When I was a freshman at the BYU, there was a girl on my floor who had a poster of an upright fist with the words: Uppity Women Unite! at the bottom. I don’t remember this girl’s name (though I do remember a rumor she left the Y for Berkley) and I had no idea who the Uppity women were or why they should unite, but man was that poster cool.
I’ve thought about that poster a lot over the past few days because I’ve done a lot of uniting in celebration with some pretty awesome friends.
With Friend 1, we celebrated a new beginning
Friend 2 and I celebrated her 40th birthday by going on a girls’ trip with two other friends.
And for Friend 3, I threw a party to celebrate the good news that Covenant Books wants to publish her book.
All good news, right? So what do these friends have to do with uppity women, you ask? Well, let me tell you a little more about them..
The new beginning Friend 1 and I celebrated is her courage to get out of an abusive relationship. Sometimes, know matter how bad things are, it’s easier to stick with what you know than face the unknown. But she’s got a lot of women surrounding her– lifting her up after years of being beaten down–united in helping her start over.
Friend 2 has had some knock down, drag out fights with depression over the years. When she lost her mom to cancer this year, we worried we would lose her to depression. But she’s feeling better physically and emotionally than she has in years. So we celebrated her and her strength and listened to stories about her mom. Then cried with her when, for the first time, her mom didn’t call her to say “Happy Birthday.”
And talk about strength. Friend 3’s book is about the grief– and the miracles–she experienced when her son was killed in a sledding accident just before his fifth birthday. She spent two years writing and editing that story. The day she found out it was going to be published was the first day I had seen my old friend in four years. The one without the sad eyes.
It’s not the publishing part she’s excited about. It’s the part where her pain can hopefully be a balm for those who are in need of comfort. You can get a sense for how she does that here: http://mormon.org/jenny/
The women who came to my house to celebrate Friend 3’s accomplishment have felt her pain. Even those who didn’t know her when it happened. But those of us who were there in those days and weeks after her son’s death, prayed to take on some of her burden. And I know that Heavenly Father allowed us to do that. And in doing so, we gained a better understanding of the Atonement and what the Savior suffered for us. We learned what her book aims to show: there are blessings that come from tragedy.
The past few days have taught me, once again, just how amazing the women are who surround me. I’m in awe of the things we can do when we unite to lift each other up. And we don’t even need the rallying call of “Uppity Women Unite!”
We only need to follow our instincts and the Spirit.
I do really like to say those words though..