By Samantha McKenzie
Strong women are as old as time. We’ve always existed. Problem is, we’ve always defined strength through a masculine lens.
Actually, if you look up the word in the dictionary, it’s acutely accompanied by words like brawny, powerful, indestructible and muscular. But we know that strength has never been assigned by gender. And we know that a women’s strength can’t really be compared to any other.
I grew up around women who wore their strength with grace and style. They were resilient and courageous. They spent their days enduring much and still managed to care for others with a special tenderness. There was muscle involved, but we didn’t see it. This type of strength came to life on the inside.
These women were both brave and delicate. They showed off their strength in a less dramatic fashion. It wasn’t announced. It just was. Their strength was set against the most feminine backdrop that held us all together.
These angels wore dresses and pantyhose. They carried purses with embroidered handkerchiefs tucked away inside. They passed red and white striped mints down the pews just as our attention spans began to wander. And I can’t forget…they had lace tablecloths on the dining room table.
This strong wasn’t loud or intimidating. Instead, it was indescribably firm, in a “I still love you, but you better do as I say” kind of way. This lady strength tarried. Sometimes throughout the night. And it hummed inspirational tunes. If you listened closely, like really closely, you heard some of their prayers.
This was the kind of woman I learned to admire, the ones that guided my footsteps.
To all of the women out there who don their own brand of strength and make it look so easy, we salute you. Stay soft, stay strong. We love you!