Empowered Women

2 comments Written on April 20th, 2016     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
Evelmyn Ivens works at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) in Chicago and graduated from North Park Theological Seminary in 2013 with a MA in Theological Studies. Enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures. She’s passionate about issues of immigration, hunger, poverty, and human trafficking.

One of my favorite podcasts is Smart Women, Smart Power from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. They are usually panels or one-on-one interviews of women in politics, economics, foreign policy, and religion. I am always very impressed by the women being interviewed they are experts in national security, terrorism, politics, etc. Very smart and empowered women. However, the other day the topic was on U.S Ambassadors and their lives abroad. At one point the conversation got emotional for one of the ambassadors (Saudi Arabia) as she was telling the story of having the evacuate the country at two different times and having to let her children go back to the US, as she stayed in Saudi Arabia and continued to work for months. I cannot imagine having to do that.

Like these women with power and positions of leadership, I think of my female pastor friends who have children. I very much admire that as mothers and wives are following their calling. Much respect to those women. I think of single mothers who work long hours and miss time with their children like my own mother who was a single mother for a number of years until she remarried. As I get older and sometimes nostalgic, I think of my mother often and the things she sacrificed so that I could have a better life and opportunity. My parents divorced when I was very young and both remarried and had more children. My father moved to the US after the divorce and when I was 14 I came to live with him, that’s how I ended up here! I am forever grateful to my mother because she let me go at such a young age. The plan was for me to stay for a year and then go back to Mexico. But things happened and I am convinced that God had other plans and I ended up staying. Writing about this almost 19 years later still makes me choked up a little. I cannot imagine how painful it was for my mother, and all I can say is thank you, thank you for letting me go and for always supporting me at a distance.

I want to end with this ritual liturgy that very much describes women and mothers, and the power and strength that they carry.

The power to give life

The power of being vulnerable without being weak

The power of believing in a better future

The power of changing oppressive situations

The power to face difficult circumstances

The power of not giving up

The power of loving and claiming the need for love

The power of crying

The power that is ours because we are women.[1]

[1] Opening ritual liturgy in Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century. 179-180.

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2 comments “Empowered Women”

I, for one, am glad that you ended up staying and not returning to Mexico because you have so much wisdom to share! Your post definitely made me think of my own mom and what a wonderful example she continues to be for me. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks so much Evelym – I think the word mother is a code name for sacrificer — and that is truly what makes the leadership of women often so surprising as we often spend less time negotiating the price. Doesn’t mean that the road is easier or that we are unaware of the price. It simply means we are willing to do what it takes — at least that is the model my mother and other women who’ve mentored me have willingly demonstrated. 

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