Do you ever feel as though you are unseen, unheard, invisible? As though your story doesn’t have all that much significance in the larger scheme of things?

Don’t believe it! Nothing could be further from the truth!

Your story is more than significant, more than profound, and more than critical to the larger, gorgeous, amazing drama that’s being woven and written around you. And your place, your voice, your role, your heart is right in the middle of it! I promise!

Want an example?

Not surprisingly, I’ve got one.

There is an ancient, sacred story told of a nameless woman. We know nothing about her other than what we can deduce: she was a daughter, a wife, and a mother. These alone, in my opinion, are more than enough to give her stature, merit, and value. Sparse details hardly limit the depth or scope of her significance. She lived a story that couldn’t help but change the world. Just like yours.

After Adam and Eve left the Garden they had two sons – Cain and Abel; later, a third. One day, in a fit of jealous rage, Cain killed his younger brother. (Makes eating that fruit seem relatively mild, doesn’t it?) His punishment was to wander the earth – a nomad, no home, no family. In fear for his ability to survive, he pleaded with the Divine to protect him; to somehow keep him from being killed by those who would seek his death. And so he was given a distinguishing mark that would forever protect him. And of course, this is where we get the phrase, “the mark of Cain.”

Later in the text we read that Cain settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Then this,

Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. (Genesis 4:17)

That’s it. Her only mention.

Now some would say such is not even worth the bother – for a blog post or a book chapter, let alone an attempt to offer some level of significance to those who feel their stories are small, inconsequential, almost nonexistent.

Don’t believe it! Nothing could be further from the truth!

“…there are stories we will never find, no matter how many times we search the sacred texts. I think it was Marcia Falk who wrote, ‘What we cannot remember, we must imagine.’ And so we read between the lines, listening beneath the layers of suppression and neglect to hear the chorus of voices where we were told there was only silence.” ~ Jan Richardson, In Wisdom’s Path

In between the lines and listening between the layers. Expecting to hear a heartbeat of significance, meaning, and worth. Imagining what we deeply, intuitively, and already/always know to be true: women’s stories matter. Just like yours.

Whether myth or historical fact matters not. Her story is true. Cain’s wife sings out the continuation of countless generations: hundreds of thousands of women who are unnamed but no less real; without position, but no less powerful; barely spoken of, but hardly silent. Cain’s wife symbolizes every single page of life and death, hope and despair, triumph and tragedy that is being written, even if seemingly unseen and unheard. Cain’s wife signifies that women endure, period. Just like you. 

And if this weren’t enough (though I believe it is), Cain’s wife is the first woman mentioned outside the Garden. Eve’s daughter-in-law.  The wife of a marked-man. The bearer of Adam and Eve’s grandson. A mother who heard her husband’s stories and told them to her son. One who enabled generations to follow.

She lived a significant story. She is a significant woman. Just like you. 

So if there are days or even seasons in which you feel as though your story is not worth mentioning, barely seen, a whisper that’s hardly heard in a noisy world, take heart! Cain’s wife stands alongside you in solidarity and strength. She reminds you that every story matters and that every woman’s ability to nurture, labor, grieve, laugh, cry, persevere, live, love, and bring forth life in any and every form is what enables the far larger story to even exist, let alone be told, endure, and thrive.

You are part of a legacy of a women who endure, who make a difference, who matter. To ever think, let alone believe anything less is a lie. Cain’s wife calls you, me, all of us back to the truth. Hear her voice:

I see you. I hear you. I know your name. I love your story. You matter. You endure. You live. This alone is more than enough. You are more than enough. Take heart: you are my daughter, my lineage, my kin.