A friend of mine and member of my mastermind group, Aimmee Riley, wrote a book called Tears of Hope about her experiences growing up in Lebanon during their civil war. When I first heard about her book I was very hesitant to read it. I knew she had suffered terrible hardships during her life and I am so sensitive to the suffering of others that I figured I would just be sobbing the whole time I read it. I didn’t want that experience so I put off reading her book. But one of the other members of my mastermind group assured me that the story is told in such a way that I would not be overwhelmed.
I took her book with me to the gym, got on the exercise bike, and started reading. I would normally ride the stationary bike for 20-25 minutes but from page one of Tears of Hope I was caught up in Aimmee’s story and I simply could not stop reading it. I stayed on that bike for over an hour! The story haunted me and I had to get back to reading it right away. As soon as I got home I planted myself on the couch and didn’t get up until I had finished the entire book. I was blown away by Aimmee’s story.
Just a sampling of what Aimmee had to endure growing up in a war-torn society includes severe poverty, escaping death 3 times, burying 13 close family members by the time she was 26 years old, sexual and physical child abuse, neglect, severe dyslexia, a fourth-grade education. Aimmee was married at the age of 14 and became a mother at the age of 15. She eventually moved to America where she suffered through an abusive marriage, bankruptcy, culture shock, fighting to keep her teenage daughter, and becoming a grandmother at the age of 32.
Aimmee is a survivor of the highest order. Her ability to persevere against extreme hardship should stand as a beacon of hope to all of us. Aimmee wrote her book to help other people realize that it’s possible to overcome severe hardship and overcome life’s challenges. After I read this book my perspective on hardship changed and I realized my problems didn’t amount to a hill of beans. I began to see every aspect of my life as a blessing.
Aimmee works tirelessly telling her story to people who need hope. Her triumph over adversity is like a map that can be used by anyone to persevere against even the worst of long dark nights of the soul.
She also offers the unique perspective of someone who lived through a terrible war. She has seen bombs fly through the window of her apartment and take the life of one of her brothers, changing her world forever. We may read of what happens during a war, but Aimmee has lived through it and with her book we can see how war affects families on a very personal level.
I am so proud to know Aimmee today. She is a strong woman with unbelievable courage. Her story is one of incredible perseverance. We can all learn from her tale.
You can learn more about Aimmee on her website, TearsofHope.net. You can purchase her book through Amazon. Aimmee is becoming a powerful speaker and bringing her message of hope and perseverance to audiences far and wide. If there was ever a case of turning tragedy into power, this is it! She’s an inspiration to me.