Some of the bravest, strongest people I know are women.
My wife, Laura, is beautiful and amazingly strong. I’ve watched her gracefully maneuver through a 15 hour day in high heels, a smile on her face, joy radiating from her soul, only to fall into bed, sore, exhausted, feet and back throbbing in pain, with a splitting headache. But you’d never know it by looking at her.
She’s an event manager, and I’ve been witness to 40 different people hitting her up with twice as many questions in one day, and she has answers for every single one of them.
Not just that, but she somehow manages to do this and still make every one of them feel like they’re precious and important to her.
Because they are.
This and the fact that she’s put up with me for 35 years. With my history of chronic pain and depression, that is no easy feat in itself.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelo
My mom’s name is Connie, and her body is crooked from the ailments which plague her, yet she somehow keeps on going. Begrudgingly some days, she’ll tell you, but she never quits. Always walking, oft times limping, toward the finish line.
When I was a kid she’d come home after a long day at work, make supper, clean up and even squeeze in an hour or so to just hang out with my sister and me. I never heard her complain, even when she was putting in long days, seven days a week.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” – Diane Mariechild
My mom’s sisters, Sue and Ann, also have tired bodies, bent and twisted from surgeries and pain. Mom gave Sue a kidney many years ago to save her life. Additionally, even though she’s on oxygen and not in great health, Sue just got out of the hospital where she spent 11 days, most of it in ICU, fully alone. No family was allowed to visit due to the COVID-19 quarantine. She went in with heart and pulmonary failure, and they took 4 liters of fluid from her.
Yeah, the devil was trying to take her out of this world, but he keeps forgetting how strong the women in my family are.
Sue is a little spitfire, and NOBODY’S gonna take her out until both her and the Lord are good and ready.
Ann has lived with more back pain than anyone I’ve ever met, and can’t even stand up straight anymore, but you’ll never hear her complain.
She’s had more surgeries and hospital stays than anyone in the family, and to add more stress on to her already difficult life, she carries the burden of a son in prison.
In fact, she carries many burdens so gracefully, it really astounds me.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa
Sue’s daughter, my cousin, Kathy, is a cancer survivor. She is the most joyful person I’ve ever met, without question, and handled the battle with grace and laughter, as she does everything. Me? I would’ve been smothered by the darkness, crumbling under the weight of such a terrible load.
But not Kathy, God bless her.
“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” – Carly Simon
My sister, Annette, not only conquered drug and alcohol addiction, but abuse so harrowing that her ex-husband nearly killed her. She finally escaped to a women’s shelter, where some of the others with her later admitted they’d never seen eyes so dead in a living person.
You’d never know it to look at her now, though, as she uses love and laughter to ride the waves of whatever storm life sends her way.
She’s a real goofball, to be honest, and spreds cheer everywhere she goes.
“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could.” – Author Unknown
I know so many women, TOO many to mention here, who have made it through their own personal hell. Women who have been insulted, beat down and spit on. Women who had every right to give up years ago, yet make the conscious decision to get out of bed every morning and face the day.
Because of privacy issues, I won’t mention by name my friends in my Facebook group created for those who suffer chronic physical and/or emotional pain, but you know who you are. I value your friendship and am awed by your strength.
The group name, “Broken People — Mended Spirits,” really says it all, doesn’t it?
Like we say in the group, never give up, never give in, never surrender!!
There may be a woman reading this who has considered ending your life. I know because I’ve talked to at least a couple of you who’ve told me so.
I’d like to tell you something, but I don’t want this to sound weird or uncomfortable. Before I say it, please understand, it is conveyed with the utmost respect, coming from a man who has been happily married, deliriously so, for almost 33 years, and is also a confirmed mama’s boy.
You are God’s precious daughter, His little princess, and are MUCH too valuable to throw your life away. You may not feel beautiful, but that’s how God sees you. I know, voices from the past or present may have convinced you that you’re fully worthless.
Waste of space.
Please know those are lies from the pit of Hell. The devil wants to destroy you, but he’s not gonna succeed.
Not if I and the amazing women in my family have anything to say about it.
You’re reading this, which means you are a survivor. You’re a fighter, and no one can take that away from you.
Keep shining. Keep going. Keep growing. Keep laughing. Keep loving, and never quit.
I know you’re scared, but you’re gonna be ok. I promise. You’re too special NOT to make it.
Laura is praying for you, and loves you.
Connie is rooting you on toward the finish line.
Sue believes in you, and will be bringing you before the Lord in prayer.
Ann is giving you a “virtual hug,” and has no doubts about your strength and resolve.
Kathy loves you, and would like me to remind you how special you are.
Annette stands as a living example for you, and is telling you that nobody can defeat you unless YOU let it happen.
Sure, life is dangerous, but you’re a woman. You can handle it.
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller