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Who Is A Woman You Take With You?

Who is a woman you take on this trip with you?

This was the question that was asked of us as we started this #rubywoopilgrimage last night.  The first person I always think of is my mother. Not just because she is beautiful and compassionate, but because of the courage it took to move to a new country and re-establish herself. My mother is still the woman I take with me everywhere I go when I jump to put on my lipstick as picture is being taken, or when someone is rude to me and I hear her voice  “count to 10, mija”.  She will always be my #1. But last night, the Lord put invited me to carry a few more.

On this pilgrimage, I take my neighbor who has raised two children into young adults on her own. Despite the challenges, the statistics and the insane expectation that you can afford rent on a minimum wage.  She worked two and sometimes three jobs to provide for her kids. She fought illness that developed due to the stress of life on African American women. She is a warrior!  In the decade I’ve known her she has come over to drink wine, ugly cry, pray in tongues, eat chocolate and dream for a new way.

On this pilgrimage, I take my friend who is about to stand before a judge on Thursday to hear if she can keep her asylum status. Though our very government has declared her country too dangerous to send people back, she might be getting on a bus Thursday. She has had to decide that leaving behind her toddler is the best decision for the baby’s safety. Can you imagine being a mom and having to make that decision? After having to make the dangerous trek to this country, she will now have to return to danger not only in her country but at the hands of an individual who may try to find her. She is a warrior!  I pray for her all day these days as the court date comes. I pray God will provide a way for her to stay and continue to work and build a new life for herself.

On this pilgrimage, I take Migdalia who is an entrepreneur, a community leader, and a woman of faith. Her beauty salon has been a place of rest and rescue for me in a world of cross-cultural ministry. When I am there surrounded by women from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, and Colombia taking time to take care of themselves I am reminded that I am human. The intentional atmosphere reminds me that I am loved by God, not for what I do but for who I am. That He created me in his image and He is pleased with his beautiful creation. She is a warrior!  My red hair, my tattooed eyeliner, my fantastic pedicure –that’s not why I go. Connection, vision, and solidarity—that’s everything!

On this pilgrimage, I take my sister Erica who refused to allow her daughter to be a problem, but received her as a gift from God. She worked hard, finished her Masters, poured her energy into providing well for her daughter. I also take Sofia, my doppelganger, who will one day rule the world. Hopefully she will always keep in her heart the sacrifices her mom made to put her first. My sister had been my biggest fan, my consistent support and encouragement, and a prayer warrior.

To all the warrior women in my life, I take you with me this week.

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