Brave Enough

Over the weekend, I had an unexpectedly severe flare-up of pain related to the chain of surgeries I had following my miscarriage years ago.

It's amazing how that pain can take me right back to the raw grief of losing our baby Jordan. It's like scent... how certain smells will put you right back in your grandmother's kitchen on Christmas morning.

I was in terrible pain Friday night and was unable to rest until about 4 in the morning. I got up Saturday, desiring to go to church with my family.

I was emotional, as I always am when I've been in that level of pain -- that pain that flashes me back to the reason for the surgeries. The pain that represents sweet beginnings and possibility scraped out, leaving years of physical and emotional complications.

Our daughter Hannah is an old soul. She is a compassionate girl who has grown up with a Mama who struggles with pain. It hasn't always been something I can hide from her and she has consistently handled my rough patches and my heart with a tenderness that astonishes adults.

This is the girl that told me when I was in the dark spaces of mourning Jordan, "Grief is like when you get something in your eye, and you have to cry and cry to get it out." She was 4 years old.

This is the girl that curled up next to me when the pain literally dropped me to the floor and smoothed my hair while saying, "Medicine takes a long time to kick in, sweetheart, but it will kick in." She was not yet in Kindergarten.

Saturday morning, I hugged her, apologizing for my tears as I explained to her, "Mommy had a bad night."

"It's okay, Mom," she told me, hugging me back. "I think God chose the right children to have a pain mama. Me and 'Nally' are okay with it. We're brave enough to have an arthritis kind-and-loving mother."

We're brave enough...

With tears in my eyes, I tucked away her reassurance and that phrase into the pocket of my heart. Brave enough. And I decided that I could be brave enough too. I took my girls to church, and I smiled through the pain. Not to discount it or try to hide it, but because life is beautiful and life is good. Every day, even the hard, is another chance to love and to form relationship and community with those around us.

Let's be brave enough to do that.

Let's be brave enough to do hard things, and not give up, and rest when we need to, and make memories regardless of our current physical ability, and encourage those around us, and grow. Let's be brave enough to keep on when it would be easier not to, and to believe in the good when good is hard to find.


  1. Well said. Sometimes I forget to be brave. I'm so thankful for your amazing example. Thank you.

  2. Jenn thanks for taking the time and effort to put the words down to share with us!! So meaningful. You are a blessing to us!!

  3. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank-you for sharing. ((hugs)). I love the way you worded this: "and I smiled through the pain. Not to discount it or try to hide it, but because life is beautiful and life is good."

  4. *Crying* I love your little Hannah.

  5. Theresa (OneMomentOneLife.org)May 2, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Sorry you are not feeling well dear. Know that you are held gently in my heart. Know that bravery comes in all shapes and sizes - and some of the largest, most gentle giants have cried the sweetest tears. Many of my bravest days have been when I have fallen like a limp noodle into my husbands arms - letting go of the need to fight anything.
    Your little Hannah has got it all right - we would all do well to listen.

  6. I'm so sorry that the pain can still come back so strongly, bringing so much with it. What a blessing Hannah is, and I'm so glad you've written those things down to treasure. I am such a Hannah fan!

    Sometimes I forget that all those things in your last paragraph are being brave. This is a beautiful post. Thank you!

  7. Beautiful! Like you, my children give so much to me in their support. I think I have been lucky to be given the kids I have. Feel good.

  8. Their tenderness and bravery is such a sweet reflection of you. Love you, my friend.

  9. Wow! Amazing daughter you have...but you are a shining example!

  10. thanks for sharin Jenn. Being brave gives life a whole new meaning. When i decided to finally be brave enough to stand up to the negativity thrown at me in my life, i finally was brave enough to get out of hurtful and damaging relationships (including some friends) and was able to refocus on what really matters. It has been a ong journey and will never really be completed, as more trials will come along my path. And that is the beauty of a journey, I don't want it to be over, because that will mean i no longer live. Facing daily trials can be hard, but being brave beats it all, and it is it not us being brave, some little ones , and not so little, will be standing brave right next to us. You have really precious people and moments. I praise God for giving you exactely what you need. Be strong and brave, I'm thinking of you

  11. Michelle Butler HallettMay 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM


  12. This is an incredibly touching post. What a beautiful spirit you were blessed with as a daughter. "Brave enough" would make a wonderful life motto for any of us.

    I followed you here through Brenda's blog, btw. I'm off to check out more!


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