When I began to write this book I was originally trying to update an old classic – but as I went through it I felt that we were really missing something if we were just going to regurgitate material from the past. The stories of these women would resonate with young women today if only they could see that a Christian heroine is just a woman, but a woman who makes herself available to God. When I looked at the stories of Blandina and then Anne Askew I saw young women with the same hopes and dreams that all of us have. These women are Christian heroines – but we can be heroines too.
When writing summaries of these women’s lives I wanted to give other young women the opportunity to put themselves in a heroine’s shoes – to see if they’d fit as it were. Because these heroines were just like us… what makes them special is God and his purposes. Who knows what God has planned for our lives? It could easily be persecution like it was for Blandina or the Two Margarets – it could be fearlessly standing up for the truth like Elizabeth Welch. Or it could be a more anonymous testimony to God’s strength and faithfulness in our lives… where only our Lord and Saviour witnesses the sacrifices we make for him.
Blandina, Perpetua of Carthage, Felicity, Anne Askew, Joyce Lewes, Alice Bendon, Prest’s wife, Helen Stark, Elizabeth Welch, Marion Fairlie, Isabel Alison, Marion Hervey, Margaret Wilson, Magaret Wilson, Margaret Maclauchan, Elizabeth Gaunt, Marie Durand, Ann Haseltine Judson, Marrianna Slocum, Corrie Ten Boom, Betty Stam.
With the names of these twenty-one heroines you can go through history and see how women made made a difference in their world and in church. From the slave girl Balndina through to the young mother Betty Stam, we discover the women who faced their struggles with strength – the strength of God.
Many of these women made sacrifices for their faith. They endured the pain and suffering in order to give glory to their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They had real faith – a faith with muscle. There were tortures and imprisonments, executions and separations from husbands and family. Lonely nights and heartache were a reality but so is God and the knowledge that nothing that can separate us from the love of God.