Being Brave


Today I am sitting in my kitchen, looking at my two puppies, fast asleep. I’m taking a break from cleaning and cooking to reflect on the last week and a half.

Joshua, my youngest and I, just returned home to Tacoma, after a 10 day trip to my home state of Georgia. We both absolutely loved spending time with my family and some wonderful, amazing friends. I ached for Noah, my oldest son (who has Autism and Phelan-McDermid syndrome) and their Daddy, Jeremy to be with us. I kept seeing Joshua with his cousins, laughing and playing…doing things that cousins do…laughing..playing ball in the yard…dancing to Just dance 2015…It made me smile, while at the same exact time wanting to scream out loud at the unfairness….You see, my sister, Dawn and I were pregnant at the same time twice. Both times totally by accident. So, her two girls and my two boys are less than two weeks apart. Eva, her oldest and Noah are the same exact age….Eva is attending a special school for highly capable children, Sings, dances, and plays tennis like a champ… while my sweet Noah, is in a self contained class and I fight tooth and nail, just so they will teach him anything, literally. I FIGHT just for them to keep him SAFE.

So, you see, I have a lot of feelings about this irony…and I mean, A LOT. I have gone from being so upset, jealous, and mad at God for the differences in our lives…to being able to sincerely love her stories of my precious, amazing, beautiful niece, and her amazing capabilities. It has been a journey…

This trip home, while watching the kids play….the old thoughts tried to come back…the voice that says,”this is soooo unfair!” “This should be Noah,Joshua, Eva and Charis.” It feels like a noose around my neck getting tighter and tighter…I feel like screaming to top of my lungs! WWWHHHYYY!!!????
Instead, this time, I chose to be grateful for the time we had with our family. I chose not to focus on the injustice of this life. I know in the marrow of my bones, that my son is a gift to us. I understand to the best of my ability, that we are not promised a life without difficulties and that no one…If they live long enough, get through this life with out SOMETHING HARD. I know we are not alone. So why does my broken heart stay so very, brutally broken?

Well, I have thought about this so much lately. So far, here is what I know for sure….
We are here on this earth for each other, for relationship, for community. My heart ache is not just for me…It’s for you. I have, because of my brokeness, a deep, deep well of compassion, love and mercy for those that are IN the STRUGGLE… It doesn’t have to be like mine. I just feel the pain of those that are doing their best with their broken heart.
I also, know for sure, that you can have a broken heart and still have unexplainable hope and joy. I know because, I have it.
I have, by no means mastered living the perfect life. I am not a perfect special needs Mother or person in general by any means… I still have days, when things are really going wrong and I may be vulnerable in some way, that I just lose it… To be honest with you, I don’t think that will ever change…because, I will always be angry, beyond words when a little innocent child is hurting…sick…and challenged in ways that are simply NOT FAIR. That is my truth.

Today, I sit before you, a woman that has been through many storms and come out on the other side of those storms, changed…refined…better….sifted like wheat….I.AM.Not.THE.SAME.

I love better now. I love people more…even though so many of them are so hurtful because they are hurting themselves…I can step outside my feelings and look at the “why”, and not the “What”…It helps, trust me.

If you have been through, or are going through a dark, dark time right now…I am encouraging you to FEEL your feelings. Talk about them…Please don’t hide out and self soothe in secret. We are all in this thing together…Let someone that loves you know how hard it is for you.
I have found so much solace in my bible study group over the years…women who are truly authentic in who they are… Helping each other by listening, praying, and learning what the truth is about this life. What the authority on the matter know, God. If you really look at what he has to say about it, the good the bad and the ugly….He really does make you feel better!
That’s the cool thing about just IS…and your soul recognizes it.

If you sincerely say to God..”Hey, I’m having a really hard time, I need you…Show me who you are.” I guarantee, He will…You will start to notice how things start to point to HIM…I’m totally serious girl.

So…. to finish my story from earlier..Josh and I are having an AWESOME time with Nana and Papa and all the cousins…Then it came time to leave… Goodbye’s are always so very hard for me. I just don’t know if I was made to be away from my people. So…..AS USUAL…. I have a FIT..and by that, I mean I cried like a newborn baby and totally fell apart. I’m not like most first born adult children that totally hold it together in stressful times and are like awesome, take charge people and all that stuff. No Way, I’m more like the 15th child, in that, I am incredibly terrible at all that and very good at crying….Anywho….

We made it to the airport in Tallahassee, Fl. Then, the first bad news came. The weather was so bad in Atlanta that our flight was delayed several hours… Of course we get tis news way after my sister and brother-in-law are way gone. To make a long story short, we made it home together about 24hours later than expected…Hungry, jet lagged, and so tired that I felt like I had the flu.
I remember during the horrible situation, asking all my people to pray and I prayed hard myself…after I stopped myself from having a full break down, about 8 or 9 hours into our journey and we weren’t even out of Florida yet ( the destination was Seattle, ugh!). I simply prayed, and asked the Lord…”what do you have for me to learn right now? I am ready to learn,and not have a fit.” and It was in that very moment I heard a small voice in my mind say…”I want you to remember…YOU ARE BRAVE.” Then he said…”Even though you are trembling, you are brave..I am with you.” I am so grateful for HIS encouraging words…His truth.

I do not appreciate the uncomfortable…at all. I don’t think I ever will. But one thing I know is…I believe GOD is good. I also believe that He loves me and that He loves you and that He loves our babies more than we do.
Just because life doesn’t happen the way I’ve specifically ordered it, doesn’t mean it can’t be wonderful…because I know for sure it can.

No matter what the circumstances are in your life…You can be Brave…and that doesn’t mean PERFECT..It means, though you tremble…you keep going.

I love you and HE loves you too…Now go….. BE BRAVE


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