The word “brave” has meant a lot to me over the last few years. Traditionally, the word is defined as “people who are ready to face or endure pain.”
I was not brave in that sense of the word, at least not in the beginning. However, over time and with much perseverance, I became brave. I became stronger and eventually, I became a “warrior.”
A warrior is defined as “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.” Years of trials produced bravery and bravery produced a warrior, free from the confines of fear and the imprisonment of other people’s opinion and ready to stand up for what is right.
I have fought over and over again for many things. I have fought for my health, my business, my kids, I have fought. I have warred my way through these last few years one battle at a time and sometimes, many battles at once.
I have felt a deep sense of pain as well, I have grieved the loss of a marriage, my business, walked with my best friend through breast cancer and currently, dealing with the loss of a loved one. I have felt the pain that runs deep, the heartbreak you can actually feel inside your chest. Those moments when you go to take a deep breath but it’s just not there, I know what that feels like.
As I entered my thirties, I felt rather innocent, life was boring and just moving along. I am about to be 37 and I do not feel the same way now, in fact, I long for boring. By all means, bring boring back.
These last few months, I have felt a stirring in the spirit, thoughts of peace and rest. I have felt a longing for calmness, for family, for relationships, for long talks and late nights (although, late is totally not my thing).
I have been seeking God in a new way, praying for this stillness, sitting in the quiet. And, over the last few months, I have begun to redefine brave.
Brave says yes to family.
Brave says no to everyone else.
Brave closes a business to put family first.
Brave turns off the computer.
Brave puts away the phone.
Brave holds hands even when you don’t want to.
Brave apologizes and forgives.
Brave stays when you want to walk away.
Brave plays another game of Chutes and Ladders.
Brave kicks the soccer ball a little longer.
Brave provides for your family.
Brave takes your best friend to chemo.
Brave makes a meal for a new mom.
Brave makes lunches and gets kids to school.
Brave brushes the teeth of little people.
Brave shows up.
Brave holds a crying child.
Brave holds a crying spouse.
Brave is everyday.
Brave is right now, at this moment.
Living life is brave, taking another breath, another step forward even if the step is not easy that’s brave. This kind of bravery creates a new kind of warrior as well, a warrior that fights for marriage, relationships, family. A warrior who stands up for what is right with or without the support of others.
I am redefining brave, my friends and I like it. I am going to breathe in and out this new type of brave slowly this year, taking the time to see the good and not just the bad, realizing life is too short and I am not going to waste another moment on things that do not matter, it is time to live and to be brave.