Did you know that since 1987 the United States has annually designated the month of March to celebrate women’s contributions to culture, history and society?
The notion first began in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation that the week of March 8 would be set aside to commemorate the vital role of women in our nation’s history. Within just a few years, the one-week recognition grew to a month-long celebration and every March since has been designated Women’s History Month.
Each year at this time, we honor women for their accomplishments. Here are just a few:
Amelia Earhart, first woman to cross the Atlantic, 1928
Frances Perkins, first woman to serve on a Presidential Cabinet, 1933
Janet Guthrie, first woman to drive in the Indy 500, 1977
Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
Madeleine Albright, first woman to serve as Secretary of State, 1997
Of course, there are millions of women whose names could be added to the list. Women who love their families well through crisis. Women who work outside the home and still attend faithfully to the needs of their families and community. Women who give us all an example of sacrifice and kindness.
I could go on and on remembering the amazing women in my own life.
Almost every woman I know, myself included, has weathered some storms and made it to the other side. Our accomplishments, though not as impressive as flying solo across the Atlantic or driving nearly 250 miles per hour around a racetrack, are still worthy nonetheless.
We have wiped runny noses, fed our families, provided wise counsel, and stayed up for hours at night praying safety over our loved ones. All of this, while teaching those around us to enjoy beauty and celebrate diversity. This is what women do.
As a woman myself, I am honored by the recognition yet humbled to have any spotlight at all.
I know that my accomplishments are not entirely my own. I have a husband and family and girlfriends who have walked with me, but most importantly my accomplishments have come through Christ and what He has allowed me to do for His kingdom; things both great and small.
I also know that my weaknesses too often come to mind when I examine myself and I believe this is true for many other women too.
This month, as I consider the history of women in America, my thoughts go to one particular group who I know well – the women who serve as staff and client advocates at New Life Clinic. Between us, we have over 520 years of life experience, 36 children, 15 grandchildren, a dozen husbands and one common passion: We love life and serving others.
We may never be listed in the U.S. Hall of Fame for Outstanding Women, but we keep pressing on to be the best women we can be.
And can I tell you a little secret? We all make mistakes — big ones. We’ve all been through things we don’t ever want to go through again.
We are united in knowing that each negative word spoken into our lives, each weakness we’ve tempered, each mess-up we have taken the blame for has been covered by the blood of Jesus.
The words below describe something very personal for the various women here, but it is Jesus himself who writes over each word “Forgiven”: Abortion; domestic abuse; rape; teen pregnancy; depression; infidelity; molestation; regret; miscarriage; shame; anger; fear; lust; divorce; infertility; and worry.
Thanks to our Savior we have overcome every weakness. Our accomplishments we owe to Christ. We are forgiven, redeemed and set free.
We are the women of New Life, and we hope women and men alike find peace in knowing that new life is available to all!
Happy Women’s History Month!
Sherry Weller is Executive Director of New Life Clinic in Wilmington.