Strong Like Woman

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading


Our God-Given Influence 

I’ll never forget in high school when I learned about the high level of influence God gave women. I was struck by the idea and the power behind it. It’s humbling to think about how we as women can powerfully impact a situation, outcome, or person. Whether it’s through our looks, our words, our gestures, our actions, our thoughts, our boldness, our timidity, or our God-fearing hearts, our Lord has given us power.  

In every job there is the power to bring healing. This is incredibly evident in the world of healthcare, an industry that I am all too familiar with. In the world of healthcare, the power to heal is an incredible gift! The influence you are able to have on someone’s physical health is greatly apparent. However, there is also the opportunity to help bring healing to the hearts, souls, and minds of those around you. God has placed each of us in a specific season, role, or team, ‘for such a time as this’.   

‘For such a time as this’ were the incredible words of advice given to Queen Esther during a truly dramatic and life-threatening season. (I highly recommend reading the entire story of Esther when you can.) Esther had influence. And she boldly chose to use it to honor God, her family, and her people. While I realize the opportunity to save an entire group from genocide is probably rare for most of us, I know for a fact we’ll have plenty of opportunities to use our influence to bring God glory and shine for Him through our actions (Matthew 5:16). You will have conversations. You will have choices. You will have ideas. You will be given opportunities. You will have challenges. You will be surrounded by people and processes. 

As the wife of a surgeon, I have had the privilege of a front row seat throughout his entire medical journey. The extensive training, the personal sacrifices, the ‘way things work’ frustrations, the moves across the country, the staff relationships, the hierarchy of roles, etc.  As a business professional myself, and now stay-at-home mom, I’ve experienced the gender dynamics of today’s world. And it’s been made evident to me that the healthcare industry is no exception to this dynamic. While the biggest challenges of my life have occurred in all this, I am grateful to know that in each season, God had me there for a specific influential reason. Here are a few points we can process from Esther: 

  • Women influence women.  Did you know Esther was well liked by all the other women she spent time with before being selected for royalty? I always joke that a room full of women can be dangerous – a melting pot of battling influence. Esther lived with several women and servants for over a year before becoming queen, and the Bible even mentions that she was admired by her peers. Ladies, let’s do ourselves a favor and influence each other for good. Let’s remove the comparison, the gossip, the competition, and let’s work together. Imagine a healthcare system where women at all levels are united and positively influencing the healthcare industry together. 

  • Women influence men.  ‘The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants.’ – My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We all laugh at this movie quote, but there is so much truth in it! Whether it’s our husband, our boss, our coworker, or our patient, we have a variety of weapons of influence available. It’s important to mention that we must be careful with such influence. For example, the book of Proverbs uses female language when referring to wisdom and to adultery. We can use charm, flirting, and seduction, or we can use intelligence, professionalism, and honesty. Esther chose the latter despite her God-given attractiveness. Let’s rely on our equality and genuine care for all people to influence the men (and women) around us. 

  • Women influence systems, procedures, protocol, etc.  Esther chose to stand up against the norms of her time and be bold to dramatically change things. Thankfully innovation is becoming more and more welcomed, but there are still major areas of improvement needed in healthcare. And, honestly, women are typically the first to notice them and the first to develop a better way of doing things. We are just hesitant to speak up and lead the change. Let’s ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ (Romans 12:2) to use our influence with both people and processes. 

Unlike Esther, you may not see the results of your brave efforts. You may not get to see the impact of your influence once the patient leaves your care. Or once the nurse on your floor gets transferred to another department. Or once you follow your husband again to a new city for a different kind of training or opportunity. Or once you get promoted into an administrative role at a new hospital...but today, this week, right now, you are exactly where God wants you. For such a time as this!