I’ve often wondered and asked myself, “how did I grow into a strong woman?” I think it’s a combination of my parent’s high expectations, their unwavering support, my faith, and the unique childhood adventures of my education and play.

I had a great group of friends growing up in my neighborhood. We played together, ate together, and even fought together. We spoke a unique vernacular of mixed-up Arabic, English, and a few French words thrown in depending on which phrases best described what we were trying to communicate. An example of a compliment in our lingo would have sounded like this, “Bravo! Inta shatir a bunch!”

We built imaginary towns in the olive groves, stores under the stairwell, classrooms under rooftop grape arbors, and theaters for performing dramatic plays in actual Roman and Crusader ruins.

Through all this imaginary yet earnest play, we “built” each other up and eventually grew into strong adults, acting on our own child-like passions, and “building” on our dream-filled fantasies.

Nevertheless, the dilemma with being competent, resolute, and resourceful is that people often presume I don’t need things like solace, validation, allegiance, or advice. Therefore, they leave me alone, assuming my strengths will negate the need for support. However, they don’t understand that I am a strong woman because I have fortified myself stone by stone. I had to become that person in order to survive and to thrive.

I read a quote recently with which I resonated. Margaret Preston, an accomplished yet maverick Australian artist said, “At the heart of many strong, confident people, is a heart longing of the things that most others simply take for granted.”



Who needs your understanding today?

. . . you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome . . . 

1 John 2:14

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