A Legacy of Courage

Several days ago, in the wee morning hours, I did something that took great courage on my part: I kindly confronted a neighbor…in my pajamas, with my morning hair sticking up in all directions.

The situation left me, quite literally, shaking in my boots for the next half hour.


Little did I know, my youngest daughter watched the entire scenario from our bathroom window.

At first, I was a little upset that she had witnessed the incident. I wasn’t quite sure how that situation was going to turn out, and if it had gone badly, I wouldn’t have wanted her to see it happen. I didn’t want her worrying about me, either.

But then a thought occurred to me…who in my life had modeled the type of courage that would embolden me to take on such a confrontation? The answer was easy.

My mom.

And her mom.

Unassuming, imperfect, faith-filled women who drew their strength and courage from the Lord.

It takes courage to accept that polio has taken the use of both legs and one hand, and you are now faced with raising six children under the age of seven from a wheelchair.

It takes courage to care for your nearly comatose, brain-damaged little girl for years on end in your own home, and then accept it when Jesus calls her home.

It takes courage to hear the surgeons say that, in order to remove the tumor, they will need to cut your blue-eyed girl’s little head open from ear to ear.

It takes courage to learn that you have cancer, to know in your heart that it is the end, and to face death with acceptance and peace.

It takes courage to be an advocate for your children’s education, fighting for what’s best for each child.

It takes courage to journey through your daughter’s eating disorder with her.

It takes courage to learn of your own cancer diagnosis, knowing that it has already taken the life of your mom and sister.

It takes courage to live your daily life, trying to maintain a semblance of normality, when you are dealing with any of these challenges.

Sometimes, it takes courage just to do a load of laundry when depression has such a grip on you that any task seems insurmountable.

And other days, it takes courage to confront your neighbor in your pajamas.

I’m glad my daughter witnessed the confrontation. It is my privilege to be a member of this courageous lineage, and I pray that I continue in their footsteps – to model a faith-filled, courageous life, drawing my strength from God. And most of all, I pray that I pass this legacy on to my own sweet daughters…and their daughters, too.




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