Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fight Like a Girl!

I have noticed in so many big and small ways how my courage has grown exponentially since my pregnancy with Danica. "Do the thing you think you cannot do," a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, coupled with, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," was my mantra during the months of pain and uncertainty. I have always had things in my life I really wanted to do or was asked to do that I either never began or started and did not finish because of a small voice somewhere inside me telling me it was too hard or not possible. When situations would become too stressful or confrontational I would allow my body to shut down and become ill or end the relationship or walk away from the trouble because I could not cope. This time was different. I could not quit growing Danica, this little girl I already loved, and so I was finally made to face an inner demon I had been hiding from my entire life and fight!

This is a picture of my brave and beautiful friend, Angie, and her sweet two year old daughter, Audrey. I have journeyed with her these past months as she has fought breast cancer. I am amazed at her strength and courage growing up in the midst of one of life's hardest circumstances. I know the root of her bravery is the belief in our God's loving plan for her in life or in death. Angie did not have an accept or decline box on a form asking her if she was up to the challenge. God decided she was going to do this, and she has. Day in and day out she has fought the fight choosing to LIVE. I see her now in the next stage of recovery with all the responsibilities of her home and children heaped back on her shoulders in addition to the physical fatigue and emotional wounds and spiritual growing pains. I am challenged by the grace and strength she models as she daily does the things she thinks she cannot do.

I hate making broad generalizations about gender issues, but I am amazed as I watch both the men and women I know how it's usually the women rising again and again to meet the battles of life--in their marriages, with their children, at their jobs, in their physical, emotional and spiritual health--and winning the fights over and over again. Mary Jean Irion said, "Faith is not making religious sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night--and then getting up and going to work." This is what we do as women. There is no luxury to check out when things get too hard, and so we get up after a night of grief and despair and do what needs to be done to feed the children. (See The Invitation post from May.)

This new found courage is working itself out in my life in so many ways. I have always wanted to become a better photographer and really learn to quilt. I am signed up for classes to do both. When I began this database job I thought I could not learn it, and I wanted to quit. Now I am finding so much ease in having a job that is purely task based and without the pressures of managing people or budgets. When I heard of us having to move I curled up in the fetal position and refused. I just couldn't imagine doing it again. I am looking at our house already half way packed, and I am strangely at peace with another change. I am running on some kind of premium fuel in my daily life that can only be explained as a new energy found in the grace Christ has always offered me, but I am just now learning to use.

Thank you for teaching me to "fight like a girl!" I praise you for the strength and courage you have given me for each moment of each day. Never let me forget where this might is found, in the great Victor, my Savior, Jesus Christ!

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