When you think, 'phenomenal' the world thinks Maya Angelou. I must admit, the woman made her mark, especially with this poem:
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Women love this poem and, I'm sure you can understand why. Who doesn’t want to be labelled as phenomenal?
Phenomenal can be defined as “remarkable or exceptional, especially exceptionally good.” Phenomenal means different things to different people, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll stand by this definition.
What qualifies a woman as phenomenal?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of Shanique Shand and no one else.
I may get myself into some problems here, but this is my perspective on the topic.
Oftentimes, the women we label as phenomenal are those who have acquired some level of acclaim in the public space. They are esteemed because we see them on TV, we see them on billboards, we hear them on the radio, we see their books on shelves, their wardrobe is smashing, they have thousands of followers, they have a big brand and they are wealthy.
Allow me to list a few influential women and their admirable traits:
1. Oprah Winfrey- black icon of excellence, survivor of sexual abuse, woman of power, epitome of strength, owns her OWN TV station, Talk Show host, actress, philanthropist
2. Michelle Obama- wife of America's first black President, 1st African American First Lady, Lawyer, dedicated mother of two, advocate for women's empowerment, author, impeccable fashion sense.
3. Kim Kardashian- pop culture phenomenon, television personality, and entrepreneur, mother, wife, flawless physique, over 150M followers, fashion mogul.
4. Hilary Clinton- female politician, wife of former President of the US, lawyer, former senator and secretary of state, author, advocate for women's and human rights.
5. Iyanla Vanzant- best-selling author of 15 published books, Emmy Award winner, celebrated writer and public speaker, acclaimed ‘spiritual’ life coach, host and executive producer of the award-winning breakout hit “Iyanla: Fix My Life,”
I could go on and on to list the names of notable women my female counterparts admire and religiously follow. While these women have demonstrated traits that led to a 'successful' outcome, I cannot help but admit these women are NOT THE STANDARD.
They look great, speak eloquently, donate to the poor, are wealthy, lead foundations, are married to men of power, have millions of Instagram followers, but...
Who is their God and what is their moral code?
When you select a role model, you are assigning the person to your destiny. Subconsciously, you have signed an imaginative contract with this person to inform your life’s trajectory. This has heavy consequences! All these women you follow religiously and subscribe to are influencing you subconsciously and informing your life’s decisions.
You admire and emulate them for their personal qualities, triumphs, accomplishments, etc., but they should not become your main source of inspiration. Women of God cannot look to the world for empowerment and inspiration. Women of God do not seek counsel from the atheists and agnostics, and their views should not become your philosophy. Women of God consult the LAW OF THE LORD and those who abide by His laws for WISE counsel.
If you are feeding yourself on the counsel of the ungodly, you are being bewitched.
I don’t know about anybody else, but before I give anybody (male or female) a space at the table of my life virtually or mentally, these questions are paramount:
“Is this person's values aligned with mine?
“ Is our moral code the same?
Quite frankly, if your well is tainted, I don’t want to drink from it. My soul is so important to me and I am committed to guarding its gates (ears and eyes) with extreme diligence.
The New Breed of Phenomenal Women
1. Serve the God of the Universe, not the universe- You would have heard everyone talking about the universe conspiring in our favour. Rubbish! They posit that the universe is its own God and energies combine to accomplish the purpose for which something was intended. Phenomenal women give honour where it is due ; that is, the God of now and forevermore – Jesus Christ. The universe will not work things out for us. On its own, it has no power and it does not know who you are.
2. Seek an audience with the King, not men- many people are still focused on gaining the approval of those around us. They alter their physical image and even our standards to fit into a particular circle or sphere and to gain the attention and approval of others. As a result, their values are compromised because of eagerness to gain relevance and respect by the world's standard. The question, “Is what I am doing bringing honour to God or is it for earthly acceleration?” must always be at the top of our minds. We cannot be so eager to receive recognition that we sacrifice seeing the face of God for sitting before VIPs. Earth cannot know my name and heaven doesn't.
3. Love God more than money – Money is important; it’s a necessity for living. However, the love of money has led to many social ills. Even the Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. People will do strange things for money in the name of ‘survival'. The love of money has led woman to sign contracts, execute tasks, etc. The Bible was right when it said the love of money is the root of all evil. Money should never become a god in our lives such that it begins to control our actions.
4. Knows that holiness leads to wholeness- So, there is this misconception that holiness is outdated. It’s not. When God made us, he knew why He gave you boundaries- to protect us. Much of the toxicity and emotional turmoil women encounter are because we have been led astray by the lust of the eyes and flesh. Instead of revering our bodies as the temple of God [dwelling place] by consecrating it for service to God, we are emulating women who dress provocatively and who dishonour their temple through careless acts. You can dress modestly and still be chic and trendy. Sadly, we are allowing fashion to define us and not vice versa. We’ve also adopted the world’s view of relationships of and oftentimes wonder why we emerge shipwrecked and soul-tied. Holiness is a protective mechanism, not a restrictive force.
5. Values being bowed down over being busy – Jesus and His disciples came to the house of Mary and Martha. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to what He said while Martha was busy in the kitchen. Martha wanted her sister to come and help, but Jesus had this to say to her, “Martha, Martha you are worried about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:41). Jesus reminded Martha about where to focus and what should be at the forefront of her brain- a relationship with Him. Mary chose to sit at His feet and this is the posture we should always maintain.
I'm convinced, a new breed of phenomenal women are arising. Women who will see themselves as standard-bearers for God. These women don't subscribe to secular worldviews, they aren't easily ensnared by the glitz and glamour and they are curators of the power and presence of God.
No disrespect to these famous women, but cheers to the faithful women:
The FAITHFUL in fervent prayer
The FAITHFUL in fasting
The FAITHFUL in holiness
The FAITHFUL in seeking God’s face
The FAITHFUL in pursuit of God
The FAITHFUL in pursuing purpose in God
The FAITHFUL few who have denied self to carry the cross
These are MY phenomenal women.
About the Author:
Shanique Shand is a woman of God intent on fulfilling her prophetic destiny as a global pollinator- a carrier of the Word, conduit of the Holy Spirit and connector between people and God. An oracle of God and a Kingdom Ambassador, she embraces the call to preach, teach, exhort, sing, prophesy unto repentance, restoration and spiritual activation. This woman of God is a multipotentialite who boasts diverse gifts and talents which she uses to advance the Kingdom of God in various capacities as a Preacher, Worship Leader, Speaker, Author, Christian Coach and Entrepreneur. Shanique is also a competent emcee, copy writer, editor and voice over talent.