Your beginning was more like an ending. A year long brave journey that took me to Nicaragua for a week. The culmination of a whisper from God that sounded so much like “you are brave”. A mission trip that took me out of my comfort zone on so many levels, but brought me to my knees knowing our God is so faithful.
Hearing the words “you are brave” and knowing this as truth are two very different things. Watching this brave journey unfold a year ago, sticking with it and then seeing it play out in front of my eyes was the most humbling thing I have ever witnessed. A year ago, I began dreaming of going to Nicaragua. At the end of March my dream came true. The first two days of April were the end of my mission trip, but the beginning of understanding a piece of the “who” God created me to be.
I learned that my brave journey was the realization of a dream. I know that it began as a glimmer, but ended in celebration because because God was faithful in walking by my side from beginning to end. I can now share the truth that “I am brave” and know it for a fact. Brave is saying “yes” and moving out of the way for God to take care of the details. April – you have stunned me by showing me firsthand what brave faith is all about.
[Tweet “Brave faith begins as a glimmer but ends as a celebration of God’s faithfulness.”]
Since my return from Nicaragua, a lesson in the everyday ordinary of my life has been transforming me as a daughter, mother and sister. As a daughter, God is peeling back the layers that look like frustration, my time is not my own, and my dreams and is showing me that I have been given the gift of a second chance. Many of you know that my dad has been struggling with health issues especially since January. But what you might not see is how God has used this struggle to gift me with more time with my dad. God is teaching me the beautiful love my dad has for me, his daughter. Something I have not always known like I do now.
As a sister, I feel grateful. I am one of five children, all the rest of whom are brothers. They live out of state so when I wish for someone to help me carry the challenges I face with my dad, it looks different than having family in town. But God is teaching me how to be thankful in the middle of the days that I feel worn out or envious that their lives carry on and mine does not (at least not the way I dream about). Being grateful looks like one of my brothers driving 8-9 hours one way or even much longer to spend some time with my dad. My heart, that steels itself against the emotions of caring for my dad, cracks open a little each time someone asks about dad, prays for my dad or when my brothers take time to travel this direction.
[Tweet “The walls of our hearts crack open with one kind word, gesture or invitation to gratitude.”]
As a mother, I am learning that grown sons lives still intersect with my own when I listen, reach out to them and love them just as I always have. Seeing them reach for their dreams inspires me to dream too. Watching them handle daily life by turning to God first reminds me over and over that I need God everyday. Spending time with them is always a blessing of laughter, love and the redemption of God making our little family His own.
So April, you were amazing! You taught me lessons that I didn’t always want to learn, but you showed me that I have a God who loves me big, believes I am brave and desires to walk with me even in the most difficult times.
Thank you for the beautiful brave memories and the gift of gratitude in a second chance with my dad.
From a woman staring May in the face and saying “I got this”.
Lisha for Give Me Grace
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Rejoicing with you over the way God has led you in recent weeks, especially this: “I can now share the truth that “I am brave” and know it for a fact.” Yay, what a journey of the heart you’ve been on, and look how far you have come! It’s a marvel and mystery how God weaves our desires into His plans, and in the unfolding we grow closer to Him and closer to becoming the woman He intends us to be. Cause for celebration indeed! I love the collage of beautiful images, and the positivity that pulses through this post. And I love hearing about the way April has shaped your faith as well as your days. Bless you, Mary. This warms my heart and ignites my faith. Xx <3
Thank you for all your sweet words. I love when we are affirmed by God. April taught me the most beautiful lesson and that is how faithful God is. It is a cause for celebration. I have a long way to go to become the woman God wants me to be, but the more I say “yes” and let Him take care of the details the closer I get. I love knowing that these words touched you and warmed your heart. Praying your week is blessed!
So glad you’ve had this second chance with your dad…soak it in and try to be present in every moment. My dad passed away 5 years ago and I find I miss him more and appreciate him more with each passing year. Sometimes I wish I had the chance to say thank you for all the sometimes unappreciated lessons he taught me…not through words…but through his actions and just how he lived his life. What a gift God has given you and your gratitude for that gift is evident. Praising God with you for new beginnings…
Thank you Bev! I love having this time with my dad even though somedays it is more challenging than others. When you describe the lessons your dad taught you through his actions, it made me think of my own dad. He has lived an amazing life and has always been true to what he believes. He is till teaching me. I’m sorry for the hole that you still feel in your heart over the loss of your dad. I know I miss my mom so desperately. I am praising God with you for new beginnings and for your friendship.
“Brave is saying “yes” and moving out of the way for God to take care of the details.” I love this inspiring statement, Mary. Not always easy to move out of the way, but when we do, we are blessed more abundantly, aren’t we? I’m so glad the trip helped you to gain a deeper sense of gratitude. I’m glad you’re having some special times with your dad, but being a primary caregiver can be so taxing. May God give you further strength in body and in soul! Hugs!
It is scary to move out of the way and let God do what he does best, but that is how He works. I appreciate prayers for strength. As much as I am grateful for this time with my dad, it also is very challenging on many levels. You are such a dear to encourage me and to join me here. Sending you love and hugs!
Hi Mary! You are surrounded by males in your life, aren’t you! What a joy you must be for your father, brothers and sons.
It is such a gift to know that God considers you to be brave. What a wonderful adjective. Able to face your life with your head up high, and looking forward the graces of the new month… A great gift, a great grace.
This month, I am looking forward to warmer weather!!
I live in male-dominated world that is for sure. But I love it. I hope I am a joy for all of my brothers, fathers, and sons. I do have a testy side to me but it doesn’t come out too often. Your description of brave as lifting my head high and looking forward to grace is so beautiful to me. Thank you for sharing that. I am looking forward to warmer weather as well as sunshine! Blessings!
Mary… you had me hooked with the line ‘ moving out of the way for God to take care of the details.’ You showed so much faithfulness AND bravery in the letting go too!
You are too kind. It is only by the grace of God that I saw that year long brave journey to fruition. It was God’s remarkable faithfulness that brought me from beginning to end. You bless me every time you join me here. Thank you for being such a beautiful part of this community.
Thanks for taking us with you to that far-off place that’s now so very close to your heart, Mary …
It’s true that Nicaragua is close to my heart, but it is because God took me on a brave journey and then taught me what it looks like to have faith and for Him to be faithful. I love that you have followed me along the way. It sure is a wonderful feeling having your friends along for the ride.
I knew that I would love this and I do!
You are so sweet! Thank you! It was fun to write!
Wonderful post, Mary! I know how welcome it is for one of your brothers to drive to help you a little with your dad. I was always thankful when my brother drove up from FL to help and do some things for my mom. It’s hard being the only one available most of the time. I also when my life intersects with my grown sons and daughters. It’s a special time. Thanks for sharing your month and for being brave! Going to Nicaragua must have been a challenge but also full of blessings. Have a great week! Blessings to you!
I love seeing your family pictures because I can tell how much you treasure your family. It is a beautiful blessing to have family who cares about each other so much. You have quite a big family too! Thank you for understanding. You have been through similar things so I know you get it. Love and hugs to you friend!
You and I are at similar points in life — watching our parents diminish as our children flourish. Sometimes I feel as if I’m cut in two, not sure whether to mourn or to rejoice. I’ve really enjoyed this re-cap post, and am wondering if I can get organized enough by the end of May to write a monthly summary. Yours was so much fun to read!
It sounds like we are at similar points in our lives. I feel the definite pull of myself in two very opposite directions, but I know that God is my center and without Him, I would be a puddle on the floor. As for this monthly summary, it is fun but I do it very irregularly. Thanks for stopping by!
It sounds like your April was amazing, Mary! And I’m so glad it was. I have prayed for you and your dad over these many weeks of April and am encouraged to know that you are cherishing this time with your dad. I have a good friend who is going through much the same with her father and met with her just yesterday. Tears came to her eyes as she talked about these precious moments the Lord has given her to be by her dad’s side in this painful season. I know that’s how you feel as well. Praying God blesses you with more and more courage as well as strength to weather these challenging but precious days. Hugs to you!
April was amazing because of learning and seeing firsthand God’s faithfulness. There are days when I’m not so gracious but God is humbling me with little challenges over and over. My heart rejoices but also hurts for my dad as he keeps fighting. I can empathize with the situation your friend is going through too. Thank you for your continued prayers and for continuing to reach out and check on me. Your friendship is such a gift.
I went to Nicaragua in March and fell in love with it!
I saw some of your pictures while you were gone and they looked amazing. I’m glad you had a wonderful time. Thank you for stopping by and joining me here.
What an incredibly wonderful month that was. Enjoy May!
It was an incredible month and one that taught me many things. I hope you have a wonderful week!
Beautiful post friend. So much THIS: “Brave faith begins as a glimmer but ends as a celebration of God’s faithfulness!” Amen!
Thank you, Tara! I know you know about brave faith. Praying we have many celebrations because we saw the fruition of God’s faithfulness. Blessings on the new week!