I talk about being brave, but sometimes I think I really don’t know what it entails until it stares at me right in the face. I haven’t watched the movie We Bought a Zoo (although I probably should), but I remember this one quote from the movie that always comes up when I search for “bravery” and “courage” in Google:1
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.
Twenty seconds, huh?
How about five?
There was that one mass, where I fell to my knees after receiving communion and started tearing up. Okay, that isn’t really new, because sometimes I find myself crying a lot while at church, which often feel like the safest place for my tears. I knelt down and prayed, and my heart cried out. I don’t know what to do, Lord. I don’t know if I should go forward or forget about it. I’m scared, I’m scared. I just don’t know. Please tell me what to do.
Those were my prayers, but I realize later that underneath all those prayers is this one more urgent, pressing prayer: Please tell me what’s going to happen if I do this. Please, please.
And then, the answer: I will not tell you what’s going to happen. Remember that even your mistakes are in My plan. Will you trust Me?
By the time I went out of the church, I know what I was going to do. Okay, I didn’t know how I will do it, but I know what I think I should do.
God, I’m scared.
Now I read it and read it and read it, not because it contains the answer I need but because it’s one of the few things that I can hold onto now, as I prepare:
You must look that answer in the eyes and listen to it, and let it ache, and let it roam around, and let it lead you. Because the truth will always lead you somewhere.
“You know how when you eat a sundae and have tequila after, you expect LBM…but not too soon?” My friend made me laugh at that statement, but there is truth in what he said.
When you’ve come to the point of no return and then you are asked to wait again, it’s frustrating. Let me say that again: it’s frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when some things you sort of expected to happen later happen too soon, before you’re completely ready for it. What results is you, a complete mess, breaking down at random times in the day while you try to hold yourself together, try to not take offense, try to not over think things, try not to jump to conclusions.
It’s not like you can turn back, anyway. Or you’d want to turn back.
“The only thing you can do now is be strong, and wait.”
This must be what free-falling feels like. How long till you get to the end?
Sometimes, all you need is some crying time in your best friend’s car, and a road trip across the city in that same night for you to feel that yes, it’s going to be okay.
I’d like to imagine that my love is like a wave. A wave that comes, and crashes on the shore, and comes again and crashes, over and over. Loud and ferocious, a force to be reckoned with, the kind that is too hard to be missed. I’d like to think that my love is like that — loud and present, because it seems like the kind of love that leaves a mark.
But then I come undone, and I feel like my heart can’t give that kind of love. I’m too tired, it hurts too much, I’m too scared. It’s at these times I realize that maybe it’s better to have a love that is not a wave, but rather, something less loud and ferocious. Maybe it’s better to have the kind of love that runs deeper, that keeps still, that is big enough and wide enough to swallow all your fears and help you stand, help you keep going, help you to stay when almost everything in you tells you to drop it and run away.
I will be as brave and strong as I can be, for as long as I need to. I am here.
The funny thing is, when you’ve run out of tears, you are back to square one, sort of. You are back to waiting. You pick up the pieces of yourself, you smile and thank your friends who stood by you during your break down, and you walk again. You cautiously hope again, and you pray and you wait. You try, and you find your footing, and then you take it one step at a time
It’s not okay, not yet. But maybe it will be, later.
Please come through.
I promise you do not lose the things you love, and the good and beautiful things that go through the first ending now have a life beyond it. (Hilary Sherratt)
Every now and then, there are the small things that come and remind you that you are held, to remind you of the promise in the answer from a prayer you uttered exactly a week ago. I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness…You are good to me, good to me. â™¥
- Sidenote (or, fine, footnote): I wish it was that easy, just enter the thing you want or need and Google and you get results. I wish it was that easy. [↩]