It was January 8, 2014. Robert and I were enjoying dinner, in the city of Miami. I felt to tell him that things were going to get challenging. I felt it in my spirit. At that time I thought it was only about his mom’s cancer battle, little did I know that when given the words “2014 was The Year to be Brave”…what lied ahead was more than I could ever imagine…
Death was imminent, almost unavoidable for so many during the month of January. No sooner upon my return, Jean’s health worsened, my brother’s wife passed away and a week later my husband’s uncle. My son would have another critical injury during a Lacrosse game, that changed his trajectory in the sport for the rest of his academic career. It was only January!!!
All I kept hearing..it’s your year to be Brave.
We were managing grief and trauma all at the same time. My son and I hit a crossroads in our relationship that warranted him to leave the house. Jean’s return to the ER would be her final. Oh God, ….it’s only February!!!
Yet, I kept hearing it’s your year to be Brave.
Jean’s homegoing was beautifully attended. Death seems to bring out the real character of people, and during that season we experienced an incredible amount of challenges.
My son returned home, and we began the process of healing and restoring. He was getting ready to leave for college, and we were entering a new reality without Jean. It was only March.
In the midst of it all, changes were taking place in our home life and in our personal life. We walked through some of the darkest moments of our lives, not really understanding how we got there, well, maybe deep down we did know. Just not wanting to accept this was our new reality, or so we thought.
The summer months brought change, a decision to homeschool our youngest, a decision to move away for several months. These were hard decisions. I had to give up my comforts to save myself and my family life. We needed to be together.
Before our departure, our home was financially devastated. We’d never experienced anything like it. But I kept remembering – it’s my year to be Brave. I knew it was a test..how much were we truly going to trust God and not fear.
In my bravery, we moved. We left everything behind and moved away. I walked into our new quarters. A lovely apartment. It was small but comfortable. But what immediately stood out to me were the windows. Ceiling to the floor and they ran across the entire length of the apartment. The view was spectacular. Nothing but the ocean. As I walked towards the windows and took in the view, I immediately sensed in my spirit the following. God showed me, as I stared at the ocean, – it is a blanket that has been spread before me, like a covering and wherever I go, it is before me. It has life, light, peace, joy, laughter.
A blanket of blessing. The ocean view was endless, and I understood the blessings would be the same. He’s seen my heart, and he has seen our faithfulness and is blessing us in this season. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.
I stood there with tears running down my face. I knew that there were still two more months left of the year, but I was able to look back at the months gone by and see where courage was all I had. Where bravery stood in the place of fear. I knew in my spirit that the following year would bring change, unimaginable change, that would require me to draw from The Year of Bravery.
The shift was beginning, I could feel it in my heart. I chose to be brave. Brave for myself, for my family, for my friends. The cost was great, but the reward was greater.
We are stronger than we imagine.
When trials come that seems unimaginable, breathe, and trust that God knew this moment was going to happen. Choose joy in your trial, choose laughter while you cry. There is never a moment where God doesn’t have his hand reached out towards you.