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 motivating story by a woman who experienced them firsthand.
As far as anyone knows, we are a nice normal family, but normal is not always the truth and can be very unforgiving. From a very young age, I equated normal with belonging. I was adopted as an infant, and from the beginning, I was on a journey to belong. Life would later teach me that this push toward normal doesn’t create genuine belonging. How you define normal changes depending on what phase of life you are in or what challenges you may be facing.
The shifts in my life have proven this true. My husband Chris and I have been married for 26 years. We married young, tackled college, and hurdled moves and other challenges from early on. We have five boys ranging in age from 3 to 21. Six days after having our fifth son, we made the trek to UT Knoxville to move our 18-year-old into his college dorm. Nursing a newborn at the age of 43 in the parking lot of Brown Hall while college freshmen carried plastic bins into their dorms was not normal! Currently, our boys are in five different life phases: college, high school, middle school, elementary, and preschool. This spread lends itself to many scenarios that stretch normal. Some of the normal in our life I can count on to stay the same – piles of laundry, nerf bullets in random places – but other things shift and force us away from the safety of normal.
I’m honestly thankful for the view apart from normal that I’ve been given. I know it’s shaping me to be a better wife, mom, and friend to others. We all will find ourselves far from the shore of what seems normal at some point in our lives – at times we may be further out than others. But no matter how far out you are, you are not alone! Let go of the norms that isolate you; embrace the discomfort; be present where you are. God has something for you there that He will use for good!
Betsy Wilburn, Signal Mountain