Friday, March 26, 2010

Courage Isn't Without Heartache

This morning I was thinking about when my oldest daughter was just learning to read. We were out running errands and she was proudly showing off her new reading skills by reading all the signs along the way. When we pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store she read the name of the store and then read the other large words on the front of the building. "Food", "Drugs" she read aloud with confidence in her ability. She then innocently turned to me and asked, "Mom if they want people to stop taking drugs, why don't they just quit selling them?". It was obvious that they had been pushing the "Just Say No" campaign at school.
This is a bittersweet memory for me. If I had known on that day the intense battle that lay ahead of us, I would not have been laughing. I would have been face down on the floor begging God for mercy for this sweet child. Was this moment a foreshadowing of the future? I can't really say for sure. I only know that there were many days I wished she was still that sweet little brown eyed girl looking at me with her simple solution to one of life's dilemmas.
During her turbulent teenage years and into the early 20's of this precious child's life I learned what it meant to take courage to a whole new level. I did things I honestly didn't think I could do. Nothing heroic mind you, but it takes a great deal of courage to place your child in the care of others and walk away.
Day after day I prayed, "Please God, free her from this addiction. Please watch over her. Please, remove all the bad influences from her life. Please, Please, Please!". The prayer list was long and growing daily. I cried, begged and pleaded with God over and over. Then I realized one day it was time to just throw in the towel. Not to give up, but to give in. I admitted to God that I had a trust issue. I didn't trust God to take care of her, I didn't trust him to keep her from harm, I didn't trust him to find her a way out of this mess. I simply didn't trust God to love her more than I did.
God! You know, the one who created the universe, spun the world into existence and set the stars in space, well he just simply wasn't big enough to love her as much as me. For heavens sake I was her mom! No one could love her as much or as unconditionally as me. Right? Let me just say that I'm thankful that God is in the forgiving business because I was certainly standing in need of it. So after repenting of my unbelief, I timidly placed her in His hands.
Now when you place your child in God's hands and say, "They are your child God and I'm only part of their life because you chose me to be. Do with them what you will.", you don't stop worrying automatically. You gradually learn that with every worry you reach out to your source of strength and you ask Him to give you courage to face whatever the next minute, day, week, month or year holds. You ask Him to hold you as tightly as he is holding them. You submit to His will for their life as well as your own.
Today this beautiful young woman's life is a testament. God gives her courage each day to fight the good fight. He has restored what Satan tried to steal, kill and destroy. My life is richer and my courage and faith stronger because God allowed me to be her mom. The joy she has brought to my life far outweighs any pain that Satan, through addiction, caused.
She is a work of art designed by the Master's hands and I am the blessed Mom who get's to be a part of her life and His work.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I read somewhere once that "Courage is fear that has said it's prayers.". I liked that thought and I wrote it on a paper and stuck it in my bible. It's still there along with a few other things I liked the sound of. Now I realize that is not the official definition of courage, but I find that I have a little more of it when I pray about something that I'm afraid of.
My way of dealing with fear when I was a little girl was to worry. I thought that if I could come up with the worst scenario in my mind and worry about it then it couldn't come true. For instance, I was always afraid that my mom would have a wreck and be taken from me. I would sit and worry about it until she pulled into the driveway. I convinced myself that by thinking something so horrible it would keep it from becoming a reality. Yeah, I know, that is just messed up. I suppose I worried enough as a youngster though because she is still alive and 82 years old now.
I deal with fear much more constructively now. When I have a fear I pray about it and just leave it with God. It did take a great deal of practice and many failed attempts but I'm really good at it now.
I have 6 girls. Three daughters and three stepdaughters. Hence the title of my blog,
"With 6 You Get Courage". You simply can't have six girls in your life and not have courage.
Any mother will tell you it takes courage just to give birth, courage when they are sick and courage that first day you send them to school. When they become teenage girls there is always some sort of drama. They are either on the top of the world or in the pits of hell. It takes courage some days just to wake them up! As they become young women courage takes on a whole new meaning.
So with many adventures in courage waiting in the wings I'm hoping you'll join me for this courageous adventure in blogging. With 6 you get courage and lots of fun!