Who runs the world?

prayers for my girls

I may not agree with ALL of the lyrics in Ms. Beyoncé’s anthem; however, it is indeed a remarkable and powerful thing to be a woman.

Some think being female makes us weak by default when, in fact, it is just the opposite.  There is such strength in pain and love and vulnerability.  I pray you find this within yourself.  I pray you understand that strength is so much more than physicality.

Some feel it is your job to be quiet and demur.  I pray you find and use your voice.  Your words and your story have power.  I pray you never fear either one.

Some may feel they have been granted access to your body just because you’re a girl.  This is not limited to men who are lustful with their words or hands.  Women, too, can feel it is their right to judge one another and comment on or correct certain body types.  Some people also tend to think pregnancy gives them automatic license to touch and to comment.  I pray you handle these situations with grace and wisdom and your body with great care.  Your body is yours and no one else’s.  Protect it.

I pray you take pride in your body and all the amazing things it can do.  Three things have taught me just how truly wonderfully made we really are: yoga, running a marathon, and pregnancy and childbirth.  These things repaired the hatred and distrust I had for my own body after the miscarriages and failed infertility treatments.  I’m not suggesting you take up yoga and running or that these things will save you from ever hating or distrusting your body, although I pray you never have to experience that.  You will find your own things that heal you and make you feel strong, things that show you the wonder and joy in growth and movement.  Your body is strong and beautiful and perfect no matter its shape or size.  I pray you love it well.

It is easy to feel at fault when your body doesn’t do what you want it to or what you think it’s supposed to, especially when the media or the opinions of small-minded individuals are taken into consideration.  However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Your body is how it is meant to be.  You may need to find another way to achieve your goals, or maybe it simply isn’t your path and you need to move on.  Either way, I pray you can be patient with yourself.  Forgive yourself, and allow yourself the time you need to heal.

Creating and nurturing life is one of the greatest parts of being a woman, and that’s not exclusive to pregnancy.  Adopting, fostering, wifing, sistering, friending are all pieces of the creation puzzle.  Loving well and allowing others into your heart and soul is also creation.  This is our gift, our sustenance, our purpose.  I pray you always find a way to forgive and let others in, even when you’ve been hurt.

I pray you embrace the joy and pain and wonder and fear and power that is being a woman.  It can feel a heavy burden at times, but I promise that’s all part of it.  We were made to do hard things, and I pray you can see the honor and privilege it is to be a girl, even when you want to hate it.  You are lovely.  You are a child of God.  You are a joy and a miracle.  I pray you remember these things when you are in the thick of it, in the battlefield, deep in the trenches.  I pray that you remember who loves you and who you are – or, at least, that you’ll allow me to remind you.