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Hello, World Pulse!

I joined World Pulse nearly four years ago and have read the newsletters all this time, rejoicing quietly as this community has grown and become more powerful every day. At that time my family was struggling desperately, and my business as a freelance web designer was just getting off the ground. I'm an artist by nature, and originally taught myself how to makes websites for family endeavors. It became a business when the community of artists (mostly women) in my area let me know they had no one they could trust to help them with their websites. I've worked hard to establish a good reputation and increase my skills and confidence. As a result, I have more friends than ever, women who love and trust me, and whose work I love and value very deeply. Slowly but surely, despite some terrifying setbacks and thanks to the help of my husband and son, two beautifully creative but unemployed men who have stepped into traditionally "female" roles like cooking and doing laundry so I can get in more work time, our situation has gradually been improving.

I'm still pressed for time outside work so I can revisit my true loves - painting and writing - and I need to keep my path straight to accomplish more important family goals, but I can see that things are changing. I'm so grateful for all of my family, which also includes two grown daughters with their own children. This in itself makes my life so different than I ever thought it would be. I never had any children of my own, all my kids are my husband's children. I am blessed that they are happy to accept me as a mom, and the love and encouragement that we girls, all three very busy ladies who all support our families, share with each other is so deep and so meaningful that sometimes tears come to my eyes when I think about how they have fulfilled an empty part of myself I didn't know was there.

About two years ago we got a call from one of our daughters. I answered the phone, so I was the one who was first to hear that she, a married woman with two young boys, had spent Mother's Day in a shelter for abused women because her husband had threatened to kill her. She was trying so hard to be strong, but I could hear the fear in her voice. It was the same fear I had heard in my mother's voice when her second marriage turned violent. It wasn't so much that she was afraid to die. She was afraid she would lose the God she loved so dearly if she attempted to escape. I told her what I told my mother, which was that no one could ever convince me that God would rather see her die at the hands of her husband than break her marriage vows. That incident began a two year odyssey during which she struggled all the way to freedom. Not just freedom from an abusive marriage, from the deceitful religiosity preached by self-serving men that had been a large part of what had trapped her in her marriage, and from fear itself.

Since we didn't live near her and didn't have the funds to travel and stay close, there was a lot I couldn't do to help, but I listened whenever she called, encouraged her in every way I could, rejoiced with her in the little victories along the way and groaned with her at the setbacks, and never stopped praying for her safety and eventual release from the hell in which she was living. Still, nothing I did was as powerful as what she did for herself. She utterly depended on God, going to him for everything she needed from personal encouragement to legal fees, and God never failed her. Her relationship with the One who strengthened her, who did miracles and more for her, became so strong and beautiful that before she could see the light at the end of the tunnel herself, she was already helping other women in the same situation. She did eventually make it all the way through to freedom, and along the way she found God to be someone different, and so much more loving, concerned and always there for her, than she had ever been led to believe before.

I'm writing today because my daughter just joined the World Pulse community. With one journal entry much more brief, better worded and powerful than my own, she earned her first badge in days and caught the attention of the community. She has written a book about her journey from abuse to freedom and is searching for a publisher, and is also writing a blog which brings tears of relief and hope to everyone I know who's read it. I just wanted to let everyone know how very proud of her I am, and how much I believe her writings will help other women ensnared by religious, cultural and patriarchal beliefs in abusive, even life-threatening marriages as she was. I hope you will visit her blog at http://www.jenniferfaith.org and see for yourself how "no one speaks for her, she speaks for herself," and how you or someone you love can be set free as she was from a life of fear and abuse. You can search for Jennifer Faith or go to http://worldpulse.com/user/22187 to connect with her, read what she writes on her page and share your own experiences. She is devoted to helping other women to make her own experiences count. She will listen, she might have practical advice to help you, and she will pray that you will make it to safety as she did.

Comments

PohChing's picture

Journal entries

Reading the journal entries at this forum motivate one to be stronger as I get to know how other women are living in other parts of the world and further understand to reinforce the thinking that the women movement should be a continuous effort globally as the job never ends for generations...to remind that it can never be a finished job to ensure more and continuous equality so that any improvements at anywhere will not be reversed into past situations. For example, in Afghanistan. Such movement has to be a global one that can get the attention of global and local women groups and also other non-governmental organisations which can lobby for the cause and to spread the word together, to raise awareness. Women will then know that we are not alone in such efforts and beliefs. Unity for a common belief so that we are taken seriously for our cause.

hanasazi's picture

Thank you so much ...

...for commenting, PohChing! It's true, together we can make a difference. I hope you will visit Jennifer Faith's blog and connect with her on World Pulse. She's working hard in her own community and online to make a difference, too.

Leina's picture

Beloved Hanasazi,I can't tell

Beloved Hanasazi,I can't tell you enough how powerful it is that u stand as a pillar to your daughter! I will like to connect with her.
Much love
Leina

hanasazi's picture

Thank you! But it is easy for

Thank you! But it is easy for me to do because she is such a brilliant woman herself, and her writing is so beautiful and so powerful, even I cannot read her posts without weeping. She's been through a lot and is working very hard to make those experiences worthwhile by helping other women, so it's easy to be proud of her and to want to support her in everything she's trying to accomplish. By nature she is a beautiful, faithful and fun-loving person, too, so she is easy to love.

You will be happy if you connect with Jennifer Faith. She is a wonderful mother, a fantastic emergency room nurse, and a surfer. She is new to the world of writing, but my cousin Greg Barrett, a published author and Pulitzer-nominated journalist, helped her with some suggestions and proofreading, and after a final read of her book he said it was perfect, and that if he were a publisher himself he would ask her for a manuscript right away!

Her own experiences feed a burning desire to help other women suffering from abuse in their marriages but not sure how to escape. I'm sure we all know someone like that who would benefit from reading her powerful, encouraging words. I'm so relieved that she made it out safely, and will do anything I can to help her in her new calling to help other women get free from abuse as she has.

I'm very grateful for your own lovely and kind words, Leina, and hope we can stay in touch, too. I will be interested to learn more about your own writing, and how your efforts to stop breast ironing are coming. It is amazing what life can set before us as a mission isn't it? I have heard about this but do not know much about it. Perhaps I have a little something of my own to offer as well. I expect I will find my voice and what the World Pulse community finds of most value from me if I keep writing! Many blessings to you, and have a beautiful, inspiring day!

Jennifer Faith's picture

You make me cry happy tears

Dear Hanasazi (or mom as I so affectionately call you),

You are such a blessing to me. Thank you so much for sharing my story here and for all of the faithful love, support, encouragement and active listening you provide. You are wise, anointed and favored and I am so very blessed to have you, dad and Joel in my life. I literally could have not made it through my harrowing escape without you. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next and you are a big part of why I am still alive - not only alive - but thriving and healed.

All my love,
Jennifer

Thank you so much, Jennifer. I will never forget that gratitude that flooded my heart when we hung up the phone the day you first called to tell us what was happening to you. Gratitude that you were able to trust me enough to get it off your chest, and again later, as you continued calling to talk about it every step of the way. I know how hard that is, and it has always been an honor to be there for you. I really can't find the right words tell you how very much you mean to me, how proud of you I am, and how certain I am that Jesus is going to make every second of the suffering you have endured into a jewel in your crown - a glittering crown made of the women whose lives you are destined to save, whose broken hearts you will heal, and whose futures will opened to limitless possibilities instead of ending prematurely, because of your open heart, compassion and care. God bless you forever, dear one, and may our eternal "tribe" of sisters swell with many women and girls who have gotten out of trouble or avoided it in the first place because you had the courage to tell your story to the world.

I have seen a quote by an unknown author in the signatures of at least two of our World Pulse sisters that certainly applies to you: "A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her." You sure have seen those bricks, haven't you, Love? And you have wasted no time, but began to build right away. I know you will make a place of consolation, comfort and blessing for many out of the pile that lies at your feet. The only memory of the pain those bricks caused you will be with laughter as we remember how, with the inspiration, guidance and help of God, you turned each one into a blessing.

You go, girl! On the wings of the Spirit...of Compassion...of Love...

Oh, and where did I put the tissues? Tears of joy streaming down my face...you're alive, and now many more will stay alive because of you.

Olive9's picture

Thank you

Thank you Hanasazi for your post. I have only recently joined worldpulse and I am still not sure how it works but I have had my first friend request from a woman who seems very caring and strong and your post is the second one I've read. It is very moving and strengthening and I will read Jennifer's story. I admit that my feelings about religion are about the same as your description of Jennifer's early experience. I don't have the faith that she has and it is almost humbling. I thank you very much for your post and also for leading me to Jennifer's story. I look forward to keeping up with both of you here.

hanasazi's picture

Welcome to WorldPulse, Olive9!!!

I am honored that the second post you've read is one I wrote!! I have been a member for 4 years but only recently became active, and I must tell you that from what I have experienced so far, this is such a warm, welcoming network of caring and hard-working women that it is already changing my life in a beautiful way. The resources and assistance and encouragement they so freely offer is amazing, and I've already heard a couple of ladies tell me about opportunities that have come to them from their networking here! I know you will find many wonderful friends through World Pulse, and I hope I will be one of them! I'll send you a request right now.

As for Jennifer, remember that her faith has grown immeasurably as a result of her journey in escaping her abusive marriage. We are all on a journey to increase our faith in one way or another, and it's who our faith is in that really makes the difference. If it's in a church, doctrine or or ideology, there's a good chance we'll bet let down. If it's in the Creator of the heavens and the earth, that faith can only grow because the Creator is always looking for ways to prove himself, and people on whose behalf he can reveal his strength and tenderloving care. It's really important to distinguish between the two.

Thank you SO MUCH for writing! I look forward to getting to know you better.

Greengirl's picture

Well done Super Mum

Your words are full of so much faith, energy, influence, passion, support and hope. You embody and exemplify all these and much more. Now I just can't find any reason not to believe that you are a Super mum! I imagine how that I identified you as a super mum long before I came across this super piece. Jennifer and your entire family are so blessed to have you in their lives. I bet we are too in this community.

You are one mum too many!

Very high regards,
Greengirl

hanasazi's picture

Oh, Greengirl...

Oh, Greengirl...You are so sweet. Thank you so, so much. I love my new nickname, given by you! I hope my words and actions will always be true to it! You are a mighty woman yourself and it's wonderful...life-changing to have connected with you here. I've been busy with work this week and the post I've been working on at your suggestion needs more editing (it's far too long) but I think I'll be able to get it polished up over the weekend. Thank you for your encouragement, it's been fun reflecting on how I found myself on the ICT path and remembering all the ways it has provided me to give other people a hand. I wonder if you'd like to read it before I publish, or if I should just go for it? Oh, and I also wanted to ask when the close of Phase 2 of Women Weave the Web comes up?
Thanks, GG
♥ Hannah

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