) was a prophetess, a ruler and judge of Israel at the time. She even went to war with the army of Israel against Sisera after Barak a Hebrew warrior she had summoned said he would only go if she went with him. Esther (Esther 1-10) was an orphan who went on to become the Queen of Persia and eventually saved the lives of the Jews after Haman tried to have them all annihilated. Abigail (1 Samuel 25) was the wife of a rich but foolish man called Nabal who almost got his whole family killed by King David. Yet, because Abigail was a wise woman with the knowledge of God, she was able to intercede and save her family from David’s wrath. In the process, she also kept David from sinning by taking vengeance on Nabal.
My study revealed the following attributes in these three women, they were
– In authority
One phrase to summarize it all is that they were ‘women of influence’. Looking at all these women I had one question for myself – what am I doing to make a difference and be relevant in my generation? It is good to read other people’s stories but at some point, I have to start writing my own story. Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Noble Prize correctly, explained this when she said: “We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” In other words, when belief is there, courage is inevitable. You can accomplish anything you set out to do.
My message to my fellow women is let’s get up and get busy. It is time to defy the odds, believe in yourself and realize that if other women can do it, then so can you. Make every moment count because while some are busy daydreaming others are busy being the Deborah’s and Esther’s of our generation.
So I say to you today;
- Do not wait for people’s approval you might wait a life time and still not get it
- Do not be afraid to fail, remember a righteous man will fall seven times (completely) and even get up
- Do not be scared to start small most great ideas started small and remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
- Do not be afraid to start again if something does not work out…learn from your mistakes try again until you get it right
- Always celebrate even the small successes; you are competing against yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
Keep wise company, surround yourself with people who inspire, motivate and push you to be better every single day. The company you keep says a lot about who you and how far you will go in life. Keep to mind the quote that says ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’. Stay clear of people like those ten cowardly spies of Israel (Numbers 13) who came with a bad report and could only see the impossible. People like that will discourage you, pull you down and tell you that what you are trying to do is impossible. Instead surround yourself with people like Joshua and Caleb, who will encourage you and tell you that you can do it as long as you set your heart to archive it. They will tell you that nothing is impossible and if it has been impossible to date, then you can be like the Wright brothers, you keep trying till you prove to everyone that man can fly.
Fellow women let’s share ideas, build one another, impart knowledge and share a skill. Be your sister’s keeper. Let’s support and applaud those among us who are rising the ladder, making it big, achieving great things while making big money in the process. Let’s celebrate the women doing it and also take notes. Together we can make a difference.