Being back here in Haiti is a lot like coming back to my roots. I feel like the daughter who moved out, weathered a life elsewhere for a while, and is coming back home to where I grew up, where I learned the lessons of who I am. The biggest thing God has been doing in my heart while being here is reminding me who I am.
A season of continuous stabs at my confidence and passion for my callings in life has been enveloping me longer than I'd like to admit. You see, I have been traveling to Haiti for over ten years, and by my mom founding an orphanage here, I had a home in this country that I got to grow in. Any part of me that resembles womanly was molded here. Haiti is where my confidence, self-image, and passion was first planted, blossomed, and bloomed. And it has been so refreshing having God remind me of who He made me to be over the years here, having God whisper against my soul that I'm an ezer. This is where you come in. You're an ezer, too.
For countless years people have been labeling women as none other than the good old, dependable, sometimes appreciated "suitable helpers". But really, if women are just to clean, take care of babies, and provide sex - we'd just be getting in man's way, being a burden rather than being the helper that our out-of-this-world God called for. (Please know I do believe that men are the head of the family, and that the role of wife and mother are the largest blessings and tasks a girl could ask for - I just believe as women we don't deserve to be put in the box. Most importantly, there are too many women who cannot get married in this season and women who cannot have children -- so what of our calling?)
"Helper" is a loose translation of the Hebrew word, ezer. Ezer truly means help, but that's just the surface of it; there are 21 more times in the Old Testament where ezer is used to describe, ready for it?, God! Yes! Our Maker! God named us after one of His most popular of names! Here are my favorite verses painting the picture of who we as women truly are!
Genesis 2:18: Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone ; I will make him a helper [ezer] suitable for him."
Psalm 121:1-2: I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help [ezer] come ? 2 My help [ezer] comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Deuteronomy 33:26: There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help [ezer], And through the skies in His majesty.
Ezer is a the strength, the shield, the one who seeps in and saves the day.
Ezer is woman.
Want to go deeper?
Proverbs 31:10 says: Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
This translation looses SO much meaning to who God created wives to be. "Virtuous" there in the greek is chayil, meaning: "strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army." That is a military-minded, golden woman.
Ezer is a being that God intended to be on the front lines, a warrior to battle along side a man in the Blessed Alliance that God created when He created male/female relationships intended for marriage.
As soon as God saw a need for man, we received our calling. We were called to action as soon as God whispered the name of our design, "ezer." No heroine blossomed from sitting in church thinking good, sweet, pure thoughts. We are called to act, to be the woman God desired when He named us after Himself! There are too many cultures where men let the power of ezers be beat down, waisted away, and spit upon; and with our call comes a responsibility to tell other women how strong and purposeful and needed her existence is, from the very moment Love spoke her name.
I love being a founder of Trades of Hope, wearing my stunning fair trade jewelry, and giving women jobs so they can be the ezers they were designed to be, empowering themselves out of poverty. Being in here Haiti, I have seen several ezers first hand -- nothing's more beautiful.
How can you be an ezer in your home, community, church, and to women globally?
With respectful love from this Ezer,