Are we ever prepared for the intense amount of bravery it takes to get through this one life we’re given?
As I walked through the snow, my boots breaking the thin, frozen crust with each step was the only sound heard, although my thoughts were palpable and loud, thunderous, in my head.
How brave one must be to live a life of purpose
To push through the mundane, the daily grind, the dark, hushed corners, to break free from the dark and into the light – to continue functioning in the midst of all the trouble that life accumulates: sick loved ones, health crises, marital problems, wayward children, financial strain, work difficulties, broken dreams and hard lived existences.
So much difficulty. So much bravery.
When life’s decisions force you to make hard but necessary change.
When you choose or are pushed out of your comfort zone.
When you must be the bigger person.
When you step foot, one after the other, onto your cold hard bedroom floor even though depression begs you to stay in bed.
To love despite receiving little in return.
To work hard in the absence of reward.
To keep pushing forward when you want to give up.
Oh friend, how brave you are. How brave we all are.
But I want you to know, you are not alone.
And I have a secret, listen close:
How beautiful the light is when you have lingered in the dark too long.
The light had faded to almost dark as I made my way home. The cold had made it into my bones despite walking fast. My thighs were numb and each step was becoming harder. Up ahead, the welcoming candles in the windows of the old farmhouse beckoned me home, promised warmth.
I stopped by the barn to make sure the pregnant goats were bedded down nicely in preparation for the cold night ahead.
The barn was dark and quiet. The scent of summer’s hay mixed with healthy animal was sweetly pleasing to my senses, as it always has been.
I reached for the light and realized the bulb was out. It was dark, and would remain so. At first, acutely aware of all the lovely noise and chaos that awaited me inside the house in just a few minutes, I welcomed the dark quiet, if just for a time.
I refreshed the water and threw the goats some extra hay. I scratched them each one, on the side of the neck and on their noses. I spoke quietly to them in the dark. The black stillness was pleasing, and held relief from the screaming noise of everyday life.
But it was hard to see. And it was hard to work in. It was cold and had the burned out bulb been permanent, the dark would’ve been oppressive.
We need light. The darkness might be welcoming for a time, but we were meant to thrive in the light.
The second week of Advent, now passed, represents light.
And I want you to know that the light of God’s love is more powerful than this life’s darkness.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2
This light, is the kind of light that brings JOY- and this third week of Advent reminds of us of the JOY waiting to be found- promised-to each of us.
We don’t have to be brave alone. We weren’t meant to brave this life alone. If we choose to dwell in His LIGHT, JOY will follow. If we believe that the God of Promise, of Light, of Joy, and of Love has purpose for each of us, we can brave another day, and the next and then the next.
I walked out of the barn and towards the comforting light of the house. The light and my walk made me feel braver, stronger, encouraged. We need light in our lives.
If God’s purposes for our lives demand bravery, we can be assured His light and His joy will carry us through, if only we choose to dwell in it.