After I posted the story about my trip to the post office last week, my mom got a text from a friend that said this:
I’ve just read Lauren’s blog and am tight in the chest ready to break out the meds. I’m so amazed at how brave they are…I would have been held up in the woods waiting for rescue! Tell her if we are ever in an army I want her on my team. She is brave…but I still would like for her and Kris to have a small pistol for their purse!
I made a trip to Atlanta once with this woman and girlfriend don’t play. That lady packs heat everywhere she goes, which in my mind is loads braver than finding a post office in the developing world.
I feel so unworthy of the title of brave because I believe so many of you deserve it more.
When I flip through my news feed or catch up with friends back in the U.S. or read about your endeavors or hear your honest truths, I think YOU are the ones who are so brave.
You, the one in the hospital gown, awaiting your next chemo treatment. Watching your family cry for you, allowing your friends to help you. And doing all of this with enormous faith. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the unmarried young adult chasing your dreams amidst feeling so lonely. Convincing yourself that Jesus is enough, and pressing on toward the next big adventure. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the single mom waiting on the child support that never shows up. Feeding. Bathing. Homework. Errands. All by yourself. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the recovering addict, facing all the friends and family who gave up on you long ago. Running from the temptation for a high that never seems to leave you alone. But striving, daily, for freedom from the want. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the young widow fighting to stay alive after the sudden loss of your husband. Finding the joy in the small things each day, and blessing others through the dreadful journey. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the parent of the labeled child, doing your best to normalize his disability or her diagnosis. Giving your child the utmost respect and the dignity all people deserve. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the childless parent, crying out in all your desperation for the chance to be called Mom or Dad. Waiting on a double line or a call from a case worker, either way reading and waiting on your turn to love a child so fiercely. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the one with divorce papers in hand, wondering how it ever got to this. Defeated that your spouse walked out, but waking up every morning with the resolve to live alive. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the schoolteacher giving relentlessly to your students. Spending half your paycheck on food coloring and popsicle sticks, pinning all the latest common core activities while your coworkers are complaining. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, walking into a church for the first time. Trying to find Jesus where it seems everyone else already has it figured out, and playing the part because you want Him so badly. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the one launching your own non-profit. Asking people for money and getting by with the bare minimum, all because you believe in a greater cause. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the mother who keeps giving, regardless of how unnoticed you feel. Wiping noses and booties and floors, and saving time for your husband at the end of a whole day of selflessness. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the one struggling to keep your marriage from completely breaking. Battling guilt and hopelessness and fear, but refusing to give up on the one to whom you said yes. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.
You, the everyday person with the extraordinary task to daily abide in Christ and love everyone so well.
Aren’t we all a little out of our league?
The other night Gavin and I were chatting about a couple we know who is moving to Ethiopia. Can you believe that? How do people just pack up and move to places like that?
And then we looked up at the gecko staring at us from the ceiling and remembered that we just.did.that.
In the midst of the chaos, maybe we are stretched a bit. Or a lot. Like to the point we think we’re going to lose our ability to function.
But then we step up and fill the shoes that were designed just for us, and we let the world see that we aren’t backing down.
No heartaches, no death, no fear, no troubles, no sickness, no pain – NOTHING can make us retract our statements of belief, because our God has overcome it all.
He is Redeemer and Giver of Life, our Protector and Guide. He’s our Healer, and He makes all things new.
To the world, we are so brave. And yes, maybe we are. But that strength doesn’t come from within.
Through Christ, we have been given a Spirit not of fear, but of love and power and self-control.
And what seems impossible for the world seems immediately possible for us, because we know we have One on our side who is in complete control. And I’ll say it again: HE HAS OVERCOME IT ALL.
Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for standing tall. Thank you for showing others your faith in the scary hard times, and for holding my hand when I’m there myself.
Thank you for living this life with me, because burdens are easier to carry with many hands.
Thank you, for being so brave.
Do you know someone going through a rough time? Have you seen them display extraordinary courage and faith through it all? Share this with them and let them know you think they are brave, too.