We begin the new year with this powerful tenet: “We believe in God and are women of faith.” This is a common theme about which we speak and write. But it is more than words and ideas. It is most powerful when modeled by the examples of women who live it. We invited such women to share what faith means to them, not as an abstract idea, but how it guides their lives every day.
First, Anne-Marie Goguen. We met her and her lovely family when we lived in Canada for 18 months several years ago. My husband and I had come there specifically to share our religion, but we were enriched as others shared their great faith and religious traditions with us. Anne-Marie taught us much about faith and good works. Here she describes the power of faith in her life.
Hope this short explanation gives you an idea of what my faith in my religion and God means to me. My faith kept me going in times when I was in situations where my reality was very dark. I always felt that there was always hope and that with God in my life I had what inspiration and divine source needed to get through it. Through my Christian faith I always felt that God always gives us grace and discerning capacities if we learn to go really deep inside and ask. Learning to look and listen for the will of God is what my religion has taught me. Our rituals have deep symbolic meanings for me, more so as I get older. It has been enmeshed with my cultural history, a deep connection with my ancestors. It’s who I am and who I always aim to achieve while trying to be loyal to my Church and myself. Even if our religion has a human factor one shouldn’t forget the Divine that inspired our faith in our Catholic church. It’s my guide that leads me closer to God.
Blanche Moyeart is another faith-filled friend. She contracted COVID-19 while serving in Belgium with her faith group. Months later, she still feels the effects of the disease on her health and energy. Despite this, her faith is strong.
Since having COVID I find I have trouble doing things like before. I’m having trouble just doing everyday things like keeping up on making meals and cleaning up. I haven’t been able to focus and write. But, I will try to write something from my heart.
What my Faith has meant in my life? I cannot imagine how I could have lived without it. I’m sure I would not be living today. Like others I may have turned to destructive behaviours like drugs or depression or even suicide. I felt suicidal before I was shown the Path and rescued. How could I bear all that is happening in the world and in my life without seeing the Hand of the Merciful God at work? I have the faith to know the eternal Plan of God is actively at work in the world as it is destined to be, moving us all toward the realization of our Oneness.
In a previous article, Blanche shared keys for bringing others closer to God. “… We do this through love for all, creating unity, and interacting with others. People of Faith are the force, the stimulus, the leaven to bring forward society, to build community, and advance civilization.”
Nicole, a single woman, focuses on filling her life with gratitude and service. Here she describes the power of faith in her life.
I’m just going to tell you what I think … I was raised Catholic and as a child, always believed my religion. But as I grew older, I’ve realized that religion is all about respect, love, helping each other and having faith!!! As I grew up from being a young woman to where I am now and going through good and difficult times, I’ve always felt that there was someone there next to me, to lift me up, to encourage me, to ease my mind, someone that always loved me and still does. I know for sure that whether you call him Jesus, Lord, Allah or whatever, I call him my best friend and as I grew up Catholic, I’ll call him the Lord Jesus Christ!!! I can really feel him close to me at all times and when he’s not so close he makes sure an Angel hears me! I’ve been really blessed all my life and I thank The Lord every Day for all I have and that is my Prayer!
Ko Netzler passed away in 2019. Here are excerpts from an article written about her in December 2017:
[She] beams from her hospital bed in the humble bedroom where she has spent most her days for the past 15 years. Surviving a car accident that she did not cause left her body partially paralyzed, but her soul and her faith suffered no lasting ill effects. Family and friends stop by hoping to cheer her but leave encouraged and inspired by her love and faith. For those beyond her reach, she uses her laptop to send messages of love, encouragement, and faith.
How does she bear this and stay so cheerful? She says she talks to God in her own language and has faith when he sometimes says, “No, at least for now.” In her mind, there is no rush to fix things. She finds faith gives her balance. She has no doubt that God knows her and will answer her needs, even if “not straight away.” Her response to challenges is consistently, “Thank you, God.”
Carolina Allen shared her thoughts on meeting a woman of faith at the U.N. Commission of the Status of Women.
I have been reflecting on the many incredible women we met from across the globe. One in particular was a wise and peaceful community leader by the name of Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, a goodwill ambassador to Africa, and honorary Mayor of Harlem in NYC.
As a few from our delegation gathered around her in the lobby of our hotel just hours before leaving for home, we couldn’t help but feel time slow down. We felt as though we were truly in the presence of a noble queen. Her colorful African attire was remarkable, but it was the look in her twinkling eyes that captivated us as she imparted her pearls of wisdom. When we were getting ready to say our goodbyes, she looked deep into my eyes while squeezing my hands and told me of the peace and healing qualities of the big ocean, and that if we remained on God’s path, we would bring much goodness to the world.
These women of diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and families are united by the common bond of faith. They are more alike than they are different; so are we. May we, as Blanche described, come to a “realization of our Oneness.” What simple things can you do in your circle of influence to unite with other women of faith?