TONI WALKER: Strong women

With Mother’s Day approaching, I have had some friends who are weighing on my heart. It has also got me thinking about what really makes the world go round. 
There is a picture that goes around on Facebook periodically that reads “Strong Women; May we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.” 
As the mother of two girls, I can tell you that one of my greatest goals in life is that my girls will grow up to be strong, independent women who would be able to take care of themselves on their own if the need arise. 
More than that, though, I want to raise my girls to be strong in their faith, and strong in the belief of themselves. One of the greatest things that my mom and dad did for me was to teach me to believe in myself.
As an adult woman who has not always been strong, I can tell you that the greatest asset in my life, other than family, is my strong woman friends. Friends that will laugh or cry with you, and stop whatever they are doing to lend an ear or offer up a prayer are essential in making it through life. 
No matter what your age, we need those confidants who understand what we are going through, yet will knock some sense back into us by picking us up and dusting us off. The ladies have not only been an asset to me, but I see them as an asset to my family, as well. 
Being strong is a product of your past. Being a strongwoman entails taking all the past hurts, pain, and difficulties and not letting them break you or diminish your self-worth. I know several women who are developing their strength right now. 
Some are dealing with the loss of a mother or grandmother. Others are dealing with the loss of a child in the last year. As someone who has lost both a child and a parent, I can tell you one thing: both are the worst pain in the world. But, if you can weather either of those storms, then you can pretty well take on anything. 
From my perspective, we could all use a few more strong women in our lives. We need to not only model strength for our young girls, but we must also begin to model support for each other, compassion for those who are hurting, and belief in who we are.
 If you have girls, work to help them become strong. If you have “strong women” friends, cherish them, and work to be the same for them. And, if you are going through what you think may break you, resolve to fight through, so you too, can be a strong women. 
Because the greatest thing anyone could say about us when we are gone is that we were “strong women.”

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