brave: possessing the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear.
Watching her through the open window of the passenger seat of my car, she turned one last time right before her little self got swallowed up by the too-big school doors of the elementary.
On this particular morning, her heart was on empty and her eyes were full and her quivering chin was caught in the middle.
When those eyes, glittery with unshed tears, caught and held mine, you could’ve heard the thunderclap coming from the very center of my mama heart as all of the pain she was holding back found me instantly and seared the air between us.
Oh my heart at all the things I cannot fix.
This tough morning was not my doing, as is usually the case. Brought on by everything and nothing, my girl was fighting some internal war she was losing by more than a country mile. What problems could a six year old possibly have?
Only the ones she thinks she does…and sometimes not finding your favorite worn boots that don’t give you blisters on top of not being able to find your blue folder and then forgetting your snack is just enough to make you cry.
Some of the days are just hard.
As my girl disappeared into the building with her ‘toycoyce’ and pink backpack, I whispered tenderly from a new, tiny crack in my heart:
‘Make her brave.’
And I kept whispering all the way back home:
Make her brave. Make her so brave, Lord. Help her to know how wonderful she is. Help her to feel loved. Give her the confidence to be just exactly who she is. Let her feel You so close today that her cheek is warm from Your breath. You don’t have to take away all of her problems…just help her to know You are holding them for her.
And then, because I am forever needy, I said:
Make me brave.
Make me so brave, Lord.
All morning through all the routine, those words just kept rising like bubbles in a coke. They tickled my nose the same way, too.
A little later and unexpectedly while I was preoccupied with another thing…I heard His whisper on my heart:
You’re braver than you think you are.
It was felt so tenderly, like the sweet tucking of hair behind my ear, it made me smile right where I was.
And you know what?
I felt like it was true.
Sometimes I know things I forget I need to be reminded of. Just hearing them again reminds me, ‘Yes. Yes, this is the truth.’
So I sent that thought to my girl immediately. If will alone could produce a whisper deep inside an ear, I know she heard it.
You’re braver than you think are.