Phil over at A Family Runs Through It is talking about heroes and role models today. It struck a cord with me, and so I'm exploring the topic myself.
Growing up, I didn't seem to be able to fit into any of the stereotypes for women that I saw around me. There were many unhealthy models to choose from, chemically dependent, emotionally dependent, or just so darned lady-like that I couldn't shape my tom-boyish brain around the concept. I saw women who couldn't survive without a man, any man, in her life. Although I related to that, it scared me and I didn't want it.
As a senior in high school, I accepted Christ. That started the change in me. (And for those of you going, "Oh, great, religious crap", I'll just say that as a fairly logical person who has researched what usually happens to children from families such as mine*, there is no other reason for me to have turned out as I have.)However, it wasn't immediate, and I still traveled partially down roads I shouldn't have. I got into unhealthy relationships, one very bad. It took that one for God to smack me along side the head and say "WAKE UP YOU IDIOT! Is this what you REALLY want?" I didn't. It was a turning point in my life.
Two years after the turning point met my husband. But it wasn't until we got involved in a good church that I've found women who I wanted to model my life after. My walk with Christ has changed me from what I might have been. And that's a good thing. However, it's a long, tough road for a hard-headed person like me. And as I look back over the last twelve years since I accepted Christ, I've had some close calls. But, man, have I changed! And he has provide me with models when I needed them.
Like Phil, I don't want my children to want for positive role models, male or female. I want to give them what was lacking in my own life. But that isn't money, or possessions. It is a healthy outlook on life, a love for God, a love for family, and a love for other people.
So, after all of this rambling, who are my heroes? It is cliche but true that first would have to be Jesus(what an amazing person, if you really study his life). However, I think God has given me a special gift in being able to pick heroic qualities out of most women I meet. And so, save for a few very special women who seemed to have all, I think I see heroes in most women I know. No one is perfect, after all. So, in my mom I see the spirit of survival; in my sister, love of the underdog; in my mother-in-law, a most tender and fierce love of her children, and so the list can go on. Those are some of my role models. Who are yours?
*My family was most unhealthy growing up, and while most of us have dealt with our demons, the effects run deep.