You may see this article heading and think, "This is just their obligatory acknowledgement of Women's History Month, aka nothing too exciting." And, you may be right. To some, this will seem like just our "duty" as an organization to acknowledge the importance of women's history and rights. But if you're willing, take a moment to read this anyway, because I believe this is more than just obligation. This is necessity. Even if this article moves the heart of only one reader, it's worth it.
Because the women we serve are worth it.
The women in our country are worth it.
The women across the globe are worth it.
Women are World-Changers
Women's History Month is an opportunity to recognize the female leaders in the history of the world who advocated for the voice of every woman. Women have consistently held central roles in making history. Rahab and Esther are two of the many women in the Bible who protected and advocated for the nation of Israel. Joan of Arc led the French Army to victory in the Hundred Years' War and is a Roman Catholic saint. Harriet Tubman rescued dozens from slavery and into freedom. In more recent history, we have Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maya Angelou, and hundreds more who changed the world.
These women shaped history. March is dedicated to looking back on their lives, not only to honor and celebrate these women and their work, but also to learn from them. We can glean so much wisdom from the examples they set.
Two common attributes I see among the women in history are dignity and courage. To know one's inherent worth and to be willing to take action on your convictions are not only admirable, they are effective. Women who possess these traits tend to change the world.
At Toby's Place, we believe women are world-changers. It may be on a smaller scale than Michelle Obama or Anne Frank, but the women at Toby's are changing the world for themselves, for their children, and for the women who will come after them. Our programs are rooted in the desire to see dignity and courage shine through the women who grace our halls. We empower them through education and opportunity, allowing them the space to own their identity and their gifts.
Our life skills classes are just one example of this. The women learn about everything from taxes to jewelry-making, giving them the chance to gain practical skills and exercise their creativity. I have seen these classes spark passion and innovation in the hearts of these women. After experiencing homelessness, hardship, and heartbreak, the ability to feel passion again is a huge step in the journey of healing.
Providing Healing. Promoting Hope.
The theme for 2022 Women's History Month is Providing Healing. Promoting Hope. This theme is so fitting! At Toby's Place, we exist to help women across the Midlands heal from trauma, addiction, illness. Consistently the word I hear at Toby's Place is healing. In that process of healing, there is hope to be found - hope for a new life of freedom and goodness.
Looking back at women throughout history brings me hope for today and hope for the future. Hope that women will know their inherent worth as Christ's image-bearers. Hope that women will continue to build one another up in love. Hope that through the work of programs like Toby's Place, women will always find the space to heal, grow, and change the world.
Join me in praying that Toby's Place would continue to provide healing and promote hope, not just in the month of March, but into the future. Pray that the women who walk through our doors will know their dignity, feel loved, and learn courageousness.
If you would like to support the work of Toby's Place, please consider making a donation today!