Brave - ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage
Brave by definition from this world's point of view has narrowed our perspective of only seeing someone who readily faces impending danger. The picture of a valiant knight defending the love of his life while risking it all most likely runs through our minds. Marianna standing wide eyed with excitement begging to ride the huge adult rollercoaster that she isn't tall enough to ride is one of the examples I often encounter that fits this description, but is there another kind of brave?
What about my "cowardly" Kaley & Raegan who back up when they see the same or even some of the smaller rides? What about when they don't participate because of fear when things seem scary? Neither one of them even like looking at the costumes & masks in the stores this time of year. Is that the opposite of brave? Does that categorize them as unadventurous, timid, shy, cautious, or even weak? I practiced that kind of thinking in the past but no longer.
The other night, after all of the kids were supposedly asleep enters Kaley into the room visibly upset, shaking & crying. I ask her what is wrong. She gazes at the floor & says quietly, "I have to tell you something." This is the part where my mama heart races, suddenly gripped with my own fears of the worst imaginable. We walk quietly into my bedroom & sit on the bed. I nudge her to speak. She speaks through her sobs. I listen & thankfully my worst fears are reigned in. Nothing major has happened, but I don't belittle her worries. I let her finish. I ask a few questions for clarity. I hear her explain, "I know I shouldn't have. I have prayed & prayed about it & asked for forgiveness, but it just keeps bothering me because I didn't tell you the whole truth about it at all." I am sure not to console her just yet. I acknowledge that she was wrong & that I am disappointed. I thank her for her honesty. We pray together. I embrace her in all of her hurt & tell her how proud I am of her. I tell her how brave she is. I try to explain to her how much I love her in words. I send her off to bed & check on her a few minutes later only to find that she has fallen sound asleep.
My heart smiles as I am thankful for my heroic child. Turns out, it's not the qualities I saw before. It's the tenderness of heart that feels the conviction power of God that I now call brave. It's the one who says no & walks away when everyone else in the peer group participates under pressure. It is the sheep who has gone astray who comes back with his tail tucked & enters back into the fold. It's the one who sees God for who He really is~like Moses, Daniel, David, Ester, Noah, the prodigal son, etc. All of these men & women in the Bible are heroic. They weren't always the ones putting themselves out front. They all probably questioned God, but even though they didn't understand, they chose God's way. In their weaknesses, God was made strong. He was their "super power." He is all we need!
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." II Corinthians 12:9
Jesus' words are so comforting in these scriptures. He is what this world needs. May we stand for right even if it doesn't follow this world's definition. May we listen to that voice inside gently nudging us even when there is another screaming in our ears. Dare to be brave!