Friday, February 6, 2015

Courage to Believe

We just ended the second week of our inaugural 30 Day Writing Challenge. If you missed this series, be sure to sign up for the next session in April! 

This week's prompt encouraged writer's to explore the idea of courage in their own lives. Several participants shared really powerful pieces, and I'm honored to get to share a few excerpts of these with you today. 


...I’ve had lonelier times than I ever thought possible, when it took courage to continue to hope for friendship, companionship, and excitement. I’ve had heartache when friendships, relationships that were dear to me, ended or faded and it took courage to not grow bitter. I’ve been confused by pursuing dreams only to have them slowly die - 

it took courage to trust that where I am is where I should be and not to dream of being somewhere else. 

I’ve met people from places I’ve never heard of and it took courage to try to communicate meaningfully when they don’t speak the same language and have completely different cultures. I’ve begun to fall in love, not knowing if the relationship will last. I’ve learned that often the most courageous move is a small one that leads you to a place you never expected. Once I look back, I don’t often remember the courage it took to begin the journey.

It takes courage to be changed - to have a willing heart to lay down what you thought was necessary, sure, best - and to allow the unknown and unpredictable God to change you. But it’s worth it - for ultimately He is good. And sometimes believing that takes the most courage.


...It has only really dawned on me in the past year or so that the most powerful part of my story is the part I never tell. Why? I don’t know, maybe from leftover shame. Maybe because I didn’t find myself having much opportunity to share it. 

Maybe, and probably largely, because I didn’t really believe it mattered whether I shared it or not.

But back to the most courageous thing… well, not that I am trying to be vague, but I have a hard time pinpointing it.  This is part of it; just sharing about myself and my life, the difficult parts and the depths, the junk. The parts I think no one wants to hear about, but the parts that connect us as humans. Sharing all that is something I have rarely done, and never in depth, with anyone other than my husband. There, I said it.


I do work that can be really hard on the soul, especially for a sensitive soul like mine. I have always been impressionable. Scary movies, pictures of war, personal struggles of others are enough to cause anxiety, sleepless nights, and an upset stomach. Yet, for reasons that I often question...
I decided and decide daily to do work with the “misfits” of our world. Individuals who are homeless, hungry, mentally ill and or with cognitive delays, disabled, rapists, murderers, refugees, the weary, transgender men and women, prostitutes, pimps and drug dealers are amongst those I serve. 
I have come to find love and respect through their life journeys. I have shaped my perspective of courage from their wise stories and actions. 
Courage is moving forward. It is getting up and trying again despite often a lifetime of hurt. It is trusting that things may be better.  Risking trusting yet another person to help.
Sharing a story of pain and suffering in hopes of healing the mind and body. 
Trying drug treatment for the 13th time. Leaving the illegal income for a low hourly wage. Trying to stay out of prison. Fighting a mind which is unforgiving.


I wrote about my own journey of courage, finding the strength to step back into the messiness of the adoption world after losing our first foster son here. What in your life is calling for courage today? 

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