What surprises me the most about grief is both the depth of the wound and the healing it requires. Thankfully, I gave the Lord control of that long ago. His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine; I trust Him to teach me and take care of me.
On Monday morning, I called my writing coach to discuss a special project. Part of his job is to point out growth areas and things to work on. I trust his professional input!
During his critique, my writing coach mentioned, “You must’ve been in a hurry to finish this piece. It reads like you were trying to be brave.” I had unintentionally chosen a safe route, glossing over some details which might provide more meaning and context.
As we talked, he said, “You have your public life and try to be brave, but on paper you don’t need to be brave. This is where you show how you are really doing.”
Wow, I thought and tearfully scribbled a quick note to myself: Don’t fake brave.
Grammar aside, my coach pointed out a common problem. We often put on a smile to face the world and hope people don’t see our struggles. We try the ‘fake it till you make it’ approach. That might work short-term, but long-term, we don’t have to be superheroes.
In real life, just surviving a traumatic event is a Victory. You don’t have to thrive in order for it to count. Whether you run, walk, or crawl through the muck, it’s a win as long as you keep going. Don’t give up!
Also, we don’t need to compare our struggles to someone else’s successes. What I consider a Victory may differ from someone else. Bravery looks different for each of us. That’s okay!
For example, on Monday, bravery looked like tossing an old, holey shirt, even though it was a treasured gift from Dave. Even small wins are good!
Monday evening felt like a Victory, too. My entry way lights have been flickering for quite some time, and I finally got around to asking for help. There were several minor issues to address, but everything turned out better than expected.
I’ll have to buy a new light fixture, but that’s not too bad. At the same time, it was bittersweet because if Dave was here, he would have taken care of the lights on his own.
Ironically, the electricians were impressed with the breaker switches in the fuse box. I explained how Dave had labeled each one. Silently, I remembered how thoughtful he was. I felt the loss.
While the electricians were super friendly, I tried to hold my emotions together. I didn’t want to overshare with strangers! Yet when I did explained my situation, they offered to help install the new light. It was a blessing to be brave!
Yes, Monday was a great reminder of the Lord’s grace. He helped me navigate through each situation in ways that moved my heart and brought healing. Praise God!
All of us practice bravery every day in big and small ways!
My point is: With Jesus, we don’t have to fake it. He knows our pain, weaknesses, fears and failures. Yet, He eagerly carries our burdens and never leaves us on our own. Lay down your defenses and come to Him just as you are.
With His abundant grace, the Lord provides more than we need to get through life’s troubles. As we seek Him, He comforts us with his strength and joy. He makes our path straight and smooth. That doesn’t mean life is easy…but it is better with Jesus.
Sometimes being brave is not fun or glamorous. For me, it can mean difficult decisions and occasional tears. But, instead of focusing on life’s trials, I celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness. I can be brave (for real) because His love never fails!
Heavenly Father, You are so good. Thank You for carrying our burdens and giving us joy. God, give us the courage to come to You and be brave. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Questions: In what ways do you fake being brave? Do you think that is helpful or a hindrance to healing?
Tasks: Don’t fake brave. 🙂 Let Jesus shoulder your burden. Journal through your grief or other challenges. Share your heart with a trusted friend.