So That Others Can Be Brave

The day the white-coated specialist announced, “I’m sorry. Something’s wrong with your baby’s heart. She probably won’t live to be born,” was the scariest day of my life. He gave us a choice that day, one that he said would be easy.

Bravery isn’t as glorious as it’s usually depicted. I didn’t feel brave covered in cold ultrasound goop, snotty nosed and red-eyed, sobbing that half of my unborn daughter’s heart was missing.

But I learned that brave is doing the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it’s worth doing.  Brave is the pink-cheeked newborn who greeted the world with a potent cry 5 months later. Brave is handing her over to the surgeon to whittle on her 5-day-old, walnut-sized heart, knowing I might never get her back.

Brave is begging God to save my baby’s life when surprise heart failure and month-long hospitalization told us we may never get better days with her. Brave is telling Him I’d trust Him even if He didn’t.  Brave is Annie’s continued joy and tenacity that she gave in the form of smiles and coos to every caregiver who came to prick and stick and prod.

Brave is 11-month-old Annie clapping and kissing her big sister and crying for “Momma” from the living room, while I craft party decor for her first birthday. Brave is that Momma thanking God for today, not worrying about the surgery that Annie will face in another year.

Brave is rejoicing in what the Lord gave to our family, though I would’ve chosen so differently. Brave is what I could be over the last year and what I can claim in the year ahead because God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).

“You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.”

Check out this free printable that beautifully depicts this quote. I’m pasting it into Annie’s baby book because I think it’s just perfect for her!


In less than 12 hours everything changes. 

“It’s cancer,” she sobbed. “My dad has cancer.” 

Cancer was the last word I wanted to hear crackled through my faithful friend’s tears. We’d prayed for healing. A good report. Even for nothing.

Stage 3 lung cancer is a lot different than nothing. Cancer that has gone undetected for a year. Cancer that has quietly been growing, living, thriving in her father’s lungs. Fresh air inhaled. Cancer secretly exhaled. 

But tomorrow the fight begins. Five days a week for the next seven weeks her dad will undergo intense radiation and chemotherapy treatment.  I’m telling y’all because y’all know how to pray. (And this man is one of Annie’s favorites!)

Y’all have believed with me in our Healer before and I’m asking you to believe with me again. 

We believe that God can heal the sick man’s body and the grieving loved ones’ hearts. And we believe that whichever one He chooses is the right choice. Will you join me to beg God for mercy and grace and comfort for this family? And will you also declare your faith in His good and sovereign hand?

“We waste our cancer if we seek comfort from the odds rather than from God.” -John Piper