It’s Okay Not to Be Brave: Learning to Let Go in Hard Seasons

By Sara R. Ward

God's Brave Women - Sara's Story


This wasn’t supposed to be my story.

Have you ever said those words to yourself? Have you looked over your life and thought to yourself: This can’t be happening to me?

In 2012, my son died from a terminal genetic disease. We adopted him at birth, a newborn bundle of joy with hazel eyes and curly hair who was broken at the mitochondrial DNA level.

We discovered something was wrong when he was nine months old at a wellness check. The doctor noted that he was developing behind other babies his age and recommended an MRI. As soon as she said those words, I knew there was a problem and I began to cry. How could the son we waited so long for be sick?


"The doctor noted that he was developing behind other babies his age and recommended an MRI. As soon as she said those words, I knew there was a problem and I began to cry. How could the son we waited so long for be sick? "

When we brought him to the MRI appointment, they slid his tiny body into a machine where his brain was imaged and spliced onto a computer, looking more like a foreign map than the mind of a little boy with a contagious smile.

Soon after, the doctor read us the devastating news from the MRI report. “It’s consistent with Leigh’s disease,” she said over the phone.

“What’s that?” I asked.