Being Brave

2014 summer fall 409Two words, 10 letters, that mean so much and is very hard to do. What does it mean to be brave? Dictionary.com states brave means:

To meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes

To defy; challenge; dare

Being Brave means that we face our challenges and misfortunes head on with courage and faith that we will pull through. But sometimes you don’t realize you are Being Brave until you look back after you have pulled through. I lost my husband unexpectantly 3 years ago and then 3 weeks later a fire started in my house that forced my daughter and I to move out for 7 months while they tore down a part of the house to rebuild. And there were illnesses to deal with during that time too.

Going through that time in my life I felt like I was hanging on by a thread. Barely surviving. I lost around 25 pounds in 6 weeks because I just could not eat. I was devastated at losing Don. The fire was nothing compared to the loss and emptiness I felt that my life partner was not physically here with me anymore. But the fire made it that I couldn’t even grief in the comfort of my own home. Before the fire, I would wear his sweatshirt because it still smelled like him and brought me solace. But the fire took that away from me too.

My home looked like a war zone. Charred wood and burned cars, part of the house torn down, plastic hanging up between rooms, walls and floors torn apart and the overwhelming smell of smoke filled the house. It all just seemed unreal.

Looking back at any challenge you have gone through, you realize that you did have tremendous strength, courage and perseverance that even though a door closes, you have to have faith that God will open a new one. And He does. There is a saying that goes “When God closes a door, he opens a window”. I don’t think God closes doors, things just happen. Life just happens. But I do believe when tragedy does occur, He makes a new door for you to go through even if that door did not exist before. A door to new opportunities and miracles you are not even aware of. A couple of those opportunities for me is this blog and the book I am currently writing (a small miracle). I don’t believe the blog and book would have occurred without all the loss. But my loss has led me to share my story in the hope to give others faith and inspiration that you can persevere.

I was watching the show Grey’s Anatomy after Dr. Derek Shepherd was killed in a car accident. His wife, Dr. Meredith Grey, says “Why do bad things happen to good people? We ask that question so often, it’s become cliché, but that’s because bad things do happen to good people constantly. You just have to hope that when it your turn, you will know what to do, how to cope, how to persevere. The truth is you don’t know how you will react to your worst-case scenario. None of us do. Not until it happens.”

I think that is true that you won’t really know what you would do until it happens to you. I do believe it is a choice to cope or not. I am not saying that you will cope right away. I did not and I don’t think most of us do when the worst comes at you when you don’t expect it. You have to give yourself time to grief the loss before you begin anew. You have to feel the loss so you can heal. Then you make the choice to change and accept this new changed life.

Of course the opened door may look nothing like you expect it would. Going through any tragedy you come out changed. Usually that change is a more humble, grateful and kinder person. You may think why kinder after you have been through so much? I think that when you go through something horrific, you realize that anything can happen at any time and you don’t take life for granted anymore. You realize that we all have our own tragedies, big or small, and we are more connected than we realized. We feel empathy for another person’s tragedies and we show more compassion and that turns us into a kinder human being.

Be brave. Be courageous. Move forward because you are stronger than you think you are! Miracles can happen. You just need to BELIEVE and then you can SOAR!

Quote - Overcoming Obstacles by Christopher ReeveSong - When You Believe by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston

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