…continued from Part I     

There is an awful lot of pain in this world. Some people’s stories are horribly tragic. Their losses are heart wrenching. Their testimonies are touching. Their courage is inspiring. Their resolve to love and serve God in the midst of carrying a cross quiets me. Box office hits and best selling novels pale in comparison to the firsthand accounts of what God has brought these precious souls through. I am deeply impacted by the heroic women I’ve met along the way.

 Janie has two sons, 8 and 11, who have been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer within six months of one another.

Doris has a husband with advanced paralytic arthritis and a mother in early stages of Alzheimer’s. She has no children and is their sole caretaker.

Wanda had been in the streets for as long as she could remember. She was dealing and prostituting by age 14. She is 36, married to a Godly man and is HIV positive.

Lou Ann’s husband has just been given a twelve-year prison sentence for a white collar crime. She has four children; the oldest is 7.

Marie had three abortions before giving her life to God. Now happily married, she has been unable to conceive.

Anita was sexually molested by her father for 8 years. It ended 10 years ago but she finds it very hard to go home for the holidays. Her mother has a broken heart.

Diane has been battling manic depression for over twenty years and sometimes fears she will lose her mind. She has finally come to terms with her need for medication.

Susan’s husband is a well-liked pastor who became addicted to internet pornography. He has convinced her that if it is made known, the entire congregation will be destroyed.

Elizabeth has battled breast cancer for 7 years with several seasons of victory. It has now spread to her organs. She has been given 3 to 6 months to live. She has three teenagers.

Barbara runs a dynamic women’s ministry for a mega church. She loves her job and hates her body. She finds herself using food as a pain killer and has entered counseling.

     So, what do they have in common? Each of these women (names were changed) are dealing with serious trials in the present tense. Each of them face hardship on a daily basis. Each of them has a reason to be bitter, to give up, to succumb to the weight of their burdens. And why are they heroic? They have chosen the narrow road called Christianity. They have found life, hope, healing, and a future in the arms of Jesus. They have placed their worries and sorrows at the foot of the cross. They are well acquainted with grief and have a deep devotion to a Savior who has  known the depths of despair, treachery, rejection, and abandonment. They know He died for them and that gives them reason to live. They press on, they are resolute, they seek God each day, and each day, He meets them. They have found His promises to be true. In Him, they find rest and yes, even joy, in the midst of life’s sorrows. And that’s the whole of it.

 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.   Prov. 18:10