If you have done any browsing at my online store, you may have noticed there are several courage-themed lion products. There’s a reason for that. Today I’m going to tell you a little story about courage, and how a nine year old child helped me find it.
About two years ago, when I was in the deepest, darkest pit of my depression, I spent pretty much every minute of my life in bed. Every morning I woke up and turned on the tv in my room. I kept the blinds closed and stayed curled up in bed in my jammies until it was time to cook supper for my family. Some days I even skipped that. I was a shell of the woman I once knew, literally wasting my life away. I felt no hope. No desire to do anything. My daughter and her two sons lived with us at the time. My oldest grandson, who was nine, remembered me as the grandma that used to play games and bake cookies and do fun grandma stuff. But that grandma was nowhere to be found.
One day, he came into my room after returning home from vacation Bible school. “Grandma”, he said “I made something for you today”. I rolled over in bed and pulled the covers off of my head to see his smiling face and his outstretched hand with some sort of trinket in it. “It’s a bracelet. It says courage. I wanted to give it to you because you need to have courage. I put lions on it because lions are courageous and they will help you to remember”.
Tears started rolling down my face and I hugged that boy with every ounce of strength I could muster. He was right. I needed courage. I needed to stop hiding away from the world and get help. I put that bracelet on my arm and reached out to my sisters. I took the first step, and each thing I did gave me the courage to take the next step. I’ve come so far in my healing since that day, but I know I have a long way to go. Sometimes the road is hard, but I will persevere. I keep that bracelet right on my nightstand. It reminds me of the courage it took to get where I am and the courage I’ll need to get where I want to be. But more than that, it reminds me of how much I am loved by my family and by God, who used a little child to break through my emptiness and speak to me in a way I could hear.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9