Brave Enough to Dream New Dreams

By Gina LaPapa

God's Brave Women - Gina's Story


I looked over at my son in his cap and gown and I didn’t have to say a word. He was skimming the crowd and our eyes met. His small smirk melted me. Tears were trying to escape as I willed them back with my wide smile. It was such a bittersweet time for me as I realized the prayer I carried with me all these years had been fulfilled. I felt such overwhelming joy and gratitude. It wasn’t simply him graduating from high school. It was much deeper than that.


From the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was only two, I desperately pleaded with God to allow me to live long enough to see him and his sister grow up. (My daughter was one at the time.) His eighteenth birthday was just two short days before his high school graduation. Two milestones I had been dreaming about for years. Somehow, in all those years of dreaming, I never allowed myself to dream beyond this moment in time.

I planned homeschool curriculum and cultivated the early years of their lives. In my humble desires, that would be enough. I truly lived in the present and soaked up every moment with my family.


"I lived long enough at this point in life to know that precious prayers are not always answered in our favor or the way in which we hoped. Even with that knowledge, I still prayed to live long enough for my children to remember me and for me to see them grow until they graduated from high school."


I lived long enough at this point in life to know that precious prayers are not always answered in our favor or the way in which we hoped. Even with that knowledge, I still prayed to live long enough for my children to remember me and for me to see them grow until they graduated from high school. To dream beyond that milestone seemed overly selfish. Lord, just long enough to see them through high school.


“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (ESV)


Lord, let me live.


Never, in all the years of reciting that simple prayer of Lord, pleas