I'm a bit like a mosquito
On International Women's Day, Hope Rising 365 author Meg Cannon is on the blog to talk about the women whose wisdom and wonder inspire Meg daily.
I’ve decided that I’m a bit like a mosquito. I find and meet with inspiring women and soak up their wisdom, which is a bit like a mosquito… I guess? Just without the blood part.
International Women's Day is a day to celebrate and champion the value of women across the world. And here I want to shout loudly about 3 women whose wisdom and wonder inspires me…
I remember having a great conversation with Rachel in a little office in Harrow where I said to her ‘I don’t think I can do this Rachel, I don’t know enough and I don’t feel good enough’ and she said to me ‘None of us do!’. It was a revelatory moment. She told me about imposter syndrome and how, very often, we don’t believe we can do it, we doubt our abilities but it’s something we have to push past. Rachel inspires me to go out and do the things I feel God is asking me to do, no matter how terrifying or how inadequate I feel. She reminds me that fear should not hold us back and to develop confidence by ‘doing’. She wrote a great piece in Hope Rising 365 that says:
‘Sometimes we think that confidence is something that you’re born with but it’s not. Confidence is not a feeling, it’s an action, so if you think ‘One day I’ll feel confident’ I can tell you now, that won’t happen. They only way to feel confident is by doing confidence. If you want to grow in confidence (which we all do!) give yourself time to do confident things and challenge yourself to do hard stuff.’
Wow – Rachel is an incredible role model, I love how she teaches us to be brave and pursue the God given dreams we have. She sparks this feeling inside of me that says ‘Meg, go and do it!’ and, for that, I’ll always be grateful.
Dr Claire Rush
Claire is my incredible friend and colleague, and if you’re not following her on social media – stop what you’re doing, find her and follow her. Claire is ABSOLUTELY determined in her mission to raise up a generation of hope-filled, gospel-led women. You only have to spend 5 minutes with her to be blown away by her knowledge and desperation to see young people supported and encouraged.
I remember sitting in the front of the big white transit van on the way to a youth event when Claire said let’s pray for the youth. She started to pray and then I noticed tears streaming down her face as she lifted them to God. I remember thinking wow, she really cares. And that’s what Claire teaches me, to care.
She has taught me about developing this determination to support young people, to understand their culture and see them encounter God’s love. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, take it! Her wisdom and heart for young people is infectious.
(Plus, I could listen to her Norn Iron accent all day.)
I mean, I know it’s cliché to include to my mum in this list, but if you knew my mum you’d know she just has to be on this list of wonder women.
I remember multiple times when me and my sister were little and used to get into bed on a rainy, windy night, my mum would ask if we could hear the rain. We’d listen to it pouring and say ‘yes!’. Then she’d ask if we felt all cosy, and we’d say yes again as we snuggled down. And just as we felt ready to drift off to sleep in a cosy warm haze my mum would say ‘well remember, there are thousands of people outside who aren’t cosy and warm tonight, but wet and cold. They don’t have houses and beds to go to’. I remember we’d talk about the wet and cold people together, and when she left I’d lie there and feel sad for them.
My sister and I used to moan (and joke) about mum’s reminders about the homeless people. We used to tell her she totally ruined our cosy moment. But now I’m older I realise my mum has got this beautiful quality of noticing people and caring about them, and I realise that way back on those rainy nights she was beginning to pass this ‘noticing’ onto us. Like when I started secondary school, on the very first day of year 7, she said to me ‘remember to watch out for the people who look lost, lonely or don’t seem to have any friends’. My mum teaches me that it’s a choice to care for those around us, a choice that if made regularly can become a healthy habit.
Since then there are many occasions when I’ve seen her noticing people – speaking to people around her in queues and caring about their lives, doing shopping for the elderly, making meals for those who are sick, comforting people who have lost loved ones, kneeling down on the pavement to chat with those in sleeping bags, visiting the frail lady down the road.
My mum shows me what it looks like to really care for people and walk with them through life. She teaches me that my life shouldn’t be focused entirely on myself but that I have a role to play in the lives of others.
I am incredibly grateful for the incredible women I have both met and grown up with. I want to be more like them – caring, confident and utterly determined. Let’s buzz around those inspiring women we know like mosquitos and soak up their wonderfulness and wisdom.
Hope Rising 365 by Meg Cannon publishes on 21 March.