Cockroaches And Courage!

I once peed on a cockroach.

Seriously! No lie! It. Was. Frightening. It was an experience I will never forget! (Especially since that disgusting creepy crawler was the size of a cat!)

It was before I was married to my computer programmer nerd, before I had my three children, before I had earned my degree in English from Utah State University. I had flown for hours and hours across the ocean, up over the North Pole, and down for a flyby past Japan to get to China. After the hustle and bustle of the Hong Kong airport and getting past customs and several passport checkpoints, I found myself at a tiny bus station in southern China. My traveling companions and I were about to ride a bus all night to get to Yangshuo--a green, vibrant, and lush little city. I knew that if I didn't use the bathroom before stepping foot on that rickety old bus, I was going to be in trouble.

And THAT is where it happened. I walked into the bathroom and saw that there were no toilets, no sinks, no "stall walls," no doors...just a narrow ditch to stand over and pee in! I took one look at that bathroom and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I was going to be traveling throughout China for close to three weeks, and I wondered if I had the courage to do it!

I took a deep breath, straddled the ditch, and went for it. On a cockroach. (EEW EEW EEW EEW!!!)
But here's what I learned, and here's the reason why I share this silly and disgusting story: I am braver than I know, braver than I realize, braver than I give myself credit for.

I. Am. Brave.

And here's the thing, my sisters and friends, WE ALL ARE. I believe that as women, we are all born with the very bravery required to do all we need to do, to be all we need to be for our families and communities. Like blood, bravery runs through our veins. Like bone, it is what keeps us standing day after day. It is as innately apart of us as our need to nurture is.

We have to be brave to be women in this world. We have to be brave to be mothers in Zion. We have to be brave to be valiant, stalwart, righteous, faithful daughters of God. I have to be brave to be married to a gorgeous man who suffers from a chronic illness. I have to be brave to be the mother of an autistic son. I have to be brave to raise strong and confident daughters in a world where society and media is telling them who they should be and what they should look like. I have to be brave to live my painful, beautiful, challenging, and wonderful life.

What can we do to be brave and to stay brave, to harness that bravery that might be (seemingly) hidden within?

We can pull up our boot straps and go to work. We can serve. We can forget ourselves and show love for our neighbor. We can drop to our knees and whisper fervent prayers to heaven. We can ask God to help us, guide us, lead us, comfort us, strengthen us. We can take time to breathe more deeply and be gentle and patient with ourselves. We can soldier on, we can hope on.

I know we can do it. We can do it together.



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