Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for a truly motivating story by a woman who experienced them firsthand.
Photography by Rich Smith / Photos taken on location at SideTrack
Latricia Milburn, Ooltewah
When I was a little girl in Sunday School, my teacher compared God to an engineer looking down on the system of railroad tracks he had built. From above, he could see the twists and turns, the roadblocks, and the straightaways, and most importantly, he could see where the train would end up. But while you are on that train, all you can see is the part of the journey right in front of you, and the bumps in the road feel like they will be the end of you.
That is what it felt like to be sitting in a hospital room in 2011 when a nurse told us that our first baby likely had Down syndrome. All I could see were the struggles and the things that would set her apart as a baby and me as a mother. The family I had envisioned didn’t seem to be an option for us anymore. Our train had gone in a different direction, and in those first few months, the challenges overshadowed a lot of the joy. Now, as I look back, I can see when the joy started to creep through the cracks. When our first son came along, a brother to Lila, that joy only grew, and we knew we had even more love to give. But sitting in another doctor’s office, three years later, when our third baby was on the way, we found out he was also carrying an extra chromosome. I wondered if that love would be enough … if I would be enough. The moment that knocked me off-track the first time was here again.
Were we sad? Not every mom would admit it, but yes. Were we overwhelmed? Absolutely. But we knew a secret. We knew that joy would outweigh the fear in time. Our kids are amazing, and they can also be amazingly challenging. But here’s what I’ve learned. Veering off the track you imagined your life would follow doesn’t mean you can’t end up in the kind of place you wished for when you started. And sometimes, the path you end up on is even more beautiful than the one you would have picked for yourself.