I’ve had some great conversations with some wonderful women over the past few days – weeks even. It’s really making me treasure the special bond I have with so many incredible women. I’m not sure I ever truly appreciated it until I really started reaching out to other women with MRKH. The sisterhood within MRKH is a powerful thing. I never had a sister growing up, so finding thousands of them as an adult has filled my heart to bursting. I find that same beautiful bond with my sisters in Faith, and again it wasn’t something I appreciated until I made the point to reach out to them.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
These are just some of the incredible women in my life, and why they mean so much to me.
My Gram…gracious, loving, forgiving, funny, and fun. She is in the final stage of her life, she’s 93 and is fading fast in hospice care. She set a fine example of being a wonderful human, a hard working nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother. She has instilled a sense of peace and faithfulness in me, and her Faith inspires me deeply.
My Auntie, who is giving such tender care to my Gram. Her independence and strength, her determination and forgiveness. She has taught me to question and to remain curious; to stand for what I believe in.
My Mom, she taught me hard work, responsibility, and sustainability. I’ve learned to be independent and self sufficient, to work hard for what I believe in, to not hold grudges, and to forgive with every ounce of my soul.
My BFF, Eileen. She has been there through thick and thin, through sorrow and celebration. We have laughed until milk came out our noses and we peed our pants just a little – and we have spent hours in tears as we each battle our own personal demons. We have prayed, and questioned, and rejoiced. She is everything to me -a best friend, a sister, a confidant, and of course – a tattoo-twin. She teaches me compassion, humor, humility, and that hard work and hard lessons often go hand in hand.
Janine has been a fixture in my life since high school. She was there the day I had my diagnostic laparoscopy and it was confirmed that I would never carry a child. She inspires me with her Faith in God, her love of family, and the love she has given to her adopted children. She has taught me that every challenge has a purpose, that prayer absolutely works, and that if you just take life one day at a time, it’s much easier to recognize and count your blessings.
Karen – the big sister I never had until the day we met. She has a giant heart, a wicked sense of humor, and inspires deep conversations at the drop of a hat. She has taught me resilience, trust, and forgiveness. When I was finally ready to reach out and follow my Faith path with purpose, I called her first…knowing she would talk straight and would understand all the subtleties of my journey. Our support is a two way street, when she has a problem she needs to talk through, she calls me – and I do the same thing. We talk girl stuff: make up brands, shoes, and eyebrows – we talk wife stuff: husbands, houses, and laundry – and we talk relationships: mothers/daughters, friends, and God. We laugh, we cry, we pray. She keeps it all real in my life.
Chel – the best friend I haven’t met yet. Chel and I met online in a south beach diet support group and we just clicked. We are about the same age, height, weight, etc. We’ve both spent time in the military, and over the years we’ve just bonded more and more. We text almost daily, and when there is more to say we email. We’ve actually spoken on the phone a couple of times – but usually it’s just texts. She keeps me accountable and honest with myself. She encourages me to make healthy choices, both physically and emotionally. She gives me honest feedback and offers a perspective from outside my own little bubble. When I finally make my way to Michigan, we WILL finally meet face to face and I imagine there will be zero awkwardness and a long anticipated hug and cup of coffee!
There are a whole long list of international MRKH sisters that I treasure. While most of these sisters I’ll never have a chance to meet in person, we talk regularly through social media and messaging apps. Deepika of course, my beautiful Indian sister. She shares recipes with me, wishes me a good morning, reminds me to eat my breakfast, and shares the joys of raising her step-son with me. I am the designated auntie and get to talk to them both on the phone occasionally. My beautiful Faria who is so smart and courageous, doing her part to make a difference in Bangladesh. Laura, Claire, Aysha, and Hasna in London/UK. I exchange letters and message them routinely. Melissa and Kelly in the Netherlands. Lise, Ally, Bianca, Elaine, Christine, Nicola, Karina, and so many other sisters scattered all over the world, and all of them working to make a difference for women with MRKH. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Stateside MRKH sisters too, Amy, Christina, Kristen, Lacy, Brittany, Lindsay, Jessica, Chrissy, Allison, Hailee, Kimmie, Tina, Jaclyn, McKenzie, Krystina, Denise, Dawn, Sara, Patricia, Kay, Kayla, Jen, Danielle, Alyssa, and Lindsie. So many beautiful, strong, courageous women. All speaking out in one way or another, all making a difference in the lives of women with MRKH. And all willing to stop for a moment and chat when you need to. The outpouring of unconditional love is quite literally staggering – and that fact that each and every one of them “gets it” when you say whatever is weighing heavy on your heart….wow.
Giant hugs and thank yous to a few very special sisters who have taken some time recently to help me with perspective and direction…sharing their hearts, their beliefs, and their love.
Brittany, you my darling girl gave me such peace when we spoke. Sharing your knowledge and own journey with me helped immensely. I’ve told you many times that I feel a very strong pull and connection with you…someday soon we’ll have the chance to meet in person, share a much anticipated hug and snuggle doggies together! I love you, girl…thank you for everything! <3
Patricia, I don’t even know how to thank you…where to start. Your wisdom and your Faith have been incomparable. I’ve enjoyed every conversation with you, but when we connected recently when I was more or less in crisis…your love came through bright and strong. Your wisdom, empathy, compassion, LOVE, FAITH, reassurance…you lit my path and confirmed what my heart already knew. You inspire me, you guide me, and the gifts you add to my life are immeasurable. After our talk and prayer session, I left feeling more joy and peace than I had in many months. Thank you for lighting my path, and walking along side me as I stumbled. I thank God daily for putting you in my life.
I am lucky enough each Sunday to share worship and prayer with more incredible women from our small congregation. We are led by Pastor Erica, a beautiful and humble young pastor. I enjoy her sense of humor, and her honest and direct way of just putting it all out there without sugar coating it. I’ve had many deep spiritual conversations with her of course, but I also treasure the casual conversations fostering a love of community and “girl time”. Karen of course attends and holds my hand when I need it – and passes me the kleenex. Lisa who encourages in her quiet and steady way, and has become a dear friend in just a few months. Good food and a good dog might play into that a bit, as well as a fabulous sense of humor. Sally and Diane, Beth and Rita – all strong and faith filled women who all make a difference in my life, even if they don’t know it. Watching all of you, being surrounded by your unconditional love and support is a treasure and an inspiration to be and do more in my own life.
As I look around, physically and metaphorically, I find myself surrounded by women who are bold and strong, faith filled and compassionate, kind and courageous. I learn so much from each of you, and am truly blessed by each of your presences in my life.
The past few months I’ve been making a great effort to walk a Faith filled path to enrich my own life, but also to foster my relationship with God. Along this path I am continually visited by incredible women who nudge me this way and that, shining a light when I need it, holding my hand to guide me, handing me bushels of tissues when I need them, and inspiring me to be the best ME I can be. I am truly blessed.
Be strong. Be Brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.— Joshua 1:9
Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.— Luke 1:45