The Story Behind Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame by Cynthia Simmons

» Posted on Apr 6, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on The Story Behind Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame by Cynthia Simmons

This week I’m hosting Naomi Rawlings with Sanctuary for a Lady, Susan Page Davis with Lady Anne’s Quest (either print or ebook), Rebecca Ondov with Heavenly Horse Sense, and Cynthia Simmons with Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame (no giveaway).  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (April 8th) evening.

The Story Behind the Book: Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame

My stomach knotted as I gazed at my youngest son, Caleb. I checked on him often, but he hadn’t moved in several hours. He lay on his back turning one toy in rhythm.  Was something wrong? Homeschooling his four older siblings consumed my time, and I thanked God Caleb was sweet and quiet. I never dreamed he was in the autism spectrum. No, he didn’t talk, but he didn’t need to. His adoring brothers and sisters made sure he lacked nothing.

As my husband and I compared notes, a pattern emerged.  Caleb didn’t behave like a four year old, and a professional confirmed developmental delay. He advised me to teach Caleb kindergarten material. Right away I encountered trouble. Caleb couldn’t pay attention—not even a few seconds. I had to hold his face in my hand and almost touch his nose to instruct him. If he made a mistake, which he often did, he threw himself in the floor and screamed. Ear-splitting shrieks! The task appeared insurmountable, so I took classes, researched and studied.

Finally a doctor did extensive testing and gave us a diagnosis. It almost plunged me into depression. His numerous labels took half a page.  Rather than use therapists on a consulting basis, I hired one full time. But that created another problem. The new therapist disliked me because I had the arrogance to educate a child so troubled. She treated me with disdain.  Within a few months, I was sick.  I saw my doctor and his concern alarmed me. I worried I’d have to stop homeschooling.

In desperation, I cried out to God. His response took me by surprise. I became interested in a prominent individual from the past and began historical research. Stories of faithfulness I unearthed delighted me. I gleaned courage and perseverance from believers who lived before me. My outlook changed, and my health returned. Despite the challenges, I continued to teach Caleb alongside professionals, and he improved. God gave me grace through each struggle. Today my son’s a gracious young man who’s ready for vocational training.

God comforted me, and I felt a responsibility to pass it to others. So, in 2004, I joined a Christian Authors Guild. The group offered education, encouragement, and critiques. I achieved success in publishing with newspapers and magazines as well as group publications.

After a little research, I discovered much of the uplifting material I loved hadn’t found its way into print. In Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame, I told anecdotes of prominent women whom I’d grown to care for like Katie Luther and Susannah Spurgeon. The twelve week Bible study guide pulled issues from each story. For instance, Henry VIII of Britain planned to arrest his wife, Kateryn, because she advised him on spiritual matters.  The Bible study sent the student to Scripture to examine Kateryn’s choices and discover the meaning of biblical submission. I hope to encourage women toward a deeper understanding of their faith while also demonstrating God’s ability to use difficult circumstances for our good.