I sure didn't feel brave. It just felt like what I was suppose to do, what I was created to do. I had made choices to bring me to this place and all I could do was lean in and hold on to the Lord.
Every decision has a consequence and mine had made me a single mother at 17. I tried to embrace it with grace and dignity, but found myself many times lonely and discouraged, disappointed in the path I had chosen.
Every day I was scared to death. I'd go to school at an unfamiliar campus in an unfamiliar town. I went to work afraid of messing up for an overbearing boss. I would come home and be afraid that I would not be able to raise this child on my own, not have enough money, patience or faith. I tried to be brave, but I felt anything but.
The day I finally went into labor, I felt ready because I was 10 days overdue, not because the nursery was set up or the car seat was installed. I was still scared and anxious, but knew there was no alternative. Ready or not, it was time.
I opted for a natural birth. With the help of my sister and friend, I was able to begin to push without any medicinal assistance. I was feeling a bit empowered, but was tired and feeling so many emotions. But, not one bit brave.
After two unsuccessful hours of pushing, I was given an epidural and prepped for a c-section. My mother begged the doctor to try forceps or something to help the baby out naturally as she knew I had wanted to avoid surgery if I could. The doctor, a Christian, agreed to it as long as my mother asked the family and church to pray. He told he would try for 10 minutes, until 7:40 PM.
My son came into this world at 7:39 PM. Not a minute too late, not a minute too soon.
It wasn't until I held him for the first time that I felt brave. Brave enough to choose life, brave enough to raise this man-child by myself, brave enough to go to college and pursue a degree in education.
And on each birthday, when he would blow out his candles and make a wish, I felt brave. Brave enough to keep going, to be his Momma, to open my heart to love and be loved again. Brave enough to do it again. Twice.
Motherhood made me brave and continues to spur me on to choose to be brave every day.
Come and be brave with me and hundreds of others on Lisa Jo's blog.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:17 (NIV)