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WRITE TEAM: An ode to heroic women

Shari Tvrdik
Shari Tvrdik

I’ve been thinking a whole lot about women.

Of course I love men. I married my favorite man and two of the best looking men call me mom.

I mean no harm to them by celebrating the mysterious strength of what some call the weaker sex.”

But women: honestly, you are blowing me away this month. I’ve been observing the women in my life and I’ve been learning from you.

Last week, a coworker stood steady in our office as she talked about losing her long beautiful pony tail, a side effect of fighting her Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis. In the midst of that conversation she began to tell me how the weekend before her chemo treatments she was meal prepping, getting everything frozen and ready to make it simple and smooth on her family.

I wondered if she realized what a heroic act that was.

Another woman I know showed up for volunteer work at a counseling center even though I know her own family is facing the hardest week of their lives. She was the first one there, silently setting everything up. She opened the shades to let the sun into the office, started the coffee pot and turned on the music so that families in our community could experience a flawless step into emotional healing.

One of the bravest women I know was assaulted two years ago. Although she pressed charges and went through the grueling, and sometimes degrading, process of taking it to trial, the justice system failed her. Both perpetrators got away with it. Despite all of it, she is strong and focused enough to recognize when she had used up all her own power. “I thought I could just get over it, but I think it’s time to start walking through it,” she said. She begins therapy next week.

Two young ladies in their high school senior year sat across from me for dinner. They were a hot mess. One had just begun the drudge through the muddy waters of a major break-up, while the other talked of her hope of marrying the guy she was seeing.

I watched the conversation more than listened.

“You’ll be my maid of honor,” the girl in love said.

“Well ... yeah ... if not ... I’ll be suing you,” the girl with the heart wound replied, laughing.

Oh, what a classroom I have been to this month. Thank you!

In watching you I learned that sometimes heroes stand alone in their kitchens, stirring a pot of beans, thinking beyond themselves. Other times heroes crawl out of bed even when they are exhausted. They start the coffee and give regardless of their own personal struggle.

Some heroes lose the fights they should have won and make the choice to keep fighting anyway. Other heroes look like teenage girls resisting jealousy and celebrating her best friend’s love even when her own heart is crushed.

Look around us. Heroic women are everywhere, and you’re all so beautiful to me.

SHARI TVRDIK is director of special projects and communication for Cup of Cold Water Ministries. From the four corners of your living room to the other side of the globe, the mission to live God’s love is always and everywhere. To reach her, email

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