After several months of analyzing women's issues, I thought that the most appropriate way to end this series would be to talk about influential women - what makes an influential women and who are the influential women in your life? What actions can you take to make sure you have a positive impact on those around you?
I've posted in the past a little about 2 of the most influential women in my life - my mom and my mentor Melissa. But the truth is that God has placed incredible women throughout my life at intricate moments when I needed them. Some remain a part of my life today, and others have drifted in and out of the scene.
Here is just a snipet of some of these women and the characteristics that made them influential:
My mom - Clearly the most influential woman throughout my life. She has a deep faith, is encouraging, positive, compassionate, and humble.
Melissa - Melissa has been a solid rock in my life since 9th grade. She is an incredible listener, zealous Christian, a passionate wife and mother to 4, and is welcoming to all those she meets.
Amanda - My college roommate who helped me get acclimated to living away from home and was never afraid to call me out when I made (or started to make) poor choices. Amanda is full of life, dedicated, and a great accountability partner.
Shirley - I met Shirley during my undergrad years. She was an invaluable resource as I began my legal career and a beautiful demonstration about what it meant to live out your faith in your career. Shirley is strong, articulate, and reliable.
But what makes these women influential?
1. Their faith. All of the woman that have had a profound influence on my life have had a close relationship with Christ and were bold in living their faith out loud.
2. Their attitudes. All of the women I have mentioned possess characteristics laid out in Proverbs 31 - discipline, honorable, trustworthy, faithfulness, humility, etc.
3. Timing. God has perfect timing - all the time. What I've learned overtime is to be aware to who he has placed in my mind at certain stages. Am I pushing away someone who has something I need to hear or be convicted about? Is there someone nearby who can relate or provide comfort in times of need? I've learned that when I've had to learn to survive without someone that I never thought I could make it through without - God always has someone waiting for me who is even better equipped to help me grow in the next stage of life.
I caught myself smiling as I was finishing up this post. I suppose what I qualify as an "influential woman" is significantly different from the world's definition. None of these women are rich or famous. None of them are even widely known for surviving great trials. Yet I cannot imagine who I would be without them.
I think that is one of the coolest things - the reality that you don't have to be anyone "special" to be special in someones life.
I encourage you to look around you today - who has had a significant impact on your life? What characteristics/qualities do they have that you admire? Who do you think you might have influenced in the past (positively or negatively!)? How are you choosing to live that will inspire/bless those around you?