Battle Cry

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By Carrie Kuba | Twitter: @bellinka09 

It was even a part of our vows.

When the ring was placed on my finger overlooking the ocean from the cliffs of Mendocino at sunset—we shared our hopes and dreams of exploring our careers as a teacher and a software engineer around the world, raising global children, and relishing in our good fortune of having two cultures to call home.

After much heartache and loss and patience, we made it to the second trimester in a pregnancy, chose a name for our daughter that all the relatives could pronounce, and began to plan a trip to show off Baby Girl to her Czech family and look into potential job opportunities.

Our daughter was born with a devastating disease. We were told she probably would not live to 15 months, but if she did, she would need a kidney transplant and, even then, would probably not live to the age of five. I got a pulmonary embolism (three actually) on the Life Flight to the Children’s Hospital and was told that from that point on international travel would be life threatening for me.

And there it went.
All of our dreams.
Dissolved.

Grief planted its roots firmly.

*****

I believe every woman has a battle cry—a passionate mantra, whether it can be articulated with words or not—that not only encourages her to face and overcome fear and doubt, or to have the courage to raise her voice against injustice, but it also often compels others in her sphere of influence to do the same alongside her. I believe that oftentimes we do not trust it, nor believe in it, because we live in a culture where patriarchy has compelled us to feel the need to squelch it, silence it, disregard it. And in doing so, something tragic has occurred. The world has been denied the opportunity to be transformed through our wisdom and intuition, our empathy and our compassion.

Our solidarity.

My goodness, our solidarity is so powerful and beautiful.

*****

My daughter Bella is now 14 years old. I live in a state of constant tension between being grateful she is still with us and fearful that it may end at any moment. My battle cry has morphed over the years as I continue to grow and be transformed, but the core remains the same—not allowing fear to paralyze me and to advocate in areas of social justice. That battle cry has allowed our family to travel to see our Czech family, for me to be a teacher, then founder of an anti-trafficking organization and travel internationally, to adopt a daughter from Ethiopia and travel to her country, and now to be a writer.

Where I am in life is not where I ever thought I would be. There is something otherworldly about showing up and having a front row seat to my life when I live in that constant tension of grief and of hope. For me, my battle cry is the bridge between those two and, therefore, allows it to be authentic and grace-filled and re-centers me to God, the Giver of All Things.

****

Where will your battle cry take you? That battle cry might take you to the edge of the world, the actual mountain peak. Or perhaps it might take you to the edge of your driveway, your pew, the door of your office, your moms’ group, classroom, study group, your social media platform. Perhaps that will be the place of your battle cry for many seasons, maybe just for one, maybe a week or two. Regardless, let’s commit to utilizing that battle cry NOW. Let’s commit to not waiting for the invitation to climb the mountain peak or for when our children are grown or when things get easier before we utilize that battle cry.

The beauty of the battle cry, dear Warrior, is that it is meant to be used by you in the very place and space you are because that is where it is most needed.

It is our communal call to love.

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About Carrie:
I am a writer, a mother of a medically fragile kiddo and a Habesha, a wife to a Czech Renaissance man, an activist, a friend.
I am on a journey to live authentically.
You can find a piece of my heart at www.raindropsandrivers.com

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