Do y’all ever crash and burn after the holidays? I seem to operate on pure will and determination for the months of November and December. Six of my children have birthdays during those eight weeks besides the major holidays and accompanying events. Then, comes January and not surprisingly, I am spent. Running on fumes, I continue the course determined to start the new year off right.
I remind myself of all the tender moments, answered prayers, beautiful blessings and great expectations that fill my life. Even so, amidst all the wonderful, sometimes I am alarmed to discover I’ve misplaced my courage. As soon as I realize this, I begin to search for it diligently. I do all the things I know to do.
I read scripture. I get some rest. I pray. I tell myself to take courage but that only reminds me that I can’t seem to find my courage.
Have you been there in that place? Are you there now? I have been before and as a matter of fact I’ve been there for about a week. It’s been a struggle.
The New Year came and the decorations were put away and my scales revealed more than I’d like while my wallet revealed less than I’d like. My children resisted returning to school routines and were just basically out of sorts. Then we began to have car trouble. Oh how I despise car troubles. Let’s not forget a couple of flu encounters and viruses.
To tell you the truth, my head was aching and my heart was heavy and I had begun to think I may have packed away my courage in one of the boxes of seasonal paraphenalia because it was no where to be found.
I entered into a stage I have dubbed as the ‘next thing stage’. That’s when the thoughts of everything that needs doing overwhelms me so I just focus intently on the next thing that needs doing and repeat until I lay my weary head on my pillow each night.
I pressed on. I kept on. I was not making great strides but I continued taking one small step after another, doing what I needed to do and all the while wishing I could find my courage.
Then, last night, a call came that stirred my heart and made me think surely my courage must be close by. This morning I awoke to participate in the 21 days of prayer my church is doing just as I had done all week, and I realized that my heart didn’t seem quite so heavy. Then, quite suddenly, or so it seemed I found my courage again.
There it was! All I needed to do now was to #takecourage. And so I did. It was such a relief. I found that there with my courage was clearer thinking, focus and the ability to breathe more deeply. Not a thing had changed about my situation, my responsibilities and the vehicle that is broke down is still being towed home today.
What had changed was simple and yet powerful. I found my courage. I took courage and made it my own.
I am writing this today with this hope. If you, like me, have lost your courage, I want to urge you to keep on trying, do the next thing, read the Bible, pray for help, parent your children, pay the next bill, call the tow truck, count your blessings, don’t quit! Here’s why.
Today may not be the day you find your misplaced courage but, your day is coming. Suddenly, or so it will seem, you’ll discover it once again and then, like me, you can #takecourage too.