Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When Courage Doesn't Come all At Once

Last week, my son was playing at the park with a few of his buddings when I overheard them setting up their make-believe fun. They were assigning roles as I heard one of them say, "I wanna be the brave one." And another, "No, I want to be the brave one." They went round and round trying to decide who would get to be the brave one this time.

If you've been reading my blog then the one thing I hope you have gotten is that the Lord truly gives the peace that passes ALL understanding... he really does! I have experienced it many times and it was especially present in the weeks leading up to my diagnosis and surgery. But there are times when I just don't want to be the brave one. Times when I just want to kiss courage good-bye and pull the covers over my head.

That was how I felt in the wee morning hours on the day of my surgery. Unfortunately, I didn't wake up with this heavy dose of peacefulness that would carry me through the whole day. I woke up and was like... Oh yeah... today's the day I have open heart surgery. And then my body was paralyzed. Not paralyzed with anxiety and fear that makes your heart race and your body shake. But I literally couldn't or didn't move. I just lay there and wondered what would happen if I just stayed in bed and chose not to go to the hospital. If I didn't show up then they couldn't do the surgery, right?? But I needed the surgery so I not-so-bravely reminded myself that irrational thoughts wouldn't get me anywhere (although I didn't want to go anywhere at that moment:).

I decided to break the day into bite size chunks. First I prayed for the courage to get out of bed and it came. As I sat on the edge of the bed, I prayed for strength to walk to the bathroom. With each step I prayed for courage to take the pre-surgery, sanitation shower. And then getting dressed. Getting to the car. Walking into the hospital. Putting a smile on my face.... On and on, one step at a time. It all strung together into a peace-filled early morning. The Lord gave me the same strength, courage, peace and even humor that He has given all along. It was all there for me. I just had to ask.  Yeah, there are times when I don't want to be the brave one but those are the times I have to remind myself that sometimes courage doesn't come all at once.

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