For almost a year, on Wednesday mornings, I am privileged to spend two to three hours at Fashion & Compassion in Charlotte, NC to meet with women and girls who have undergone some of the most difficult social injustices that we can imagine. My job is to mentor and encourage these women in divine biblical truths. I find it a privilege to be there because I am myself being blessed and loved by them.

I learn so much from these gals. I see their hunger and thirst for change, for growth in truth, and especially for healing. But more than that, I see a tremendous strength—a strength that comes from withstanding the many trials they have faced. Their hearts are open to what the Lord is teaching them. They are anxious to forget their past and look forward to their newfound strength—to their new beginnings.

I was reminded recently of a quote by C.S. Lewis: “We can’t go back and change the beginning, but we can begin today to change the ending.” What tremendous words of encouragement. We all need those words of encouragement—daily! We all need to forget the past wrongs and we need to look at new beginnings, striving in God’s mercy, grace, and love. We need to be looking into each other’s heart, as God looks into our heart, with forgiveness, helping each other to forget—giving each other permission to forget, as God gives to us.

One of the women I have met there has given me permission to share her name and her thoughts expressing her newfound strength through the following poem:


What a woman means to me. It’s your cousin, your sister, your mother, It’s your auntie, woman strong and bold;
Woman with wisdom untold, so put us high on that pedestal.

Woman, we pay the price,
We’re the ones who bring forth life.
No king is complete without a queen under his sheets.
Soft and kind with extreme intelligence of mind, will, and strength; Nothing compares to our endurance.
We try our best to be what we can be,
Raise and praise our kids, that is the key.
Mamma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe.
Ain’t that shit crazy.
Don’t worry though, a woman always handles her biz;
History has shown it again and again.
It’s the woman who’s left tall, strong and proud in the end.
Never underestimate her skills;
You bet against a woman you’re bound to lose your dollar bills.
We are the key to all that is and will ever be.
What a woman means to me: everything tall, dark and handsome could never be. Now sisters do you feel me: Woman!

By: Cannetta Solomon

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV)