At twelve, footsteps on the stairs kept me under my blankets. My room was tucked in the attic, alone, with only a small window to the roof and no escape from the intruder. I was trapped. No one would hear me if I called out. My fear drove me deeper under the covers, the steps grew louder. My courage failed. I was sure my life was over, that I would never see my teenage years. Until I realized that the footsteps were my heartbeats, pulsing against the pillow.
How often I have buried my head, making things worse with my imaginings, demanding greater courage than I can gather for dangers that aren’t even real. Sometimes the dangers are real, but hiding only makes the fears in my head grow. Fears, real and imagined, freeze each of us at times, keeping us from good things. If only we could throw back the covers and crash down the stairs with strength and courage to conquer whatever stands on the steps.
Isn’t this what we want for our children? Bravehearts who throw back the covers and face fears. Courage to use the gifts and abilities that God has given. Courage to take advantage of opportunities, often when no one else will or when others say, “you can’t.” A boldness that speaks up for the bullied, runs for a student council office, speaks truth, and is singled out for right rather than wrong. A braveheart who will take risks for good reasons and make a difference.