I’ve started this post no fewer than 10 times, not to mention all the times I’ve “written it” in my head in the last 24+ hours. It all seems so. . . empty.

On Friday I met with my new, sweet friend Wendi Miller. Our meeting began with a more than five-minute “I-get-you-mama” hug. We talked for hours about the injustices and corruption in the family court system. We talked about what I was doing about it, what she was doing about it, and how we could work together to do even more. She asked me to prayerfully consider joining her. We talked about what happened to her kids (her youngest aged out two weeks to the day before our meeting) and what is happening to mine (who was with the abuser for her longest visit to date). We dreamed and hoped and planned for a future that demands safety for women and children.

She invited me to go out with her to Laguna Beach that night, but I declined – line-dancing at The Ranch is my joy when I’m in OC. Instead, we made plans to meet at Taco Surf in Sunset Beach the next night and head over to The Ranch together. We scheduled our next meeting, which I entitled “Mtg. w/ Wendi to change the world” in my calendar: Friday, May 3 at 10:30am. (I blocked out extra time because when you spend time with a sister like this, the hours fly by.) I couldn’t reach her Saturday but figured she had truly unplugged; she had told me she was so excited for a day of relaxation and play so I let her have some peace and decided I would talk to her later. I checked in again on Sunday with a final text, “Are you okay???”

She was not okay. Turns out “later” will be a little longer than I anticipated. Wendi and I won’t get to meet on Friday, May 3 at 10:30am to change the world. I won’t get to join forces with her (personally). My fierce warrior mama friend Wendi Miller was murdered 12 hours after we parted ways on Friday. Protective parents and advocates around the country are grieving this astronomical loss. And her children. Her sweet, darling children. I can’t even begin to think of them or I can’t stop my own tears. I can only rest in the comfort of our Heavenly Father and the knowledge of the war that was won 2000 years ago, and pray her children can find rest there, too.

Wendi’s mission will not slow for even one second, of that I am sure. The high-speed train that she catalyzed is moving full speed ahead. I pray you make a choice today to get on board or to help power it forward with Wonder Woman strength. Thank you, Wendi, for fighting for your babies. Thank you for indirectly fighting for my baby. And thank you for directly fighting for hundreds and eventually thousands more. You will not be silenced but you will be deeply, deeply missed. Your faith, trust, and hope was in Christ, who promises to never leave us. I praise God that you are dancing in His glory and righteousness today, and that there are no more tears or grief for your grieving mama heart.

For the outsiders that cannot wrap their minds around this family court corruption and the trafficking of the United States’ very own children, please hear this: our children are being abused and we are letting it happen. By calling domestic violence a “private” issue or writing off allegations of abuse as not credible because “he’s such a good guy, he could never do that – she’s clearly angry about the end of the relationship and trying to hurt him by taking away the kids,” you are part of the problem. By standing by and watching as the elephant has his foot on the mouse’s tail because you “just want to be neutral,” you are part of the problem. (BTW, the mouse does not appreciate your neutrality.)

Wendi knew she would tell her story nationwide one day. She told me so on Friday, and I knew she was right. Never, not in a million years, did I think it would be because she would be murdered 12 hours later. Please #takeastandwithme. Believe a woman. Believe a CHILD. Do not let the junk science of “parental alienation” take abused children from their mamas. Learn about post-separation abuse and the use of children and the judicial system by abusers to maintain power and control over their victims. Learn about abusers and remove the stigma from being a victim. Donate to Wings for Justice. Apply to become a volunteer advocate with Wings for Justice to help fulfill Wendi’s dream of having an advocate in every single courthouse in the nation. Keep yelling from the rooftops until there is penalty for perjury in family court. Until the survivors of domestic violence aren’t thrown into a pile of “high-conflict” litigants, their experiences diminished, and their voices silenced. Until the police cruiser bumper stickers that say “there’s no excuse for domestic abuse” don’t have the small print “unless you’re in family court.” Until the actual safety of women and children is #1.

#abuseisabuseisabuse #wingsforjustice #failuretoprotect #honestlystrategic #overhaulfamilycourt #wendigotherwings