Saturday, July 25, 2009

The strength of women

The female species is truly miraculous. Countless women I know have dealt with issues that no human should ever have to consider to be a reality. And every time they come out STRONGER.

Molestation, rejection, abandonment, abuse, infidelity, death - all circumstances I would not wish on my worst enemy. But women I know and love face them every day. And even more remarkable, women can handle the good stuff too - motherhood, success, wealth, birthdays. Women have the ability to grieve and to celebrate. That's an impressive spectrum of emotions.

Don't get me wrong - I am NOT the one you hear shouting "I am woman hear me roar!" I am not all about girl power and I do not think women are any better than men. I was just thinking about my mother, my sister, my friends Stacy and Candice and so many others who have faced horrible realities and managed to do it with grace and dignity and who have grown through their heartache, their pain, their trials and even their greatest successes.

Women are resilient. Women are smart and beautiful. Women are fucking amazing!

My husband gave me a plaque entitled "The Navy Wife." It's a brilliant story of God's work in creating the women who support the men who serve. However, I think that the overall message applies to MOST women - regardless of their life's calling.

The Navy Wife

The good Lord was creating a model for Navy wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"

The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu and she must be willing to move to a new location ten times in seventeen years. And oh, yes, she must have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head, "Six pairs of hands? No way."

The Lord continued, "Don't worry; we will make other Navy wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband's achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say, 'I understand' when she doesn't, and say 'I love you' regardless."

"Lord," said the angel, "God to bed and get some rest. You can finish tomorrow."

"I can't stop now," the Lord said, "I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a pier, a runway, or a depot and understand why it's important that he leave."

The angel circled the model of the Navy wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it is soft."

"She might look soft," replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak," she announced, "Something is wrong with the construction. I am not surprised that it has cracked. You are trying to put too much into this model."

The Lord appeared offended at the angel's lack of confidence. "What you see is not a leak," He said. "It is a tear."

"A tear? What is it there for?" asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "It's for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride, and dedication to all the valued that she and her husband hold dear."

"You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel.

The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there."

To any woman who ever reads this - I am proud of you.


  1. When I originally posted this, I had typed, "My husband gave me a plague entitled..." That is a HILARIOUS Freudian slip!

  2. As I am proud of you. ;)

    I have read that touching story about the creation of the navy wife before. I can't for the life of me remember where, most likely on a message board or an e-mail that was sent to me. I do recall how much it touched me then and it still does reading it now. I agree that the message applies to not just navy wives, but to most women in general.

    I have recently adapted the mindset that no matter how bad I think I have it, there is always someone who has it a lot worse. Sure, my husband is leaving for 6 months. At least it's only 6 months in a fairly safe situation and not a year or two out in the line of fire. Also, I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful family and really great friends. The support system that I am privileged with is amazing. A lot of people don't have that. I am truly blessed and thankful for everything God has given to me.

  3. Thank you, Candice.
    You are very blessed!!
    It is true that someone, somewhere has it worse. I try to put my focus on praying for them rather than complaining about my situation. I've found that when my mind is set on others, I typically come out of my situation faster and can find reasons to be thankful I went through it.
    You're next six months will be difficult, but I am certain you will come out of it STRONGER!