Woman of Substance

You may be asking, “What is a WOS?” This is what it means to me.

When I was 20 years old and newly married, my husband, Brad, and I watched a movie called ‘A Woman of Substance’, a movie based on a book written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. At the end, I looked at him and said, “I want to be a woman of substance”. I had no idea what I was asking for and how hard the lessons would be. I have learned that a WOS (Woman of Substance) will keep moving forward one step at a time, falling down and getting back up, over and over, while doing what needs to be done. She learns to let go of the pain in her past and believe in the good things that are coming. This is the true meaning of faith, believing in the unseen.

From the time my son and daughter were little, they have heard me say, “Enjoy the journey.” It was, and is, my greatest wish for them and for all of us on this adventure called life. We’re all on a journey, and there are many paths in our life that make us who we are, and who we become. In my life, just as you have, I have walked many paths. As a spiritual woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend, author, inspirational speaker, photographer, seeker of healing, textile artist, tour manager, wedding coordinator, teacher, wife for 29 years, and a widow I have experienced beautiful moments in time and overwhelming hardships that have made me a Woman of Substance.

After 20 years of the life I had always dreamed of, with one phone call, the lives of our family shattered. We suffered many kinds of devastating loss and I learned the meaning of a WOS. Our lives became unbearable and our family went into survival mode. The unexpected happened and in that moment all was changed. Nothing in our lives was ever the same again. There was financial loss, public humiliation, health issues resulting from extreme stress, loss of career, ruination of reputation, and loss of hope. While still in the midst of finding a new normal, my husband died. I raged at God and begged Him to let me die, too. Nothing in my life had ever prepared me for such loss and devastation.

After walking in the darkness for a long time, I finally began to see light. I had choices to make. Would I choose to see what I had lost or focus on what blessings remained? Would I have great expectations for the future, or believe that all I could be was what had already happened to me? Would I choose to live, really LIVE, or settle into a mundane existence simply surviving each day? I made a decision. I chose to embrace the blessings in my life and to cherish those dear to my heart. I chose to value life even more. I chose to believe there are endless possibilities for my life. I chose to not allow the pain in my past to define me. I CHOOSE! I CELEBRATE!

On this long, painstaking, courageous walk, I have learned the meaning of surrender and experienced the freedom that comes in trusting God. I celebrate the woman I am today! Have you chosen to celebrate the WOS you have become? There are many of us and we all have a story to tell. If you would like to share your story with me, I would love to read it.
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