Here I Am

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Way back when I was in grade school I loved to write. Every day I would sit down with my notebook and write stories, thoughts, and poems. When I was in high school, my mom said I should be a writer, and I laughed it off. People don’t just write and share it with people. Do they? I had no concept of how people shared their writings with the world, and I didn’t really care, because I wrote only for myself. I tossed around the idea of starting a blog at the end of my high school years, but fear kept me from it.

I continued writing and journaling throughout college. It was the only thing that brought rest to my constantly racing mind. I had so many thoughts that I wanted to express. I felt so many emotions I could only process on paper. Yet, my fear of failure and lack of confidence in my abilities kept me from pursuing writing. It seemed like an out of reach dream that I would never be able to attain. So I shut down the idea of a blog once again.

Shortly after I got married I was hit with the worst anxiety of my life. I didn’t know how to cope when fear overtook my heart every second of every day. When I should have used journaling to cope, I shut it down. I stopped what I loved because even in my personal journal, I feared that I wasn’t good enough. I feared that what I wrote was stupid, meaningless, a waste of time. No one was even reading it, yet I couldn’t shake the fear that all of my time was being wasted in that notebook and that everything I wrote was terrible.

I desperately wanted to start a blog, to give writing a purpose. In fact, I tried creating a blog several times and deleted it days later because the fear was unbearable. Then last year I decided to pursue this “blog” thing and get back into writing. My heart needed it, to express my life in words so that I could process this scary world. It took close to a year before this site was officially created, before I was brave enough to share it with a few close friends. Even still, months have gone by and I’ve hesitated to write, post, or even share it publicly. This is a scary, scary thing. 

But, see, I wonder now, if God has been molding me and preparing me for this time? Ironically, right around the time I created this blog and titled it “Mama of Valor,” I was hit with some terrifying health issues and “chronic pain.” Cue the fear once again. This blog was created for me to write about overcoming fear, to encourage others who face anxiety. I wanted to write about my experience finding courage, and then once again I found myself swallowed by fear. If that wasn’t enough, life threw a nice cherry on top—this “chronic pain” prevents me from sitting for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. How on earth would I ever write now? So many thoughts of giving up plagued me.

God is working on me though. He’s teaching me so much about trusting Him and finding contentment and strength in Him alone. He’s teaching me that there is courage to be found by His side. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to start sharing publicly or writing for an audience once I found all the answers and overcame all the fears. (I’m not sure what I was thinking, because certainly that isn’t even possible in this fallen world.) Instead, maybe I was supposed to start sharing now—in the midst of the suffering, from the battlefront. Thank goodness God is fighting this battle with me, leading me, and promising to see me through.

I’ll dive more into my “battle” a little later, but for now I’m here, paving a road to share openly. I’m giving an explanation for this space where I will share how I’m actively finding valor. Valor is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery.” So here’s my story of bravery in this scary world of motherhood. Here is how God is working on my heart and mind, teaching me daily to trust in Him and pursue Him with steadfast assurance of victory over life’s battles.

I’ve never even shared with my husband, my closest friend, many things I’ve written in all of my journals since grade school. But today I’m facing that fear, becoming vulnerable, and inviting you to join me in this journey. I’m praying that you will find encouragement and strength here. I’m hoping that you will follow along and join in the conversation, because I know I’m not fighting this battle with anxiety alone.

Lastly, Mom, since I know you are reading this—here I am—writing, like you always wanted me to. Hope you enjoy!