The World Race Blogs are part of the Adventures in Missions Network of Websites
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
Hello! I’m breaking from the usual format to let you know about a blog my teammate Karson and I collaborated on! It’s a women’s empowerment photography project purposed to speak truth about self image in a society with a really muddled and flawed definition of beauty. The full post, by the same name, is on her page (karsoncalaway.theworldrace.org), but below is an excerpt!!! I would appreciate, and Karson would too, if you went to her page and read the whole thing!!! Thank you 🙂
Karson: With all of that being said, we wanted to explain our hearts behind wanting to do this project and our hearts for women:
I think I’ve always had a heart for women, deep down. Specifically, for women who are victims of sex trafficking, rape, abuse, and more that we don’t even realize that is taking place. My heart aches for them. It’s a pain that is different than I’ve felt before. Thinking about what these women are going through, most of us cannot even begin to comprehend, and that’s what breaks my heart even more. Knowing that women are living a life that make them feel they are worthless, make them feel they are not good enough, make them feel things that we can’t understand. Thinking about men, or people in general who are okay with treating women with such evil intent, being okay with taking advantage of innocent girls and women just for a temporary satisfaction. It absolutely disgusts me. I want to fight for these women. I want to remind them that they have worth and that their worth is founded in Jesus. I want to remind them that it isn’t over, what they are going through isn’t the end, I want them to know that they have purpose, and who their Creator is. I want them to know how our Creator feels about them. I want to believe that there is hope for their lives. To be a sister to them. This is one of my deepest desires.
When I was younger, my mom was arrested and this experience brought an entire new light to what this looked like for me. It also brought a new sort of empathetic heart towards women and men, in general. The reason is, I saw a completely different side of what “life” looked like. I met this new and raw version of my mom, there was a side of her that I hadn’t known before this time. She started sharing with me how broken she was, why she made the decisions she did, why life was looking the way it did for her, and so much more. I began encountering these inmates who were on the opposite side of being a victim, but instead the perpetrator. I began hearing their stories, and realizing the brokenness inside of them. I started seeing them as people who are lost and searching for something to fill the void in their hearts, they need Jesus and don’t realize it. My heart still aches for victimized women, but in a different way. It’s funny how the Lord used my mom’s story of being in prison to bring my anger, to a place of empathy for each person. God began breaking these walls down that I once had, (and sometimes still do!). He began shifting my heart from a place of only victimized women to a place of fighting for all women, because every single person is hurting and battling something. Whatever that battle may be, anything that completely tears a woman down or makes her question how she views herself as a woman and as a person.
Sarah: When trying to write down why I have a heart or passion for women, it’s hard to come up with the words to explain. I mean, I just do! I have a heart for women because God gave me a heart for women. He placed in me a heart that breaks at the sight of injustice. And I grew up surrounded by tons of women, all of wildly different personalities. I’ve grown up learning what it means to be strong woman, and how to love all women. And while I can’t remember a specific moment where I thought “YES I have a heart for women now,” I can recall times in my life where I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. Moments like when I was fifteen, and an old man at a music festival asked me my age, where I lived, tried to take pictures of me etc. right in front of my family — it was the first time I felt personally violated. Or when my sisters or girl-friends talk about devastation they feel after rejection or a breakup, stinging heartache that reveals a deeper issue of misplaced self-worth. Or even when in my first women’s Bible Study in 7th grade, the leaders of the study told me they were so excited to fill their purpose as women, which was for them, to be wives and mothers, and proceeded to passively discourage all the 15 or so girls in the circle from pursuing working careers. These moments made my heart freaking burn! Because even if at the moment I struggled to articulate what made me so angry or emotional, I just knew there wasn’t something right. I see it as a tragic thing that we have become so okay with our dignity and womanhood and beauty being defaced that we ourselves, as women, buy into it as well. I don’t see one scripture in the Bible saying that we are purposed to please and care for men and children, but God did create us uniquely in His image as spiritually beautiful, and I am grateful for that.
I think most of the time, it comes down to beauty and how we define that term. The way we see beauty in this world is incredibly skewed because it lacks foundation or any solid method of which to measure beauty. It seems great when we say beauty is subjective because then we can create new perspectives on age old “flaws” like acne and stretch marks — which is true. But then I see the dangerous side of this where we start to exploit our beauty. When beauty becomes too loose and lacks foundation, we start to think it is empowering to expose ourselves in any and every way, or surgically change the way we were created to fit a subjective view of prettiness. It becomes all too overwhelming and grey in my opinion. It’s hard to not see beauty as a strictly physical thing when we’re surrounded by social media, billboards, even fellow women that idolize appearance. What is sick is, God created beauty apart from the world. We are beautiful because we were created in His image. This means we bear his image so when people look at us they see a reflection of the Craftsman of beauty Himself. It’s the perfect scale for beauty because if we are all created in his image, we are all beautiful! Because you cannot look me in the eye and say God isn’t beautiful.
Thanks for reading, I hope your interest is piqued enough to check out the whole thing!