I began writing about baby loss and infertility about seven months after we lost our first baby. It was so therapeutic for me to get it all out. I was able to process so much of my grief through my blog. As people started reading and responding, they kept using two words to describe me. And every time I would hear one of these words attributed to me I would cringe.
The words were brave and strong; and I hated them. I certainly did not want to be them. I didn’t want to be brave and strong if it meant I had to live without my babies. I didn’t want to be brave and strong if it meant I had to endure the struggle of infertility. I didn’t want to be brave and strong if it meant I had to live a life riddled with anxiety.
I wanted my babies. I wanted to mother a living child. I wanted getting pregnant to be easy. I wanted to live without fear of bad things happening to me. I didn’t want to be brave and strong!
Looking back, I can see that when people used these words they were meant to be a compliment. But in the middle of the storm, I could not see that. I saw these descriptors being used as a result of what happened and I did not want all of that stuff to be happening. I saw them as something people said because they did not know what to say. At the time, I did not feel brave or strong.
So when I saw this onesie in Old Navy the other week, I had to buy it for Emma Joy.
I have come a long way in my thinking and feeling about these descriptors. I have claimed them. I now wear them like a badge of honor. It is an honor to mother all four of my children. It is an honor to share my story and offer others hope. It is an honor to put it all out there, even the hard stuff. It is an honor to be on this journey. It is an honor to be brave and strong.
I AM brave and I AM strong; but not because of what happened to me. I am brave and strong because of Christ in me. God commands us all to be brave and strong. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Did you catch that last part? God is with us wherever we go, in whatever we face. That’s reason enough to be brave and strong. While the ways I am brave and strong have changed since I am no longer in the center of the storm, I know that I can face whatever stands before me with courage and strength because God is with me.
What attributes are you claiming today?
Be brave. Be strong. And until next time, keep hoping!