Not very long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting three very intelligent and sweet women: Joyce Anthony, Lacresha Hayes and Erica Newton. My life has not been the same since hearing their testimonies and looking at their lives.
Joyce is an author, a friend, a mother, a wife, and a survivor of abuse. She's friendly, self-sacrificing, and kind. That is so rare today. I've had time to look this woman up all over the net. I frequent her blog, http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog. If she gives a recommendation of a book or a person, I can accept it wholeheartedly. I trust her and that's not easy for me to say. She has that something about her that makes her easy to love and easy to lean on. But, what I want is for her to feel comfortable leaning on me. She reminds me of a sister, someone you can laugh and cry with, disagree with, and then live and love for another day.
Lacresha is also an author and also a survivor of abuse. Lacresha and I have a very different relationship. She has become like a daughter to me. In fact, I call on her when I have a problem before I call on my own child. She has the wisdom of an old lady, but she's still young. There is a genuineness to her, sincerity and even naivity (if that is a word) that sticks out and I fear most people attach to her just to use her. Even with all the horrendous things that have befallen her, she somehow still keeps a certain optimism.
We came together to begin focusing on trying to get the government to put more money into free counseling for victims of sexual and physical abuse. She has a drive and energy that is highly contagious. She's always honest, always loving, always willing to pray, always ready with a scripture or two. I love her as if I'd had her, though that would be highly unlikely since I'm white with German roots and she's African American. Still, she is my family because she's proven her love and her willingness to sacrifice.
Then there is Erica, wife to an attorney and also an author. (Maybe God is trying to tell me something with all these author friends I have.) Erica is one of the snappiest people in the world. She has a quick wit. She is a snazzy dresser. She's a mini diva. LOL! I also have come to love her as my own. She has the biggest blue/green eyes you'd ever want to see. And now, she's pregnant with twins.
Erica helped me a lot recently when she and her husband actually flew out to be with me during a legal issue that could have cost my family the house we live in. My husband has been sick and down for awhile, though I've mostly kept that quiet. We were behind on our bills. I never asked. Never spoke a word about it. Erica wrote me and said her husband told her that they needed to come and help me. They did and paid the $1690 necessary for me to keep my house. The day they paid the money was the first time I'd ever laid real eyes on either of them. She adopted me as her mom and writes me every single day.
I had to stop a moment to cry. That is not the kind of thing that happens everyday. Erica means a lot to me because her emails and ultrasound photos and such keep me going. She is like an anti-depressant. She's a ball of love and joy and I'll never be the same now that she's in my life.
These three women are all different, yet they are all the same. They are all more than willing to put themselves aside for others and I feel they should be celebrated. I love them all and I pray that nothing ever separates me from either of them.