The Returning of the Bodies of Women



There is a RETURNING. It is happening in the headlines and it is happening as one woman at a time, shares her story. It’s been bubbling up—you may even call it a rising. These stories—these truths, once hidden in shamed places—are rising into the Light.

Telling our stories is refusing to let what was done to us to have any more power over us.

We are taking back our bodies. We are reclaiming our one-woman-at-a-time, one-story-at-a-time body. We are reclaiming the strength and the glory and the dignity of our collective Body.

Yesterday, 21 girls were released by Boko Haram. Twenty-one of our girls were returned to their parents and their communities. They were returned to us, the people of the world. This feels significant. Yes, there are about 200 still missing, but more than two years after they were kidnapped in northern Nigeria, 21 of the Chibok girls have been returned.

When I saw the headlines, I gasped, because THESE ARE OUR GIRLS. We had said, Bring Back Our Girls.

img_0544We were a ragtag group of people, gathered on a corner in Surrey in May 2014. We cared. We said, It’s not OK that girls in our world go missing. We said, These are our girls too.

I celebrate the return of these 21 girls, because they belong to us—this weaving of HUMANITY. When they are missing, a part of us is missing.

In the past few days, there have been so many stories surfacing of women who had been taken from. Women who had not been asked permission, but a part of them had been taken and violated.

The stories that are rising, are a taking back. The women speaking out, pushing back against deeds in dark alleys or public parks or anywhere, are taking back what belonged to them. To us.

We are receiving back what belonged to us in the first place.

This returning of our girls feels significant.

We take back what was stolen from us. 

We want every piece of womanhood, every piece of our collective women’s bodies … every piece of us taken without permission, we want it back.

These girls were never Boko Haram’s to take. The parts of our bodies are never for men to take. Our bodies belong to us and it is only ever good and beautiful when it is given. Nobody is allowed to grab at us, snatch at us, take from us, without our permission.

This is a returning. 

This is a gathering of all the pieces of our soul. Our feminine heart. Our bodies.

This is a returning.

We ask for the return of every piece of every body of every woman. 

Now, may the healing begin.

There is a long road ahead—for these girls and for us, the women of the world. The healing will take time and has been taking time. But I am grateful for a Healer who sees our pain and meets us in our wounds. He is, thankfully, our Wounded Healer. He is not unfamiliar with sorrow or pain or violence.

Jesus, be near to every woman who is taking back her life, her body, her soul.

O, Healer of hearts and Healer of our souls, we lift up our DAUGHTERS—in Nigeria and on street corners, in bedrooms and hotel rooms, in war zones and on sidewalks. Heal us, O God. Heal your women, heal your girls. Heal the face of sisterhood and the heart of womanhood.

Restore to us the fullness, the holiness and the sanctity of all our bodies.

We receive it all back.