Follow in the footsteps of those who walk boldly through life
Last week, I traveled to Texas to spend some time with family. This may not seem like a big deal except that we have only discovered these family members about 6 years ago. Yes, they were our long lost family.
My husband discovered he had a sister a few years before his father passed away and had never met her. Matter of fact, he wasn’t even sure how to find her, having only her name to go on. But he always felt a compiling feeling in his gut to locate her, as if a piece of who he was had been missing.
After doing some internet research we found a picture we thought had to be her. It was from an online newsletter published a few years earlier and what struck us both were her eyes. They were exactly like my father-in-laws. I told my husband it had to be her.
Without much else to go, my husband reached out to her. Once he attempted contact he was unsure what he would get.
Would she even want to know him? What if she is a wack job? Could she hate him for things he couldn’t have controlled?
To our delight she did none of these things. She was warm and friendly, articulate and secure. An absolutely wonderful, giving and incredible person. Ever since our fist encounter we have felt privileged to get to know her. I had no idea that when we found her picture on the internet and my husband wrote his first email to her that we would receive such as blessing in our lives.
She first taught our family this lesson before we ever met her in person. When my husband, for reasons he couldn’t quite articulate, put himself out there and contacted her. He would never admit it but I know it was a risk. It was scary for him. What if she rejected him? What if she blamed him? But he decided to live boldly in that moment and try it anyway.
Once we finally met her and got to know her. We learned she was former military; a breast cancer survivor, a writer, a mother, and she soon became a friend and trusted advisor. She had done things and had experiences in her life that demonstrated a level of strength far beyond anything I had encountered.
What I loved the most about our first encounter was that not only did we take a chance in first contacting her. She took a chance and everything she did after was also filled with risk taking.
Meeting us there was a chance of opening old wounds, a chance to re-encounter emotional pains long since put away. In filling us in on the large portion of her life that we missed out on, she had to become vulnerable with us and trust us enough to share this hurt.
She lived boldly in our first encounter and let us get to know her, the real her, in a genuine and meaningful way. Not only was this bold but it was incredibly brave.
Fast forward to our most recent trip we just returned from. Our friendship has moved past the past and into new adventures and experiences together. These experiences included horseback riding. My husband and I have only been once and my children have never been.
I was scared. Scared because I didn’t know how it was going to go. My son and daughter were scared as well since this was something new they had never tried. I even tried to avoid getting on the house by saying I was photographing the event. But almost as if she read my mind, my sister-in-law encouraged me to do it anyway. She did the same with my children.
Sometimes we all need a little push
Later she remarked sometimes all you need is a little push. I might have seemed to everyone else that she was referring to pushing the kids past their fear of getting on the horse but I knew those words were meant for me as well.
It is easy to say the words “do it scared,” and “live boldly” but it is harder to actually live out those words. I know God put my sister-in-law Deb in my life for a myriad of reasons but the biggest one is to show me how to do this.
She has lived it. In beating cancer, serving in the military, in living life everyday to the fullest. In taking the chance to get to know us she “lives boldly” and I am forever grateful she does.
Today, I encourage you to find that family member or friend who walks boldly through life and follow their lead.
Would love it if you shared in the comment area below how someone in your life has helped you “Live boldly.”