Learning From Religious Women in History

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Learning from Religious Women in History*A version of this post originally appeared in the women’s newsletter for my church.

March is Women’s History Month, which admittedly might sound a bit boring to those of us who aren’t history buffs. But the truth is that there is so much we can learn from the lives of religious women who came before us.

Here are three of my favorite spiritual women from the history books. I hope their faith and actions inspire all of us throughout this month and beyond!

Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883)

Sojourner Truth is remembered as an African-American slave who escaped to freedom and spent the rest of her life working to abolish slavery and gain rights for women. But she was also a preacher whose religious beliefs underscored everything she did.

When friends questioned her dedication to such difficult and dangerous work, she famously responded, “The Spirit calls me, and I must go.”

Be inspired

For Christians, Jesus calls us all to stand up for the oppressed—to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves—just like Sojourner Truth did. Who is Jesus calling you to stand up for right now? Tweet this!

Fanny Crosby (1820 – 1915)

A lifelong Methodist, Fanny Crosby became blind shortly after birth. But she did not allow her lack of sight to stop her from fulfilling God’s vision for her life.

Instead, she channeled her creativity into her music, becoming one of the most prolific hymn-writers in all of history. She’s credited with writing over 8,000 hymns, including such classics as “Blessed Assurance” and “To God Be the Glory.”

Be inspired

Nobody is perfect; we all have failings, shortcomings, or challenges that we must face. But those challenges need not keep us from doing great work during our time here on earth. Indeed, those challenges can spur us to be even more loving to those around us.

Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)

Mother Teresa once said, “By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

While she is well known for dedicating her life to helping the poor—which led to her receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979—few know that her personal journals reveal periods of doubt in her faith.

But any doubt she experienced was overshadowed by her dedication to follow her God each and every day of her life.

Be inspired

There may be times when you question your faith; you wonder if your God really hears your prayers and loves you as a child.

While those moments can be discouraging, don’t let them stop you from continuing to follow your heart. Put your trust in your God, and your faith will be renewed, just like Mother Teresa’s was. Tweet this!

Which woman—from history or current day—inspires you?