The Brave One
I am not brave. In between taking care of three little ladies at home, I spend a large part of my day wondering if I am ever doing anything right. Do my girls know I love them? Am I setting enough boundaries? Am I too strict? Why do they fight so much? Am I modeling Jesus’ love to them? What do the neighbors really think about our family? The list goes on and on, burying me in so many questions and doubts it can be paralyzing. No, bravery is not my strong suit, especially not since becoming a mom.
Yet, in some ways being a mom forces us to be brave in ways that we never imagined we could be. When our middle daughter was four months old, we almost lost her. It took months of medications, doctor’s visits and two hospital stays for her to get better. It was terrifying. It was the hardest experience of our lives. At the end of that difficult season, we had a surprising, but comforting realization. We do not need to be brave. We do not need to have it all together all the time. Yes, I’ll repeat that again. We do not need to have it all together. You see, when we are broken and when we do not have any courage left, we know we have access to the creator of the Universe, and He can be our brave.
It has been three years since that experience and now God is calling us out onto the brave waters again. My husband and I were at a marriage retreat last fall and we left with adoption on our hearts and in our minds. So, we made our first call to an adoption agency. After we got off the phone, we knew we were going to dive head first into the process. It did not matter that we had a five month old and two daughters already or not nearly enough money in our bank account. It did not matter that I barely have enough time to brush my teeth in the morning because I am so busy looking after our three little ones under age six. God was asking us to be brave and courageous and follow His lead. God was asking us to be available. He did after all adopt us.
It’s crazy to me how God speaks to his children. I am part of a local mom’s group called MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers). Each year there is a theme for our MOPS group. This year in a thousand little ways and in one large resounding anthem, this year’s theme has spoken truth and courage our family: “Be You Bravely”. When we begin to doubt if we are cut out for the complicated journey that is adoption, we find encouragement in knowing we are not alone. We can have courage. We can be brave. God is with us. God loves us. He made us and knit us together. We can walk bravely and confidently as the unique person he has made us.
Much has changed since we made that first call in the fall to an adoption agency to ask a bazillion questions about what it takes to adopt and if we can even adopt from Uganda. We have been approved and accepted into the agency. We have completed mounds and mounds of paperwork. We have had our fingerprints done twice. We have been analyzed, poked and prodded to see if we will be suitable parents. My evenings have been taken over by sewing and fulfilling orders for super-cute bib scarves in order to raise money for our adoption. We are mere weeks away from sending our life story and mounds of paperwork off to Uganda. Our world has been turned upside down and right side up again and then back around through this whole process. Yet, it is a joy to walk where we have been led and live our lives with open hands and home. As Bob Goff said in one of the MOPS videos this year, “Love God. Love people and do stuff!” After all, our God loves us so abundantly that he adopted us with the precious blood of his very own Son so we can have a future and a hope. Christ was pierced for our transgressions so we are able to be brave. He was crushed for our iniquities so we can have courage. He was punished so we can have peace. By His stripes, we are healed.
We do not need to worry. We do not need to have all the answers to all the questions and doubts we face on a daily, hourly or even minute-by-minute basis. He has made a way for us to be brave through access to Him. He is our brave. He is our courage. All we need to do is walk with Him. Boldly. Confidently. Bravely.
In honor of this year's MOPS theme, we made the brave one bib scarf and added it to our bib scarf collection. It is a reminder to live life confidently and courageously, knowing God knit each of us together and has a plan and purpose for our unique lives. Check it out here.