God's Brave Women - Kristine's Story
To me, there is a beautiful balance to bravery. I have been labeled “brave” by the world at times when I am the most weak, and the irony is not lost. I am either fresh from a trial, or I am raw from reliving the journey through the flames. Learning to see myself as brave has been a quest for harmony between blindness and sight.
For me, intentional blindness to fear and uncertainty is the first step in protecting myself from inaction. I cannot take a leap if I know how far I can fall. Opposite of blindness, bravery to me also involves selective sight. We have eyes to see, ears to hear. I chose sight in fixing my eyes on Him, on God, and His promises for my life.
Selective blindness was the only way to take any steps in my first pregnancy 5 years ago. At our 20 week anatomy scan, we found out that our baby was a girl, and that she had numerous complications threatening her sweet little existence. I had numerous doctors and specialists telling me, almost daily, that the baby I insisted I would keep carrying was likely going to die. These people were all so smart; they had more degrees than a thermometer, and I always came to the table feeling like I had to fight to keep fighting. I felt pressure from all sides to abandon the road I was on, take a different path, and the different path suggested didn’t seem easy either.
It was hard for the world to watch as I walked this path of pain; I don’t fault them for trying to take the hurt from me. But one of the underlying challenges to bravery is managing the expectations of a world that doesn't understand you. Bravery is crying out to Him for stability when the world is shifting constantly beneath you.
"Bravery is crying out to Him for stability when the world is shifting constantly beneath you."
So, I kept walking. I progressed to 30 weeks balancing blindness and sight. Blindness to how hard it all was; trying to ignore the fact that she may not make it. Eyes fixed on who I was called to be; respectfully aware of who she was called to be. Blindness and sight, terrified and brave, laced together. Sweet Darla was born and passed away 12 hours later. Although it required more tears than I knew one person could cry, I wouldn’t give up that part of my story for anything. She was a treasure.
Still fresh from loss, I had to be blind when, 7 months later, we decided to try again for another baby. I had to accept that I could be hurt and leave the hospital alone again. I knew how that would feel, but I also was longing to know what beauty could unfold with opening my heart again.
Reconciling the memories of our first loss, my eyes fixed on the God of love. The God that loves me, loves us. The God that makes the statistics, who is not bound by a 25% chance of recurrence. I became aware of the fact that He was continuing to write my story beyond my control. The whispers of the potential for joy in motherhood became deafening to the lies of fear.
Fixed on His light, we got pregnant again. And this time, we brought a baby home. Little Gracie was not my first baby, but my first in so many ways. She was my first middle-of-the-night feeding, the first baby to cry for me, the first tiny voice to call me “mama”. She was my first joy in so many ways, potentially missed if not for blind bravery.
For you see, we cannot be brave alone. In this life, there is always something to fear. There is no shortage of hurt in the world. There is always an unknown; nothing is guaranteed. If we focus on how small we are and how scary it all is, it can be too much to bear. Awareness of our own limitations can keep us from moving. And despite all there is to fear, there is so much more beauty than fear in life. There are so many unimaginable rewards for humble bravery.
"I am called “brave” by the world when I earn it; I am called “brave” by Him by nature. Bravery is woven into my identity as a child of God."
I am called “brave” by the world when I earn it; I am called “brave” by Him by nature. Bravery is woven into my identity as a child of God. We weren’t meant to live safe, we were made to be courageous. With God as the light, the darkness isn’t so dark. John 1:5 tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (NIV)
So in this, Dear Sister, let us step forward together: loved, humble, and brave.
Five years ago, Kristine’s world was completely rocked at the passing of their first baby daughter. Since her passing, Kristine has found strength and community through writing about motherhood, marriage, and her journey in faith. She lives with her husband, Jon, outside of Boston. They are currently raising two daughters: Gracie Kate (3) and Avery Joy (1). She hopes to share her own journey as she learns to parent from a place of loss and revival. Kristine loves running, cooking, reading, and finding a good Netflix/Hulu series to mass-consume. She strives to find grace and joy in the daily adventure of motherhood. Feel free to follow her via her blog mywesternnest.com and other social media outlets. Instagram @my_western_nest Facebook @mywesternnestblog and Pinterest @MyWesternNest
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
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