When I was little I was afraid that my sister turned into a vampire at night. I was scared of what might be under my bed. I feared a tornado would rip through my window and that would be the end of all of us.
Then I was afraid that my big sister was going lose her leg to cancer. I walked in on hushed conversations, saw my parents cry quietly when they thought we weren’t looking. Mysterious phone calls that seemed to last forever. Friends and family taking care of the rest of us kids while my parents went to appointment after appointment.
We were sheltered from much of the fear and worry that my mom and dad carried. They were honest with us about what was happening, but protected us as much as possible. How they did that when one of the worst things imaginable is happening, I couldn’t fathom. They leaned on their family, friends, and faith to see them through.
They were courageous.
There is more to that story, but it is theirs to tell.
What I remember is the courage. The strength. The bravery. The faith.
I see it more now as an adult, this courage. Facing things that are frightening. The more I experience and listen and observe, I see that courage has many faces.
Courage is asking for help when you feel like you are drowning. It is answering honestly when asked how you are doing. Courage is making yourself vulnerable. It’s admitting, “I don’t have all the answers.”
Courage is bringing a gift for your friend’s newborn when you are struggling with infertility. Or deciding to opt out of a celebration because it is more than you can handle.
Courage is confronting a friend who has hurt you, or apologizing when you are the one at fault. It takes bravery to have those conversations that risk a friendship because the relationship is worth it.
Courage is putting on a brave face, or not. It is knowing what you can handle and honouring your limits.
It is courageous to let go of control when all you want to do is grab on with every fibre of your being lest the unthinkable happens.
For me, I trust in God. I cannot do this alone. I cannot be the mom, friend, teacher, or partner that I need to be without Him. I have fears, but I do not worry, because God is bigger than my fears. I find my courage in knowing that I am not on my own on this journey. And He has brought people into my life that give me strength and encouragement.
May your sorrows be few, but when you face struggles, may you be courageous.
Dedicated to one of the strongest, bravest, kindest and most courageous people I know.