This morning I needed to be brave, and to be perfectly honest, I did not think I had it in me. Life after my husband’s death has not been easy. But slowly it has been moving forward, becoming a new normal for the kids and me.
Yesterday I took a leap that shook me. For months I’ve been preparing my kids for the real need we have to leave this house and find a bigger one. It’s something Kraig and I discussed and argued about. Our house is pretty good, affordable, close to EVERYTHING, and has an adorably cute backyard to die for. But as our kids have gotten bigger, the walls seem to be shrinking. There are things this house cannot do that we need it to.
Yesterday I met with a realtor referred by a friend. I thought we were going to talk about what I needed to do to prep this house for sale and what kinds of things I needed in a new one. But my house is so close to ready, she pulled out the paperwork and before I knew what was happening, a For Sale sign resided in my front yard.
It’s what I wanted. It’s what I’d told the kids was going to happen. This market is moving fast and if we want to find something and be settled before school starts, now is the time. But the feeling that hit me was the panic of being on that first hill on a roller coaster and knowing you could not get off until the ride was over. Anyone who knows me knows I hate roller coasters. That first hill gives some people a thrill. It gives me a bonafide panic attack.
I love house hunting. Or at least I used to with Kraig. We loved viewing houses and seeing the possibilities of what we could do with a new one. He was so handy. I’m not bad myself. But whether it was the prospect of doing this without him or the thought of leaving the last house we called home together, I found myself quietly crying in my van later.
This morning the feeling lingered even though the kids’ reactions had ranged from indifference to excitement. And as I sat down to spend time with God the realization that the meeting I needed to have with Ryan’s teachers was on today’s agenda. Today I would pick their brains to determine what course of action his freshman year supports would need. High-functioning autism isn’t a black and white plan. And the sadness settled on me like a chilled wind.
I’ve written often about how media speaks to me so I went looking for a song. I played the video on YouTube over and over this morning for Shawn McDonald’s We Are Brave. We follow a God who can help us be brave. His followers face down lions dens, fiery furnaces, and walk on water. We are brave.
We might bend or even break
The journey’s long, but we will celebrate
When we get through the valley
We’re not defined by the fall
We get back up
Keep pressing through these walls
It’s worth the fight
And we say hey, when we go through the fire
Heart in hand, hope alive, it will be ok
Hey, when we walk across the wire
We won’t back down ‘cause we are brave
We are brave
And even though we might be afraid
To place it all on the line we won’t hesitate
We’ve come too far
So let the blaze keep growing higher
It’s in the flames that we shine brighter
Standing tall through it all
‘Cause we are the fighters
We got style, we got grace, and we walk it bold
We got hearts full of life that are made of gold
We’re alive, we’re alive and we keep on moving, moving
I didn’t feel brave.
So I headed for tea with my new friend, Katy, and was honest that today was not a good day. It got better after an hour and a half of talking and tears, stories and hope, compassion and prayer. I didn’t hide my grief behind a false smile. I shared honestly that I was struggling today to be brave. Katy is a woman gifted in compassion and her support chased away the feeling of chill.
After meeting together and talking about God’s provision and His fantastic promises in this journey that is not easy, I felt brave. After she offered to join me at my meeting with teachers today, I felt brave. When she prayed for me, I was brave.
I’m alive, I’ve come too far, and God walks with me. Sometimes He does it by sending people to walk with me but I am alive and I will keep on moving. Today and for as long as He walks with me, I am brave.