With Him I Was Brave

It was out of my comfort zone. It was half way across the country. It was 2550 feet above sea level. There I found a new part of me. Or, perhaps an old part that had been fearfully hidden for many years.

No. It was new. I have never been brave like this.

With my bruised soul I climbed. With my aging body I climbed. With my doubt and fear and brokenness I climbed. And he climbed with me. Sometimes ahead of me, sometimes behind me. But always by my side.


With him, I was brave.


I marched on because he believed I could. I took each step to show him his trust was well-placed. He gave me unspoken permission to stop without making me feel inadequate for the journey. I took his offer of rest sometimes. And confidently discarded it others. He gave me gentle praise without condescending my abilities. I welcomed the genuine appreciation of my effort, regardless of its success.


With him, I was brave.


I did something new. I did many things that I have never considered before. There were unknown foods and beverages. There were deep,

vulnerable discussions. There were long, winding journeys (I’ve since learned not to believe his ‘shortcuts’ anymore). I took every step without hesitation. He said ‘follow me’ and I did. He said ‘try this’ and I did. He said ‘tell me about it’ and I did.


With him, I was brave.


He did not make me brave. He did not inspire me. He merely stood by while I slowly moved to become more ‘me.’ Without a word between us I knew he would catch me if I fell. I understood he wanted me to succeed. I knew he believed in me to conquer my fear, overcome my errant thoughts, and become something more. Peacefully we spoke in generalities about struggles and sojourns. We shared the doubts we’ve fought to overcome. We comforted each other over pains of the past and laughed with one another over moments we can now see in a better light. We laughed at each other, at ourselves, at the world around us. We loved each other, loved ourselves, loved the world around us.


With him, I was brave.


I have never felt so changed as I was by this short trip across the country. Every moment was joy. The hard parts didn’t feel hard. And I feel more prepared to continue my journey on my own. I am saddened by the geographical distance between us. I feel certain we could each be unstoppable with the other by our side. No matter the miles, we are still connected and supportive of all the challenges and joys we each face. When my fear feels too big, I reach for him and I am reminded that my brave is already inside me and I am capable of great things.


I wish everyone could have a friend like this. No pretense, no lies or sugar-coating. Honesty. Support. Encouragement. Vulnerability. Peace.


With him, I am brave.



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