Survival Isn’t Green. Survival is Courage.

A recent news story is making me think about adding a feature spotlighting the true survival mamas, women being courage.

In September, fifteen-year-old Audrie Pott took her life. She’d been sexually assaulted by friends after she passed out at a party. In the coming days, she found out about the assault when the boys started emailing and texting pictures of her.

That story broke my heart. I can’t imagine how Audrie must have felt, betrayed and humiliated in the worst way imaginable by boys she thought were her friends. Boys she probably felt safe around.

The more I thought about Audrie, the madder I got. Her situation isn’t unique, and it gets to stop. Too many girls feel alone, abandoned, and shamed. But the truth is that I’ve been there, I’ve made stupid choices, or got tricked and betrayed by someone I trusted. I thought there was no one I could tell, thought there was no way past the shame, humiliation, and fear.

Then I found a scrap of courage . . . or sometimes, when I just couldn’t find the courage, enough time passed that I realized the event wasn’t enough to kill me, and I learned from it and it made me stronger.

But Audrie didn’t. And now she’ll never get the chance to find her strength, her courage.

In tribute to Audrie — and all the other girls who’ve taken their lives, or who are thinking about it, or who will be in that place tomorrow–I want to feature other women and girls who found their courage.

To give them hope, and a future.

In my darkest days, when courage was no where to be found, I leaned on Jeremiah 29:11-12:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Some days, I thought there was no hope, no future. But now I know differently. So in the coming months, I’ll feature courageous women. The real survival mamas. Because even though she didn’t know it at the time, Audrie was a survival mama too.

Survival mamas don’t have to be “mothers.” Because the essence of every woman is motherhood. Even as girls, we nurture, encourage, inspire. Audrie did.

The motto of has always been Survival isn’t Green, Survival is Courage. When I first came up with it I thought it meant that survival sometimes requires non-green appliances. Now . . . now I realize it means survival isn’t clean, and perfect, and scripted. Survival is clawing your way out of the situation, finding courage when you think it’s gone, and surviving at all costs.

Who do you know? A single mom . . . a mom of kids with special needs . . . a girl making her way through school when every day is a struggle . . . a widow . . . a cancer survivor . . . the One Who Survived . . . a rape survivor . . . a bullying survivor . . . a divorcee . . . a marriage survivor. I’d like to honor them here.

Namaste friends. Find your courage.