I received my COURAGE key as part of my MOPS registration packet for the 2014/15 MOPS year. I just knew I would have a hard time even remembering I had the key, much less that I was supposed to be watching for someone exhibiting courage to give it too. As is often the case, what I thought to be true didn't turn out to be true at all. Today, less that 3 months after I got my key, I gave it away. I was absolutely certain that I was supposed to give this key to this person for showing more courage than even she realized. Let me tell you about my friend, Lisa.
Lisa is mother to 11. Nine of her children are living. Her twins reside in heaven. Lisa and her husband have been married for over 20 years. Their oldest child is 22 and their youngest is 3. Lisa has homeschooled all of them. These things alone have caused me to admire her from the moment I met her. But, they aren't why I gave her my key.
This summer, Lisa and her family started discussing the desire of their hearts to adopt a child. People didn't understand. Why on earth would they want to add another child to their already large family? In addition to some resistance people around them, there were also the issues surrounding paperwork, home studies, and money. The paperwork alone would intimidate most people I know. And yet, Lisa stood firm. She consistently took one step at a time and never wavered in her belief that this was the will of God for her family.
As the months have passed, I have watched her stand through moments that would have made me crumple. I have watched her admit to fear and worry and impatience and yet rely fully on her faith in God to direct her next steps. I have seen her rest easy in the midst of turmoil. I have watched her reach out to friends and family for support and encouragement.
This morning, I watched her share her heart (and tears) with a group of women she had never met. As recently as yesterday, she was unsure of what she would say and nervous about filling 45 minutes speaking about her family's journey to adoption. As she stood there this morning, the minutes passed with ease, and soon an hour had passed and every woman in the room had been touched (and so had the tissue boxes on their tables).
I stopped by Lisa's house this afternoon to bring a donation toward the remaining balance on their adoption costs. While I was there, I handed her my key. I explained that I was to give it to someone who had done something brave. I told her how courageous I thought she was for not only stepping out of her comfort zone to speak with these women, but also to open her home and her heart to these children she has committed to adopt. I left knowing my key had found its new home. Just a short time later, she wrote an entry on their adoption blog about how she hadn't even thought of it as bravery and how grateful she was that I had shared that gift with her.