After a little over two years, I was finally able to watch the movie “Courageous” again. I couldn’t watch it before because it was one of the last movies I watched with my husband that deeply moved the both of us. In fact, the movie touched us so much, I wrote about it here. I remember us sitting on the couch, sniffling and wiping away tears. That’s how powerful the movie was for us.
Now, after God called my husband home, it’s scary how much my life reflects some of the themes in the movie. Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen it, the main character loses his nine year old daughter in a car accident and wrestles with grief and regret afterwards. He regretted not being the father she needed him to be, which in turn, sparks his passion to be a courageous, Christ-centered father for his son moving forward. My husband and I cried during the scene when he danced by himself in the same place he refused to dance with his daughter while she was alive. The scene was played out so well, you can easily connect with the main character and imagine his pain and regret for not dancing with his daughter when she was alive.
I can’t make it through this scene without crying…
As I’ve expressed many times before, I, too, have many regrets about my relationship with my husband. So when thinking about watching “Courageous” again without him, it was too hard for me. However, this week, I felt ready. I popped the DVD in, got my tissues ready and watched the movie for the first time since Gabe died. Naturally, I cried, however, when I finished the movie I felt good. I felt good because I knew I was making progress towards my healing.
As a result, I’ve been reflecting on the theme of having courage, and the Lord shared with me that now, more than ever, it’s going to take for me to have courage to parent and raise my children. I never connected with this theme in the movie before. However, the Lord is telling me that I can’t be afraid and I can’t be weak. I have to step up and move forward in courage and faith.
You see, if you don’t know, raising children is hard work. It’s even harder when you’re a single parent. There are days when I cry in my bathroom because I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know how I’m going to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of my children. Those close to me know. I always rant and rave, “Everything depends on me! I’m just one person. I’m tired!” However, the Lord constantly reminds me that I’m not alone and that I should do the best I can, and leave the rest to Him. Jesus tells me to think of Hagar who thought her son was going to die in the desert after Sarah sent them away (Genesis 21:15-21). However, the Angel of the Lord stepped in to save them. Jesus tells me to think of Moses’ mother (Exodus 2). She hid her baby for three months for fear of the Egyptians killing him and put him in a basket and placed him at the banks of the Nile River not knowing what would happen to him, but God put a plan in place to save him. And the Lord tells me to think of his birth and childhood. The Angel of the Lord led Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Egypt, a place of safety, so he wouldn’t be killed by Herod (Matthew 2:13-18). These are all frightening circumstances, but in each example, the parents had to have courage and trust that God was going to lead them, guide them, provide for them and protect them.
It’s the same thing that God is saying to me and other parents today. We don’t have all of the answers. We don’t know how things are going to turn out. However, if we trust God and have courage, we can endure and make it through anything. We can raise our children to the glory of God and give them the solid foundation they need to make it through this life.
So, do not be afraid. Be courageous. Don’t shrink back from your parenting responsibilities. Don’t give up even when it’s hard. Be strong. Trust the Lord, and watch Him work in your life and the lives of your children.