My reply was this:
"My acts of bravery have not been so monumental; but none the less huge in my scale of life. Most of them involve life situations, owning up to poor choices, confessing and repenting and accepting the consequences; or keeping my FAITH front and center while facing the questions of “what if?” – “what if my child takes another step away from God?”, “what if my daughter/SIL are “caught” evangelizing?”, “what if it’s cancer?”.
My one word this year is “BRAVE”, and it really scared me to think what He might bring me through to learn it. Your blog has shown me it may not be the BRAVE of the future I need to come through, but the BRAVE of the past I need to recognize. To celebrate. I honestly never perceived those as moments of bravery…"
I can't believe now, how much BRAVE I've had to face in my life- I've just never thought of the circumstances as warranting bravery, or courage, but just times I "pulled up my big girl panties" and plowed through.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Now I see BRAVE. All through my life!
I thought the counselor was giving me a patronizing "pat on the back" as I told of my life; but now I believe he was sincere. In fact, it was BRAVE of me to unpack so much baggage there!
Even in my moments (read: seasons) of desperation, I think I had to hold on to God hard, and be BRAVE. I know I called out for prayer. I relied on Holy Spirit led prayers as I sobbed on the phone to loving friends far away. I slept through days of deep depression. Faced real medical issues with less than a few friends to help me keep my kids fed and my laundry done (praise God for compassionate kids and my hero husband!).
I had to be a different kind of brave as we watched our girls go off to college at 16. Watched our son test for public school placement after 8 years of homeschool. Each time we placed a child on a plane to go where God called them to go.
In all of these acts, I had to be BRAVE; but more so, I had to be obedient; allowing God to manifest Himself in my life, in the lives of my children...even adult children.
I'm still having to be BRAVE, especially where my now grown kids are concerned: to let them walk where God calls; to watch them make their own mistakes; to keep my mouth shut - unless they ask for my (prayerful) opinion. I have to be BRAVE in my own life too; letting God move me again this past year took a huge step of faith - another step of BRAVE - as I watched Him close the doors and open new ones in front of me. Each day I wake up I have to be BRAVE to see how He unfolds the day. Sometimes I have to be BRAVE to just get out of bed and see what will hurt, as I age gracefully (not).
This year God may still bring me to a giant hurdle, an insurmountable trial, a great adventure; but I'm feeling quite BRAVE, leaning on His everlasting arms, remembering what He has brought me through already.