FYI: Title credit goes to my girl Laura. I was trying to coming up with something a little 'sweeter', but she's pretty good and getting to the point. :)
Our words carry weight.
Whether we like it or not, what speak out into the atmosphere holds a lot of power. Do you remember back when you were in 7th Grade? Ugh, I try to forget about it! But I do remember it. And not for the best of circumstances either. I remember the mean things we used to say to each other in attempt to feel superior and better than one another. I remember shrugging off the hurtful words that were said in front of all my friends, pretending like it didn’t bother me, but deep down it felt like a knife had gone through my chest. I remember walking with my head hanging low, scared to raise my voice or share my opinion, hoping to fly under the radar and survive another day without being called ‘loser’, ‘chloe-lowey’ or ‘charcoal chicken legs’.
Yes, I remember those words.
Fast forward about 10 years. I’ve graduated High School, found myself a job and ready to take on the world! Well, not really… I was actually very lost, very broken and very insecure. One woman decided to stick by my side and mentor me. She saw the potential of what I could become and so she started to pray with me, encourage and speak hope into my future. She would say things like “I believe in you!” and “You’re truly going to do amazing things.” She believed in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself. She didn’t just recognize the gift and grace over my life, she pulled it out of me.
Did I believe her at the time? Not really. But I remember her words.
This woman played a significant part in my journey to becoming who I am today. And it was her words - her spoken, aloud words of love and encouragement that have helped shape and grow me into the woman I’ve become and still am becoming.
Her words carried power, just as much as those foolish 7th graders did too.
I know we all crave the kind of love and encouragement that my mentor poured into me over all those years. So why is it that we are so quick to tear down, gossip and slander others?
Ladies, I am speaking to you.
We go to women’s conferences and networking events that are about standing together and supporting one another. We use hashtags like #communityovercompetition and #sisterhood to declare our devotion and commitment to one another. But I gotta be honest, are we letting those words lift off the pages, allowing them to settle into our hearts and minds and truly transform our #communityovercompetition spirit?
Don't just hashtag about sisterhood - live it.
Proverbs 18:21 (MSG) says ‘Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit - you choose.’ It might sound a bit dramatic, but when I think of God, in his almighty power and wisdom, how he created the very heavens and earth into existence. He didn’t wave a magic wand nor did he do a dance or write up a business plan. He spoke the earth into existence. God called Ezekiel to speak a prophetic message over the dry bones so that they would live again (Eze 37:4). Jesus says to us that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that He is Lord then we shall be saved (Rom 10:9).
For the longest time, women have been made to feel like we are pinned against each other. That we cannot be both a great mother and successful business woman. A loving wife and travelling minister. There is something so powerful that happens between women when there is no judgement, full acceptance and a raw, open and honest space for each other. There’s nothing like it. I’ve never understood why, we as women, feel the need to hate on, put down and belittle each other in order to feel more esteemed, successful and powerful.
This is not powerful at all. It’s just sad.
Just like a ship cannot sail without many hands on deck, so too can we not achieve all that we were created for without each other. We don’t need to push anyone down or aside in order for us to have our golden moment. There is enough room for everyone in this world to do great and wonderful things.I am huge believer in the fact that a rising tide lifts all boats. When we help our fellow sisters get one step closer towards their success - whatever that looks like - we too pull ourselves closer into our own success and destiny. There is nothing that can go wrong for you when we lift each other up.
I’ll end with this. We speak on average 20, 000 words a day. Yep. Twenty thousand! So I challenge you to ask yourself, “What kind of words am I releasing into the atmosphere? How am I speaking to/about the women I know and admire? Do I withhold genuine celebration and support for others when they succeed?"
Let’s leave the childish behaviour back in 7th Grade and be the kind of women who come alongside others and speak life, hope and purpose. Ask God how you can bring love, peace and strength with your words today.