I am Woman

me womanI was 24 years old going into my senior year. A college girl who needed to get her act together quickly in order to step into her womanhood. There were many obstacles to over come and accomplishments to be had in order to deserve the title “Woman”. I needed to find a husband, buy a home, bear a couple of children and then maybe I could embrace what being a woman was all about. This is the lie that many young women of my generation and those following us believe; being a woman doesn’t begin until one is a wife, a mother etc…

The semester prior I was invited by Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah to join “Woman”. A program designed to help “college girls” like me transition into womanhood. Thankfully I said “yes” and chose the program that would ultimately help me see myself for who I really am; a beautiful woman of God… That year also happened to be one of the toughest years for me in college. I was struggling with issues of self-condemnation, body image, and identity, while also wrestling with the pain of my sin that I attempted to mask with others things.

CTA button for Blog UGThe monthly meetings and the accountability that I received were exactly what I needed in that season of my life. I remember the meeting in which Sarah Sampson talked with us about image, our self-image. That night I was hit with the reality of the lies I believed about myself for so long. I faced head on the condemnation I placed on my looks, my personality, and even my accomplishments to that date. Nothing I could do was ever good enough. I was undeserving and unworthy of love and affection and I certainly was not an attractive woman.

julie & I woman

Julie & I

That’s where my mentor, Julie, came in. I recall one night in her apartment where through many tears I exposed the lies I’d hidden so well in my heart. She shared her journey of freedom from condemnation with me, placed a scarf on the floor (one I still have as a reminder of God’s work), and had me leave the lies and condemnation behind and walk across the scarf as a representation leaving those things in the past of and move forward receiving God’s truth about my body, my personality and my womanhood. That night marked me. It was another step in my journey of wholeness as a woman.

painting woman

Presenting my Painting and Spoken Word Piece at the Woman Ceremony May 2012

By the end of the school year, as we celebrated and embraced our womanhood, I understood the truth; being a woman doesn’t just happen when I am married with children. It is who God created me, us (women) to be. Womanhood begins when WE choose to embrace it. When we look in the mirror and begin to LOVE what we see. When we decide to embrace the creativity and wisdom God has given us and allow it to shine. When we walk into a room full of confidence and call out the greatness inside of others within that room. When we believe that not only are we loving but we are lovable as well. It is knowing that not only are we worthy of love, but we truly deserve the best God has to offer. Being a woman for me is about KNOWING who I am and calling others into that same knowing for themselves.

my ladies & I woman

Hannah , myself & Jamie (top) … The beautiful women I have the privilege to journey with this year… Circa Woman Initiation Ceremony September 2014

 

Today, everything I learned throughout my senior year, as I journeyed through “Woman” still plays a huge role in my life. And it is my honor to walk along two beautiful women as they walk through their own journey. I ask them the same tough questions that I struggled with. I am vulnerable and honest, inviting them to be the same. And I challenge them to face their own fears, doubts and vulnerabilities, knowing that one day their stories will call others into their own journey of womanhood…

Woman isn’t just a program that one partakes of in one’s senior year of college here at Nyack. Woman is a lifestyle transformation and a commitment to always walk in the fullness of who God created a woman to be…

the ladies woman

Woman Class of 2012!

Maddy Badillo

About Maddy Badillo

27 -year-old crazy seminarian, on an intense journey with God.
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