True Courage

Through this battle, I have seen what True Courage looks like.

True Courage is not denying the cards you have been dealt. Rather, it is knowing that you can still win a game with a bad hand. And when the odds are not in your favor, you keep moving, knowing there are still things you can control.

True Courage is surrender and it is resilience: it is surrendering to what you cannot control, and it is the resolve to take control of your destiny, which is still in your hands. It is coming to peace with your circumstances and learning to rise from the ashes.

True Courage exists in moments of weakness: moments where it seems the whole world is falling apart; moments where you have reached your breaking point and are so close to giving up. These are the moments when True Courage can be seen most clearly, because True Courage exists in the ability to take another step when you have hit rock bottom.

True Courage is when the human will overpowers the fear of defeat. True Courage is not short-lived… it is a constant flame which does not die out, no matter what forces flood it. It continues to burn because of this undying will. And because even in the face of ultimate defeat, this will continues to be a source of power and faith.

True Courage is faith. Whether secular or not, faith in something is necessary in order to be Truly Courageous. Faith in oneself. Faith in one’s destiny. A staunch belief in something that cannot be explained.

One thing we’ve learned the past few months is that we never really know how strong we can be unless and until our strength is put to the test. Maybe God gives us hardship to show us our own strength. All I know is I’ve been blessed to see my dad’s unbelievable strength now that I’ve never seen this way before. We are all constantly pushed to our limits and then some in order to not only get through this difficult time but also come out victorious. Every day presents a new challenge that we must tackle head on and every day we wake up stronger for it. We wake up wiser, more grateful human beings. So I’m done asking why because every time I do, I find a million reasons why this experience has been valuable to us as a family. And although sometimes it seems the reasoning doesn’t justify what we have to go through every day, it is a reason no less.

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade… you don’t complain about not having enough oranges, or apples, or bananas, or any other fruit for that matter. You savor the lemons you’ve been given because the next person may not have any. Make the best of what you’ve been given and consciously choose to every day focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. This is what I’ve learned in the past few months. No matter how hard it gets, gratitude will be your savior. Gratitude is the force that keeps your head above water and eyes looking forward. Gratitude is hope for a better tomorrow. There will always be something to be grateful for. No matter where you are in life or what you feel life has taken from you, you can always decide to focus on what you do have. And if nothing else, you have this moment. This breath. This day. “Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.” I believe my dad has always had this strength inside of him but has not had enough reason to use it. This experience was God revealing how much my dad is really capable of and how far reaching his potential is.

I’ve always looked up to my dad but now I revere him so much more. He epitomizes strength and “smiling through the pain” better than anyone else I’ve ever known or met. Every time I look at him, I see this flame in his eyes which never dies no matter how bad things get. In fact, it grows stronger day by day and he becomes more of a beacon of light and hope every day. Sometimes I feel like he stays strong for us. Because Zade and I need him in our lives to guide us and steer us to the right path. And sometimes thats the only thing that keeps him afloat. But now I know that he also fights because of his immense will to LIVE. not just to survive… but THRIVE. Make a difference and make his mark on this earth. He has such a big heart and has acquired such a beautiful mission through this which is to help people with his experience.

As human beings, we have innate animalistic survival instincts which have become less prominent as our situations became less threatening and we didn’t have to work each second to stay alive. To survive. But that is our default setting. Therefore when hard times come we know that we can handle it because our chemical makeup is designed to survive. Our chemical makeup doesn’t think about the future or the past. Only this moment and surviving this moment. Animals just keep running. They keep pushing on no matter what. All that matters is they keep running. Chugging up mountains because the only way to go is up. Wadding through rivers because they know, even if they can’t see it yet, that there is another side of the river. They don’t know what they’ll see when they make it but that doesn’t concern them. All that concerns them is pushing onward. Moving forward. Surviving the moment.

Like birds flying south. They don’t question it like we would they just know to travel south for the winter and north in the spring. It’s instinct. They just keep flying until their wings give in.