And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day

You woke up today; your night was a fight. The last thing you want to do is get up and start fighting again. You want to give in – you’re okay with settling and getting counted out. You will do anything for the fight to end. 

Everything in you is telling you to give up. It’s not worth the fight. You say maybe, just maybe… if you stop fighting to be seen… if you stop fighting to be heard… if you stop fighting to prove that you’re worth more than this… things will get better, and he or she will change. I know that you know, just like I knew, things will only get worse.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month may end in just a few days, but your life continues, and so does the fight for your freedom. This may be my last tribute, but it won’t be the last time you hear my voice. You see, in my eyes, you’re worth fighting for, but I need you to see it too. You may say, “Samantha, you’re free, these words are easy for you to write. You don’t know this fight.”

But I do. I’m in the wrestling ring with you, praying for you, advocating for you, and calling out the strength in you. A force that demands the pain to end, to raise your voice and cast aside fear, to be seen as the treasure you were created to be, to be loved unconditionally. 

Today, I am speaking directly to your circumstance. I’m speaking directly to the insanity surrounding you. I’m asking you to look at yourself in the mirror, and say to yourself, “my life is My Life, and I Am Enough, and NOW I’m championing you to FIGHT to live FREE”.

In the middle of the mess, the battle seems never-ending. In the middle of the rage, you feel unshakable fear. In the middle of the doubt, you feel like you’re losing, and life seems out of control and overwhelming. I understand the battle you’re in but let me encourage you that the war can be won, and there is an evident battle for your life. I’ve shared much with you over the past three weeks, and through this I can affirm that you will win because I did. There wasn’t a magic pill to fix me. There wasn’t another dimension that removed me from my pain. But there was and is God who reached down and whispered, “If you trust me, I will fight for you,” but I had to make the ultimate choice.

Like you, I had to choose if I would stay in that dark place and stop fighting for my children and myself, or choose to look at life and believe that there must be better for us. Don’t settle for surrender. You have what it takes to overcome. 

One of my favorite songs is Rise Up by Andra Day: 

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains, we gonna walk it out…
And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up, And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up…In spite of the ache, I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

For you, I rise up. A dear friend said to me recently, It’s not only my pain; it’s the pain. All of us go through different levels of pain and in different seasons of life. And yes, life is more than a song, and your life is more than the pain. With the little that strength that you have or none the less, will you rise up. God will rise up on you. Those around you will rise up with you. In closing, know I am and will never disregard your pain. You don’t have to live as a statistic: bruised, broken, hopeless, rejected. I rose up to write to you today, to infuse hope for you to share your voice tomorrow.



– Samantha N. Barber

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please seek help through one of the many organizations providing assistance in the DMV area: