Today's a first for me, I'm honored to guest post for a new friend and fellow #ForTheLove launch team member, Claire Mummert's Living Bravely series at Radically Broken.
There have been many circumstances in my life when other people have told me I was brave, like when I had my double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery in 2003 and then 10 years later had to have the reconstruction repeated. But I didn’t think that was brave. It was a necessity and I didn’t choose it. I just endured it.
No. When I think about true bravery, I think it’s when a choice has to be made and in that choice we, me and you, walk. Sometimes it’s a choice to walk away. Sometimes it’s a choice to walk beside. Sometimes it’s a choice to walk into the unknown. We walk away from abusive spouses and hurtful relationships. We walk beside our mothers and fathers when they forget not only details but who we even are. We walk into the unknown of burning buildings, like the first responders on 9/11 and new situations.
Sometimes, we walk away, beside and into the unknown all at the same time. And in the scariness of these situations is where we choose to walk brave because fear, well it paralyzes. Fear can’t walk.
In 2014, my husband and I experienced the most difficult year of our lives. Hands down, more difficult than the poor teenage choices of our oldest son, or our multiple financial failures, or even the unexpected death of our dear friend.
There was no soaring, no running and we were fainting fast.
We were quickly becoming fearful that our son might not be able to handle life in our home. After several inpatient hospital stays and exhausting all the outpatient services available to him we were left with one option. We faked it as we drove our nine year old son nearly 4 hours away and left him with strangers. People we met upon arrival and knew all of two hours when we had to trust that they would not cause further harm than he had already experienced. Residential- no way. Not us. But we’d come too far from the hard place we thought we were rescuing him from nearly eight years before to quit on him. So, against every fiber in our being- against everything that comes natural for a mom and dad, against every dream we’d dreamed for him- we begged God for courage and we walked.
He came to us with a bright smile- but even as a toddler that smile was his mask. We had spent years trying to un-do the damage caused by abuse and neglect; but just as we didn’t “make the mess” if you will, we couldn’t fix it. And we were running out of hope. There was much said without words during his months away. And that’s was okay, because he needed to hear our hearts. He too, had to choose to walk brave. To walk away from being defined by his hard place; walk beside and let us take care of him and love him no matter what, and walk into the unknown of giving up control.
I don’t think it comes natural to us to walk brave- until we’re faced with knowing there is no other way. He’s back home and we are given opportunities every day to choose brave over fear.
Isaiah 40:31 tells us that they who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not get weary and they will walk and not faint.
Keep walking my friend- walk brave.
Happy Friday y'all!