Moms with Cancer: Day Three

choose brave

By Niki Hardy


I heard a half scream, half shout from the garden that sounded less like a “Mummy, mummy, watch me do a cartwheel” squeal of delight and more like a “Mummy, mummy, it hurts sooooo bad” wail. As I dashed outside out to investigate I saw my five year old daughter hopping back to the house, tears streaming down her face, unable to put her foot on the ground.

I sat her in my lap and examined the foot despite her protests. Somehow she’d managed to get an impressively sized splinter – or should I say woodchip? Buried deep in her heel.  

Unfortunately, however much I assured her it would be okay and encouraged her to be brave she refused to let me dig around and try and pull it out and it was large enough and buried deep enough that it required more than a steady hand and my eyebrows tweezers. This was going to require a team effort and, in the end, it took three adults to get the job done; one to hold her down, one to look her in the eyes and tell her to it will be ok and try and calm her down, and the third to dig out the offending splinter.

As you ponder your life maybe you feel like you’ve got a splinter lodged deeply somewhere that’s causing you to limp through life and isn’t allowing you to do the things that bring you joy. They cause us to limp through life and we just don’t feel brave to deal with them.

If Soph wanted to run with her friends and get back to climbing the monkey bars and twirling in circles, she thought she needed to be braver than she was.

But let’s not confuse feeling brave and being brave, with choosing brave. Brave isn’t something we are and it’s not something we need to feel before we step into hard decisions and difficult circumstances. Brave isn’t who we are it is something we choose to do, and the good news is, it doesn’t need to be big, just intentional.

Asking for help when you’re a make it happen captain, admitting you’re scared as you head into the doctor’s, standing firm in your parenting choices when “everyone else in 5th grade has a phone”, taking ten minutes for yourself when your action list screams at you, and saying we’re sorry when we’ve hurt a friend. These are all brave choices.

Reflection questions:

  • What brave choices big and small do you need to make today? Maybe you need to quit your job like you’ve been thinking about or simply say yes to some help you’ve been too afraid or proud to accept. 

  • How might you choose to step ahead scared as the splinters lodged in your life are tended to? Take a moment to ask God to go with you, telling him how you feel and what you’re most afraid of. 

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