So many times I will get comments that say “You are so brave, Heather!”.. And while I know that they are sincerely coming from peoples heart, I am so not brave. I have had circumstances in my life that I HAD to face, I had to have strength, and I had to fight like mad because the only other option meant death. That is so not bravery.
When I was pregnant with Emma, I had a choice. I could sink in a deep depression and hide (which I did, for about two weeks) and choose not to face it or I could fight like mad to save her, even though they gave her little hope. I chose option B, not because I am brave or strong… option A was too hard, too close to home. Option A meant death, and I chose life. I didn’t know at the time that I made the right choice, every doctor within talking distance spoke to me about letting her go when we were in ICU, but I felt in my heart that God wasn’t done with her yet, and I had made a promise to her in that little incubator in NICU. I promised I would fight for her as long as I could, and she could let me know when she was ready. And that is what I did and continue to do.
She did all the work. She beat all of the odds. She breathed on a ventilator for 4 months. She lasted through Transplant. She is learning despite the autism and battling through the mitochondrial disease.
I just supported her and loved her. Still do.
Then came cancer. I am still dealing with that. The emotions often hit me when I least expect it, in the grocery store or when I pick up my chemo from the pharmacy, or yesterday in the dentist office, sitting and watching my son play video games. If you could see me in my house, alone, you wouldn’t think I was strong. But I have children and a husband and they need me. I have parents who love me, and they need me. I have so many friends who call to support me and ask me if I am okay, you can ask them how brave I have been through this process. It has literally knocked the air right out of my chest.
But life cant stop. I cant stop. I still have children, and a husband that I love dearly. I chose them. I chose them when I was laying on the operating table, I choose them every time I pop that little chemo pill in my mouth.
I choose life.
Do I think my life is fair? My flesh doesn’t at all. My flesh wants to cry out and scream how unfair this is. But I am not my flesh. I really like how Sarah put it:
So life goes on, with bumps in the road that vary from pebbles to rocks to impassible boulders. I will get my share, and you will get yours, because somehow in His wisdom that’s what He has decided, and it’s not going to be any different until heaven. There the streets are paved with gold, no bumps allowed. It changes things, when I think about it. Maybe it is fair, after all. I live a life of less than a hundred years, occasionally dealing with hardship on varying levels, and then I transition to an eternity where there is no hardship, no tears, no hives. No, that’s definitely not fair. It’s way better than fair. I guess I don’t want my “fair” share after all.
Its way better than fair. It is way more than I deserve. It is so much more than I could have.
I could have been the mom who buried her child. I could have been the cancer patient that found out too late. I could have been the one…. you get my point.
Life is a funny creature, it comes at you from all directions- throwing things at you. Sometimes you see them coming from far away and have time to prepare for them, other times they sneak up on you and tap you on the shoulder. Either way, you make a choice. You choose to face what ever it throws at you head on, dealing with it now. Or you chose to bury your head in the sand and ignore the issue.
Its a choice. Its all in how you face it.
I choose to face it with Christ by my side, holding my hand all the way.
He is why I seem so brave.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
-2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)