“Be Strong and Courageous.”
I read these words over and over, waiting for them to manifest in my everyday. Sometimes they do and then other times I wake up afraid and unsure, wanting to find my way again.
If you met me here online, you would surely think that strength and courage are my calling cards to the world at large. The problem is with the woman, away from her screens, who stands at the school gate, waiting and wishing that she didn’t wrestle with her identity and worth as the school Mums gather in their huddle.
Yesterday, I had tea after school with one of these Mums. The funny secret we hold is this, even though our kids are in the same class at school, we actually went to school together as well.
When I walked into the classroom on the first day back in February, we smiled at each other across the tears and hugs goodbye. We hadn’t seen each other for a good twenty years, but a knowing smile and wink was all the courage we each needed that said silently “You Got This.”
Then 2017 steamed forward and we each have been promising to coffee and catch up. Then winter came and we said let’s do it this week. Over banana bread with chocolate sprinkles, our little boys ran the backyard and we breathed in deeply the flat whites filled with memories.
Then she whispered, “I feel really isolated at school”.
I looked at her and said, “So do I”.
Then we smiled and courage came.
You see strength is seen in ways that are quiet and can be easily missed. Courage comes right at the whisper of secrets tumbling out and the light shining through them.
You know this one thing I am learning about life: Strength looks nothing like it sounds and courage is always found in the wake of a wobbly leap. The funny thing is this, we can be really confident as well in one realm of our life, yet be shaking and fearful in another.
Courage is not shaped by a Wonder Woman cape, it is an everyday girl facing that which terrifies her and saying yes anyway.
When was the last time you whispered to courage?
When do you feel strong?
The combination of these both could be your finest hour.
“This is my command; be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Even to the scary gates of the school yard and those Mums who huddle, gossip and ignore. The funny thing is I expect they feel exactly the same and they are just trying to find their way as well.
– top image credit: Suhyeon Choi