Guest blogger Jan Cline speaks about the power of having strong women in our lives.
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I read a quote that said, “Strong women aren’t simply born. They are made by the storms they walk through.”
This is true, but there’s a flip side to this truth.
I’ve never thought of myself as a strong woman.
My life has been pretty easy compared to many women. I haven’t gone to war or waited for a husband who did. I’ve not experienced the agonizing treatment for cancer. Nor lost a child to death. My spouse isn’t abusive and I haven’t suffered financial ruin.
After all, isn’t it living through those things that makes us strong? That’s what the quote says.
The flip side is that sometimes the storms can break you.
Maybe quickly, maybe slowly over the years. Strength can come and go. Just ask the thousands of women who lived through WW1, the great depression, the dust bowl years, and/or WW2.
The days ran into months and the months ran into years. Each day brought renewed strength for some and discouragement for others.
It’s the way with troubled times.
Glean from Strong Women:
As I research for my historical novels, I read many stories of courage, endurance, and faith in the midst of storms. I can’t fathom dealing with the trials presented to them. Many of them were victorious in their perseverance. They passed on their lessons to the next generation.
We need to glean from strong women in history—hear their secrets about what happened and how they parted the emotional sea to survive.
As I wrote All My Goodbyes, book three of my historical series, I found myself full of regret over not having learned more about my mother’s life, about which the book is based. She lived through most of those events mentioned above, including being a civilian nurse during WW2. I know there was heartache and tragedy in her life, and that she must have had a strength then that I never saw later in her life.
It wasn’t until after she was gone that I found a deep desire to write her story. But it was too late to ask her those important questions. I wish I knew where she got her strength and what she did when it failed her.
Record Your Strong Women:
How many family members have demonstrated that kind of strength to you? Have you interviewed them? Written down their stories to pass down? Stopped to appreciate what they went through?
Many of the brave souls who survived the hiccups of growth in our country didn’t talk much about their experience, some didn’t want to relive the horrors of poverty, war, and ruin.
My questions to them would be why? What was the one thing that kept them from sharing those experiences with us? And what part did your faith play in keeping you afloat?
If we reach into the hearts of those loved ones who can still tell us about our family history, we’ll be enriched by it.
Our past is being lost.
We’ve forgotten where we came from – what strong stock of genes birthed us. As women look to find strength for life’s trials today, how nice it would be to be able to tap into family history and find the best of strong women that share our DNA.
I encourage you to start that search. You will speak to the coming generations and record the hope, pain, and triumph that’s part of your foundation. It’s something we all share.
Knowing more about the strong women of your past and present will enrich your future.
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Jan Cline is an author and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. She’s been involved with the writing/publishing community for many years, and was the founder and director of the Inland NW Christian Writers conference for five years. She teaches at writer’s conferences and speaks for women’s groups in the Northwest. After writing mostly non-fiction, Jan’s passion for history led her to a new love for writing Christian fiction. She loves traveling all over the U.S. to research. Find Jan on Facebook and Twitter. If you sign up for her author newsletter you’ll receive a free short story.
Book 1: In Heaven’s Sky, Clarissa and Frank Wilding try to save their farm and their children during the dust bowl era.
Book 2: The Pruning takes the Wilding family into the years of the depression.
Book 3: In All My Goodbyes, the Wildings’ dear nurse friend, Martha, breaks her vow to never marry a soldier during WW2.