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  • Janelle Batts

The Day I Told My Daughter She Didn't Have To Be Brave

While living in Texas, something happened to my daughter, and I want to share it with you. I was upstairs with our oldest child, Hannah Grace. As we proceeded to walk down the first flight of stairs in our home, she suddenly tumbled down four of the stairs...head first...head over heels. Horrified, as if in slow motion, I tried to get down the stairs as I watched her fall. By the time I reached her, she popped up like a jack in the box and replied, "I'm okay!". As I stared into my daughter's eyes, I knew she wasn't okay.


I sat down at the bottom of the stairs, quietly took my then six-year-old daughter into my arms, and whispered, "You don't have to be brave all of the time." Suddenly, she burst into tears as she laid in my arms. We sat together, on the stairs, and I allowed my little girl to cry until her heart was content. Then something unexpected happened. Tears began to form in my eyes as I held my daughter. I was completely overwhelmed at that moment. Here's why:


In that moment, I saw myself in my daughter. I saw this little girl who took a horrible fall act like nothing had happened when in fact she felt pain and fear. I became the little girl sitting on the Father's lap and allowing Him to comfort me rather than going through a harrowing situation and pretending as if nothing happened. I could hear Father God saying, "You don't have to be brave." I have always been the kind of woman that pulls my bootstraps up and keeps pushing even when I have not fully allowed myself to process a traumatic situation or change. As a mother, I saw this increase as I found myself covered up with paying bills, diaper changes, constant cleaning, breastfeeding, and managing a house with three children under the age of five.


We have an amazing spirit and a will to survive within us. God gave us this resiliency. It's His LIFE within our tenacity to fight. However, we often find ourselves pulling on our will again and again. We don't embrace the grace of God that is available and has already been prepared for us. Once, God showed me His daily grace by using the analogy of a bowl of fruit. Each day, there is new grace and mercy that we are welcome to partake of. It's like a bowl of nourishment that's waiting on our kitchen table each day. We have the freedom to eat of that fruit throughout our day.


While God demonstrated this to me, I started to wonder: how many times have I walked past the bowl of fruit and not partake? How many times do I not eat of the fruit of grace when I need to be nurtured or when my soul is weak after experiencing trauma? The grace of God is a powerful element in our daily walk with Him. It allows us to be vulnerable as we stand in our weakness before the strongest force in the universe. We are not expected to always be brave, yet we stiffen our necks with self-preservation each day. I have good news. We ARE expected to accept the cross, to accept our freedom, and to accept His delight over us. We were not created to depend upon ourselves. This is damaging because it often leads to condemnation, a defeatist mindset, and an independent spirit. We were created to depend on Him and Him alone. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 tells us:


"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."


Often, we plead to the Lord to take our sorrow away while gripping it tightly in our arms. We ask the Lord to be our strength, yet we do not lean upon Him. We stand on our own and grow weary. The day my daughter fell down those four stairs, I was reminded that I too am a daughter. I am a daughter of the most high God whom I have the pleasure of calling Abba Father. I was reminded that I am allowed to crumble into the Father's arms. I am allowed to fall apart. I am allowed to be afraid. I am allowed to lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. I can experience the pain of trauma and the joy of rescue. I can avail myself to His grace and arise strong. Hey, you don't always have to be brave. Like the song goes..."He makes me brave". When His power flows through the weakened, warriors are created. Be encouraged oh weary one, He alone makes you BRAVE. You are VICTORIOUS, even when you feel as though you've been poured out like liquid upon the ground.

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