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!