Her Story: Anna Cate

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 four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.

Photography by Emily Long / Photos taken on location at Miller Park


Growing up, life was easy. I had two parents who loved me and who loved each other deeply – a rarity in our world today. I was a cheerleader and had a great group of friends and a life that was going rather swimmingly … until the day Mom told me that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
My sweet Momma battled breast cancer from January 2015 until it metathesized to her liver in 2016 and ultimately took her from me, my brothers, and my dad in January 2019, only four short months before I walked across a stage to graduate college. 
The next several months were quite a transition. I moved back to a house that felt a little less like a home, started a job, and attempted to find some sort of new normal. For a while I felt lifeless, just going through the motions, making sure everyone around me was okay. The reality? I was broken.
It wasn’t until I truly sought out something bigger than myself that I felt whole again. Through prayer and community, I was able to realize something huge: You don’t choose to grieve. It just happens. It happens at the nail salon when I see a mom and her daughter spending time together, when I’m in the middle of a decision and just need the opinion of the one person who knew me better than anyone. It happens in the car when I hear her favorite song, when I envision my wedding day, and when I dream of having my own children. It happens when I least expect it, in the little moments. But even though I don’t get to choose when I grieve, I do get to choose to be joyous. And guess what? I choose joy. I choose joy of the blessing of having a mother who loved me unconditionally, who showed me a perfect picture of humility, grace, and strength, and who showed me what dependence on Jesus looked like. 
Shortly after, I started blogging and found a space that I felt allowed me to channel what I was learning in my heart to those around me. Through this, I discovered strength within myself that I never knew existed, finally gave myself grace for the moments of imperfection, grief, and tears, and found so much pride in the story that was written for me.
Anna Cate
Signal Mountain

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