thatisbravesquared[Once a week, I am going to be sharing with you a brave story sent in from a reader. You can comment, respond, encourage. Want to submit your own story or a story of a brave friend of yours? Head to thatisbrave.com!]

This week’s #thatisbrave story comes from Lori. I absolutely love how she sees so much brave in Whitney and wanted to tell us about her. Her words and name are used with her permission.

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I am honored to tell you about my friend, Whitney. There are way too many stories, so hopefully this will capture all that I would want to say. Thanks for a great challenge. Thanks for being brave. 🙂

She stands on the sidelines and watches as the trainer and coach surround her son after a tackle. She bites her lip as he struggles off the field, his right arm hanging at his side.

She sits quietly beside him hours later as the doctor shows them the x-ray and explains that his season is over.

She is brave.

She listens gently and loves patiently as her son processes his anger and pain and disappointment, sometimes at her expense.

And she hugs him tight when he finally lets her back in.

She is brave.

Sometimes the bravest people are the ones who come along side the wounded and weary. They aren’t afraid of the mess or the process or the vulnerability. They stay.

My friend Whitney is one of the bravest people I know.

In the book, How to Catch a Frog, Heather Ross shares a lovely story about her sweet Aunt Jane, who was a significant presence in Heather’s young life. Her trademark was singing and optimism, but rarely would she acknowledge the depth of dysfunction in Heather’s family. At one point, Ross writes, “Jane was able to love my mother for the same reasons that she was able to love all of us, and the house, because she refused to acknowledge the things about us that were broken or unsafe or beyond fixing.” (p.49)

I smiled as I read about Aunt Jane, but then smiled more as I thought about my dear friend.

Whitney never refuses to acknowledge the things about people that are broken, but walks right up to the mess, grabs your hand, smiles that kind smile, and says, “I love you anyway.”

I have watched her love impact her family, her friends, and most importantly, I have benefited from the beauty of being loved by a friend who is never afraid of the process or the pain, but quietly trusts that God is never overwhelmed by brokenness.

This grace is slowly transforming me and makes me want to be brave too.

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RIGHT? LOVE THIS. If you have any encouragement for Lori’s friend Whitney and her brave story, leave it below in the comments.

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