Free as butterflies

by Liudmila Hernández Retureta last modified 07 December 2018 11:30 AM
Free as butterflies

Photo: Albin Hillert.

07 December 2018

I am a woman and I thank God for that every day of my life. But being a woman means living every day to meet the demands that society, family and our work places (even the church) impose on us. Because I am a woman, I am expected to be perfect, and this is where I see one of the faces of violence: “forgetting who I am in order to become the superstar everyone expects me to be”.

Lately, I’ve been faced with the stories of other women who fought to free themselves from ties, prototypes and violent regimes. I think of the Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic who are geographically close to me and my culture; They who used butterflies as a symbol for over a decade to represent the struggle that led to their assassination in 1960.

The Mirabal sisters inspired me to continue the fight against all manifestations of violence. Butterflies teach me how to fly, how to be free and live with no ties, which does not keep me from becoming a good mother one day, or a good wife while I continue growing as a pastor in a church.

Being a free woman and working as a pastor in a church, is the opportunity that God gives me to live my life manifesting his image and likeness through my words and my freedom to love and serve others. Just like butterflies, I live and work displaying the different colors that God has given me, without a pattern that determines who I am. I am the first woman pastor in a church that accepts me, respects me, values me and supports me to keep promoting justice and equality together.

A rebirth is needed. Nobody and nothing (human being or structure) owns my body nor my life to possess me or determine who I am. God, through Jesus’ example and life, frees us from ties and invites us as his creation to hold hands, to walk together, fighting and raising our voices to say NO to any form of violence against women and girls.

Translated from Spanish by the WCC language service. Download the original text in Spanish (pdf).


The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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