Dear April,

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.

Dear April

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.

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.

dear april 3

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.

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”.

Mary

Linking with:

Emily Freeman

Lisha for Give Me Grace

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