I remember like it was yesterday. When the biggest brave his 6-year-old frame had to climb was to walk up to the counter and ask for a drink refill. And I remember the toothless grin spanning cheek to cheek and the puffed-up chest and the spring in his step at the first taste of brave. When the second cup of soda tasted so much better than the first. Because it cost something more than money.
It cost the price of digging deep; even deeper than all his backyard attempts to dig to China.
Brave has a way of costing, and the price is often more than we ever imagined being willing to give Click To Tweet Always more than the sum of all we possess. And each new brave more costly than the last.
Brave has a way of filling our soul to overflowing, and we realize in that moment, we are meant for more. Click To Tweet We are meant for more than just tasting brave. We are meant to gulp it and swallow a mouthful and feel the veins rush deep. Until the excitement erupts from our very core, screaming of the possibilities awaiting such a thirsty soul and breaking us free from our self-built fences.
Brave has never been easy for me. Fear is ingrained into the morrow of my bones and has been from my earliest childhood memory. My climbing into brave has been scraping and clawing to keep a tail-grip and never letting go while fear yanks me by the ankles, filling my head with empty promises of safety.
Passing on my learning curve to my children wasn’t part of the plan. I never wanted them to wrestle so. What mother does?
We need to help our children grab brave around the neck and kick their feet with anticipation as it plunges them toward unfathomable depths of joy and fulfillment.
We need to help them live in the precious gift brave has to offer when they hear its voice calling them toward more. More of Him who created them for so much more than wrestling.
So, there he sits across the table from me two decades later, with a not-so-toothless grin spanning cheek to cheek and a chest undaunted by fear but fresh with possibilities. I recognize the spring in his step because he’s been climbing brave his whole life, and I love that impossible has never taken up residence in his heart.
Who knew that this moment would take me back so many years to the backyard memory of this boy and his friend, digging from morning till night for days on end. Never questioning if they would find China…only wondering when.
As the words dance from his lips, I realize that brave has been calling him for longer than I’ve known. It’s been calling him to be more and to do more and to live more. It’s been calling him to spread his wings and soar farther and higher than I ever expected…ALL THE WAY TO CHIINA – not just for a vacation, but for 4 years.
And I’m struck by the irony of such a moment. How we can spend so many years teaching our children to be brave, and what happens when their brave outweighs our own? How it’s my turn to dig to China and how this brave is going to cost me more than the sum of all I possess. Because this brave isn’t just calling him. It’s also calling me.
When the deepest part of my marrow is gasping and crying and fearful of what the next 4 years means, brave is calling me to breathe and laugh and trust. It’s calling me to climb and keep climbing until I’m face to face with the possibilities of joy and fulfillment in his future. For the sake of his heart and his life whose birth gave me this mama heart, I’ve got to wrap my arms around brave’s neck because a tail-grip isn’t going to be enough.
I see the burden of tomorrow’s unmet dreams lifted from his shoulders, and it’s all he can do to take a breath in the midst of spilling over the details. This first-born of mine is more man than I ever imagined he’d be and all that I imagined. Brimming with ambition and eagerness for the precious gift God is orchestrating. I know his brave is going to be wild and thrilling and captivating.
I also know this gift is not just for him. This unexpected and partially unwrapped gift is also for me. It’s one more piece in my motherhood journey of fearless awakening. One that’s going to require a pretty big shovel, constant determination and a faith that doesn’t question “if” my heart will get to China…
Only the anticipation of when.