On a recent date night with my husband, we found ourselves in a used bookstore and yet again, a courageous character found me. In “The Wind in the Willows: A Fine Welcome” the reader is introduced to Mole who doesn’t appear to be very adventurous. But he just keeps saying yes, albeit reluctantly to the next opportunity before him. First he says yes to a boat ride, then yes to rowing by himself, and finally yes to jumping into the water to save the picnic basket.
“At last Mole came up dripping wet and gave the basket to Rat.
“Brave Mole!” said Rat.
“You might have drowned!” said Toad.
“I surprise myself,” said Mole. “Today I am daring to do more new things than I ever knew!””
I loved Mole’s bold declaration of surprise over his bravery.I’m strangely comforted by his brand of courage. In my current season of transition and tears, I don’t need another character who blazes in, sure of themselves and confident of where they’re going.
I need someone who is afraid but does it anyway.
I need someone who initially refuses but then jumps in when it really counts.
I need someone who is surprised by their own daring on the other side of the plunge.
I need that someone because today especially, I need help believing that I can be that person.
Last night, we had dinner of grilled pizza and fruit salad and iced tea, seasoned with honest conversation with some dear friends. What a gift it was to hear them admit their fears while still choosing to trust and press in. I felt my own battered heart lean in closer, believing just a little more, that I could do the same. I listened eagerly to their words and wasn’t surprised to realize I already knew the truths they spoke.
Feel the emotions of the season. Let yourself be sad.
Look for the good things. Don’t let despair overtake you.
This is what courage and daring look like. And as much as I want them to look like confidence and bold audacity, these small acts of bravery are where my heart draws strength.
Allowing myself to cry over the recent losses.
Savoring the chocolate chip pancakes of this morning.
Reaching out to someone new.
Sending an email.
Asking friends to pray.
Spending time with my journal and being honest about my emotions.
Saying yes to an invitation to hang out.
Enjoying the open mouth face of my sweet daughter.
Today my prayer, as it often is, is for the grace to endure and the grace to enjoy. And maybe at the end of today, I too will be surprised by own daring.