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.
Photos taken on location at Wildflower Tea Shop & Apothecary
Fathers are essential to the foundation of a family and are the fabric of a community. In the first years of my life, my biological father left my mother, my older brother, and me and never returned. He would later pass away. My mother would later remarry the wonderful man who raised my siblings and me and move forward with her life.
At around age 12, my mother and father sat us down and told us that even though this remarkable man had raised us nearly all of our lives, we weren’t his children. I remember feeling anger and pain and having so many questions I thought I could never ask. I kept everything inside and mushed forward in my life, often feeling internally like an incomplete person. Where was my family? Where were my other siblings? Where was my father buried? Why didn’t he love us?
It wasn’t until I went to a Christian women’s support group hosted by E’bay Seay that I would speak about my father for the first time. As fate would have it, my mother was also in attendance. Mrs. Seay gave us a sheet of paper with questions about bitterness and asked if anyone felt encouraged to share. I spoke, and with tears rolling down my face, I finally admitted my feelings about being abandoned. A small circle of women invited me to forgive him.
The following Sunday, I found his grave at the National Cemetery, forgave him, and posted it on Facebook. My baby brother’s mother saw the post and connected us, and I would later be connected with my eldest brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. If someone has harmed you, forgive them. Forgiveness is not for the other person; it’s for you. We can accept people for who they are and not let what they’ve done define our lives. It’s a process, so have grace with yourself as your feelings and memories surface. We do not have to let any level of trauma define our lives. Be encouraged.
Marie Mott, Chattanooga