Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday-The warrior

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl born to a farm family.  The middle of five sisters, she grew up working hard every day to help keep the farm going.  She was a bright little girl that grew into a young lady so intelligent that she graduated from high school a year early, even though women did not usually graduate early in the 70’s. 

She dreamed of going to college but settled for a great job at the local Tupperware factory.  There she met the man of her dreams.  He swept her off of her feet from the first moment.  He looked like a movie star, and was a military man, so he was sure to get her out of the small life she saw herself living. 

It wasn't long before they married and she felt the fullness of a child in her belly.  Soon after, they got the word that he was to deploy to Vietnam.  He refused to go and was locked up for being a deserter.  Devastated at the thought of raising a child alone with a husband in prison, despair began to take its hold.  Just before the child was born, all deserters were freed from prison and given dishonorable discharges.

She found herself having to work hard to keep her family afloat.  He never went back to work and drowned his misery in drugs.  It wasn't easy to spot at first, because everyone seemed to be using drugs in the 70’s, but by the time most other people were growing up and finding careers in the 80’s, it became apparent that there was a problem.

Several times she would come home from another long day at work to find everything of value gone from the house because a drug dealer he owed money to came to take everything he could sell to get his money back.  Many times they had to hide the car from being repossessed because when it came time to make the payment, the money had gone to his drug habit. 

Two more children were born, and things just got harder.  He became more and more paranoid and abusive, and she had to work harder and harder to support her children, pay the bills, and recoup from the drug binges he was constantly on. 

Still, she put on a smile for her children and never showed that she was always one step away from breaking.  Things were hard.  There was never enough money.  Many times they had to steal toilet paper from public bathrooms by stuffing purses full, or had to carry groceries over a mile home from the grocery store.  One summer, they were homeless, and instead of letting her children feel any uncertainty, she slapped on a smile and said, “We’re going camping!”

Her children knew about the problem with drugs, but she always protected them from the fear of not having food or a home.  She always found a way, no matter how hard she had to work for it. 

Everything fell apart in one year.  Her oldest daughter started running away and getting into a lot of trouble.  She spent countless nights up crying and begging God to keep her daughter safe.  After things went too far, her daughter had to be sent away and it came out that the man she once considered to be the man of her dreams had been molesting her.  She ended her marriage and entered the worst season of despair in her life.  Her oldest child was hundreds of miles away and one of her sons became very ill. 

Still, she kept her tears to her alone time in the darkness of the night and never let on that she was terrified to carry on.  She carried the largest burden of guilt that sometimes she was sure would swallow her whole, but she kept on. 

Many women who find out that their husbands abused their children enter into such a denial that they end up victim blaming their children, pushing them away and causing them to fall deeper into the chasm of hopelessness.  There are several reasons this happens, they can’t believe that they wouldn't know it happened, or maybe they feel that an abuse accusation is a direct reflection on them.  There are countless blogs created by women who are married to child molesters who justify the reasons they stay with their husbands.  Most of them stand on the biblical principal that once you’re married, you have to stay married, which is great when dealing with any issue that isn't illegal or immoral, but child abuse is both of those things.  The damage this does to a child when they are not protected and treated is unspeakably as horrible as the abuse they endured. 

This particular mother did not hesitate, even after more than a decade of marriage, she ended it the day…the second she learned about the abuse. 

Looking back from that moment, it would seem that her life was nothing but one tragedy after another.  The abuse, the affairs she learned about after she threw her husband out, wondering how many more children were hurt by him, and a million other things would definitely give her a get-out-of-life-free card, and no one would blame her, but she still carried on.

Things continued to be hard, and in some ways even got harder, but if she was nothing else in this entire universe, she was going to be the rock her children needed to anchor themselves to reality, and because of that, they grew into loving adults who push back the darkness of this world and help bring light to those who suffer. 

She gave up herself to become what they needed to heal…to survive, and she did it fearlessly and ferociously.

Her strength and courage through trials and hardships unnumbered are why she is receiving the Wonder Woman Wednesday spotlight this week.  She may not have been dealt a fair hand by human standards, but her sacrifices and refusal to let hopelessness win makes her one of the bravest women on this planet.  She’s a warrior. 

I should know, she’s my mom.  She’s an artist, a NICU nurse, a fighter, and a survivor.  Part of what she does as an artist is drawing portraits of babies who are in heaven so their parents will have something beautiful for them.  She does this for free through her business, NewBourn Creations.  

If you are ready to share your story and help us in #fightingback against abuse towards women, email  

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