I’d like to pause today and share from my heart. Not that this series isn’t from my heart, but it’s been processed. It was planned out. Today’s post was not part of that plan.
This past Sunday, my favorite professor passed away. I spent Monday reading Facebook statuses that told of her quick wit, her refusal to bend to conformities, and her faithful, ardent love for her husband who had died nearly two decades before I met her.
She was the kind of woman who left an impression, and whether people agreed with her or even liked her, all respected her.
And, y’all, she saw potential in me. She saw something that could be brave in me, and she nudged me into it.
She made me braver. She hasn’t been the only one.
My grandmother’s death rocked my Mama’s world. So many questions left unanswered, so much hurt had come by her hands. My Mama rocked and wheeled—and found herself divorced last November. And she relished in it.
But, y’all, God redeems. He heals. He rescues and He restores, and my parents’ divorce was dissolved last week! And when she came up this past spring and asked for us to forgive her for what she had done to hurt us, when she asked for specifics and worked to reconcile the relationships that had been lost, I had never seen a braver woman.
And when they celebrate this rejoining, I plan on being there with tears in my eyes because He. Fills. My. Life. With. Good. Things. (Psalm 103:5)
I’ve known her since she was an annoying seventh grader, always downing her coffee and then living off of the energy spike until I had to leave before I drove a spike through my own head. And she’s made mistakes that could have kept her from fully embracing God’s call on her life, but she didn’t. She steps out in faith and in bravery, and sometimes she calls me because she’s unsure and uncertain, and somehow God uses me and what I’ve learned to encourage her. And vice versa. Because God is that good.
And I will stand in a place of honor at her wedding, Lord willing, because He weaves lives together like a tapestry, and don’t you know that His face shines on us?
Abby wakes up way too early for my non-morning-person self, and her questions fire out of her before I can function. Lily, from the time she wakes until she’s asleep, feeds her curiosity and lives off of her charm. And Elly’s tummy troubles are ironing out still, so I’m often found patting her back while trying to direct her sisters. But my girls? They force me to grow, to expand, to be brave.
They’re girls in a world that loves to devour women, and they’re children in a world that screams for us all to grow up even though none of us know what that really means anymore. And I refuse to stand by and let the world take over.
And then there’s my husband, my favorite. And his calling isn’t easy or glamorous. It’s hard, it’s gritty, and it takes a stomach that can handle the onslaught of lies from the Enemy. Often, I want to hide and retreat, but Jesus keeps calling me back out into this space, into the open, and He makes me be brave for my man in ways I can’t fully see yet.
And this is good. This is growth. This is beautiful.
This is me. Being brave. Because of them.
This post is part of a 31 Days series on Raising My Ebenezer, part of my story and my own testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the song Come Thou Fount says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thine help I’m come.” For the month of October, I’ll be writing our story, outlining the Ebenezers in recognition of His mighty hand on our lives. His doings and His workings because of and sometimes in spite of our best efforts. My hope is that you’ll see a lot of Him and little to none of me. Because in the end, it is by His help that we have come this far.