When we think of ladies of courage so many come to mind. There are so many women each and every day that are challenged physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. They some how find the strength to bear with their burdens and meet them face-to-face. They forge ahead and remain strong. Throughout their challenge I am sure that there are tears and they sometimes might find it too much to bear. They gather all of their courage within them and instead of giving up they fight back with a vengeance. These women are called survivors.
Below are three ladies of courage and their stories:
Bethany Hamilton: Bethany Hamilton is a young lady of courage and best known for her surfing accomplishments. Starting before the age of eight, Bethany wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps and pursue her love for surfing on a more professional level. Growing up in beautiful Hawaii, there were many opportunities in the field. In late of October 2003 while doing what she loves best, Bethany went surfing with her friend and her friend’s family. In the early morning Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot shark. Her left arm was ripped off and she was assisted to shore. Her doctors reported a 60% blood loss, but were thankful as the damage could have been fatal had the shark had bitten down just a little bit further. Bethany, however, was back on her board just three weeks later. She had to learn to surf with just one arm and she did. Winning two awards for courage in 2004, Bethany is an inspiration. In 2005 Bethany took 1st in the NSSA National Championships. This was one of her goals in life and she did it regardless of her handicap.
Elizabeth Smart: Elizabeth Smart was a kidnapping victim from Utah and was abducted at the age of 14. She was taken from her own bedroom in the middle of the night. Nine months later, in 2003, she was found less than 20 miles away from her family home. Her abductors were a couple that were reported to be drifters in the area. After her abduction she was "wed" to her abductor according to his religious beliefs. Horrendous sexual acts were part of Elizabeth’s every day life. She was forced to keep a journal of her thoughts. It was thought that brainwashing techniques toward Elizabeth were also part of her daily life. Elizabeth is thankful to be back with her family. Her abductor’s are being dealt with legally. Elizabeth overcame this heartwrenching ordeal and is now in college. She hopes to encourage other girls that when faced with an ordeal like this "not let it consume your life". In 2008, Elizabeth was featured in People Magazine as one of that years heroes. Elizabeth’s story is a testimonial to all kidnapping victims who have risen above in spite of trauma.
Jaycee Dugard: A heartbreaking story, Jaycee Dugard, was the kidnapping victim that was held captive in a backyard for 18 years by her abductors. For more than half of her life her abductors were all the family that she knew. Fathering her two children and forced to live among squalor she was finally discovered and her nightmare that she lived in was finally over. However, the scars will remain. During those 18 years Jaycee refused to give up and sustained herself through it all. We can only imagine what she went through for that time period in her life. There is no doubt in my mind that Jaycee is a true lady of courage and deserves so much after so much has been taken from her.