There is a lie that has transcended cultures, one that has existed almost since the beginning of time. It is a lie that feels like a reality when things get hard, or when we are told we can’t do it so we shouldn’t even try. It is a lie that comes with slogans like “women are the weaker sex” or you don’t want to do anything “like a girl.” Its a lie that some believe only men tell us, yet it falls just as powerfully from our own lips to each other, and is most paralyzing when our own brains whisper it to our hearts. The lie:

We are not strong. We who are women, are weak.

A chilling piece of fiction, it casts an effective shadow over us in our most insecure moments. It keeps us silent, when we know we need to speak. It keeps us still when we know action is needed. It keeps us sidelined when we belong in the game. But, these moments are not the majority. More often are the times when we completely forget how true the lie seemed a few minutes ago, when strength is our natural reaction, and this fiction is rendered powerless.

Like the time you sat alone in the cafeteria day after day, with no friends to sit with you, yet you held your head high anyway. The time you told him no, even though you knew it meant he wouldn’t call again. The time, after graduation, when you took a different path than all your friends. When you began to wonder why you decided to live so far away from home because you have never felt this lonely, yet you stuck it out. Or the time you felt like someone took everything out of you–either they stole your heart or your dream–and you still found a way to get out of bed in the morning.

The time you became a mom; being up all night with a baby that wouldn’t be soothed, only to get up the next morning for a long day at work. The time you worked so hard in a job you hated, to help someone else’s dream come true. The time you stood by your friend, when her husband left. The time you held things together when sickness struck your family in a way you never thought it would. The time you found a lump, and all of a sudden, you were the sick one.

The list of examples could go on and on, proving that:

Female, You are strong!

Your Creator made you strong. Whatever is making you feel otherwise, fight it by remembering your track record. Remember the times you have been strong, for yourself or for others, and know you will get through it. May you speak when you need to speak, act where you need to act, and know that you belong in the game.

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