“Why did God make me -Carmen Elizabeth Rubado- a woman?” The question that the speaker posed startled me. I leaned forward, forgetting the warm, cozy, and safe atmosphere of the room where my sisters in Christ from Impact 360 gathered for our Womanhood Retreat. I suddenly experienced uneasiness. I had never thought to inquire about the reasoning behind my gender. I doubted it mattered. Previously, I chose to be satisfied with the simple fact that I’m a woman and that’s just the way God wanted it to be, therefore it is good. That holds true, yet I failed to acknowledge the reality that God’s work is never frivolous. 

The question continued to replay in my mind: “Why did God create me a woman?” I committed to discovering the answer that weekend of March 7th-9th and beyond if necessary. God revealed Himself to be kind and faithful in providing me with more clarity through the Womanhood Retreat and the days following. 

In God’s grace, I now better recognize the truth of who God is and who that makes me. First, my identity is firmly in Christ and being a child of God. I possess the same mandate given to Adam and Eve in the garden in Genesis 1:26-28. God desires me to have domain over the earth alongside others. In the context of Matthew 28:19-20, God created me to increase and multiply His children on the earth, meaning I am to make disciples as I go throughout the world. My gender does not define me but gives me a unique way in which to carry out God’s purpose for mankind. 

Second, God’s design is good and it is healthy for me to ask what makes His design good so I may better know and love the Lord’s heart in all He intentionally does. As a daughter of the Divine, I can actually show my love for God by asking Him questions and seeking truth in my life. One of the rewards for this joyful search for truth leads me to my third learning point that as a woman, God has designed me to display attributes of Himself distinct from those of man. God illustrates His compassion, love, gentleness, strength, and grace through feminine examples throughout the Bible. Therefore, the Maker of Heaven and Earth chose a woman to reflect His very Self in powerful and special ways just like He has through man. 

Lastly, I now know more of what it means to live in the truth as a woman following Jesus. “Biblical women are rooted in truth, not lies; they generously build others up and confidently rely on the Lord.” The truth I am to live in is knowing who God is and the reality He has made me to be protected, known, and loved by Him. The truth then sets me free to live according to His design to build others up along the way. 

Following our Womanhood Retreat, Maggie (another Fellow) and I had the opportunity to lead a group of high school girls in a youth worship and discipleship experience. During one small group session, the girls expressed interest in growing their knowledge of what it means to be a woman follower of Jesus, especially in a culture that demeans God’s original design for humanity. Maggie and I were able to share with them the Scripture and knowledge we gained from our time at Impact 360’s Womanhood Retreat. We will continue to pray for the girls we met, along with the Fellows women, to understand what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart. 

The Holy Spirit worked through the Womanhood Retreat in mighty ways in my life. My prayer is now that God will give me eyes to praise His goodness in everything, including the gender He has given me, and that He may also supply me with the hunger for a deeper understanding of His wondrous works. 

Carmen Rubado