Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Voices of Women

My days are so full of students and chores, of grading papers and phone calls, of laundry baskets and what’s for dinner, that it is hard to believe I could ever be lonely. But I am. I can trace my loneliness, which never really goes away, back to a day in March of 2000, when a red pick-up truck slammed into my husband’s Taurus and altered our lives forever. Although Ron survived, he was and is so damaged in mind and body that I became more widow than wife, more care-giver than spouse. I could not lean on him in the ways I once had.

I adjusted. I had kids to raise and doctor’s appointments to keep and a post-
graduate degree to finish. I worked and cleaned and took care of Ron to the best of my ability. I spent more time in hospitals than in church, more time caring for than being cared for. And in the hustle and bustle and downright difficulty of it all, I lost—or thought I lost—valuable friendships. I no longer had the voices of my women friends to help me through each day, not because they no longer cared for me, but because my life had become too busy to give them any room.

About two years ago, an episode with my autistic adult son made me realize just how lonely I was. On that day when Allen turned off his cell phone and contended he was “walking home from Philadelphia”, I honestly felt that I had no one—except my daughter—to call.  She, faithful child, always comes and I am grateful, but she is still my child and should not bear my own burdens. Once Allen was home and safe, I turned to my “friends” on FaceBook, asking who would have been willing to take a 10 pm phone call from me.

To my astonishment, at least twenty women responded with “Call me.” It was at that moment that I realized
that, while my burdens were many, God had provided for me so many sisters to help me through, and each one was just waiting to be of comfort to me. All I needed to do was reach out.

My life is still hectic and busy. I still care for my disabled husband and my autistic son, I still teach and reach and write and do laundry and spend way too much time in hospitals. But I also make time for my women friends, time to talk or go to dinner or exchange silly photos on FaceBook. The voices of my women friends carry me through difficult times. The voices echo in my heart.

Perhaps you, like me, need the voices of other women. If so, I invite you to become part of the Women’s Bible Expo in Thursday, August 20. There, you will hear the voices of many women who suffer the trials of life, but manage to keep their joy. You will find that you are not alone with your burdens. You will be inspired, I am
sure, to continue your own walk with renewed energy and grace.

And you can add your own unique voice to that of other women.

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