Learning to be brave.

During one of our family walks, the boys discovered a small tree that had fallen over and formed a bridge over a little stream. Now, I was a little behind so I did not know this. I came up behind my partner and wandered what he was looking at down a steep bank. My heart instantly stopped as I saw Ben on one side, contemplating to cross it. I asked my partner nervously, “You are letting them do this?” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled, “They found it, why not?”

The problem was that my mind immediately went to the possible injuries and wet clothes if they fell in. I was also too far away to get to him if something went wrong. But as Ben tentatively began to take his first steps across, his nerves got the better of him and he jumped off and his brother did the same. However, Ben was determined and he went back on the log and it hit me. What he needed wasn’t for me or his dad to go down there and protect him from the possible injuries or consequences from failed attempts, it was words of encouragement.

Ben’s second attempt.

We told him to lift his arms, to go slow, step by step but most importantly we told him he could do it. We shouted words of praise and his father told him, it was ok to be scared, but if he took a deep breath and focused on getting to the end he could do it. We watched as he walked to the end of the log and jumped off triumphantly. He was so proud and his little brother Sam, inspired by his actions decided that he too wanted to try to walk across. It took him a little longer, but we did the same for him, we rooted for him. His brother rooted for him. Sam actually fell and hit his back, but we told him it was ok, that he should rub his back, get up, try again; lo and behold he did it!

Taken just before Sam fell over.

The boys were so proud of themselves! I was proud that they challenged themselves and I hoped that they learned an important lesson. But it was their beaming faces that I will always remember, how they glowed after this accomplishment. It was their moment of fear and a choice had to be made. It also reminded me that the right support can help you do amazing things. Knowing that someone is cheering you on, believes in you and sees you trying your best is comforting and brings courage.

My mind turned to Jesus, how he does this for me. How he has done this for me. Especially, when I have allowed fear to overwhelm me, or lies or negative thinking and still he whispers “I am with you.” The moments of “I can’t do this!” and he says “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Or the moments of “I give up,” He says,” For I know the plans I have for you…plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I also thought of the many people who have supported me and continue to root for me and when I remembered this, I myself felt bolstered. I look at the challenges that I currently face: going back to work, my upcoming driving test, my desire to be a published author, my hope for the best for the future of my children and it gave me courage. Through my children I was reminded that each day brings new challenges and we have a choice to make, to can be overwhelmed by fear or we can remember that God is rooting for us, that our loved ones are supporting us and if we fall that’s ok, as long as we get back up and try again.

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