Lately, I have been at a loss on what to write my next post about. Then appeared the “WordPress Daily Prompt” challenge.
The prompt was “brave” and my mind immediately began to whirr (I love when that happens). I usually feel intimidated by these prompts; however, today I decided to join in.
I’m preparing to do something that is outside my comfort zone…again. This “thing” used to be within my comfortable place. After some time away, I now need to dive back in. I’m sort of scared.
During this time, the voice of a little girl I met in India comes to my mind.
Saroja, came from thatched roofs and mud floors, from backbreaking labor in helping her family make bricks and taking care of her baby sister from the age of four. She came to live in the children’s home we ran at around the age of nine.
In the home, my husband taught and encouraged the girls to play cricket, which is not commonly done in India. Cricket is a very popular pastime for boys mainly. We saw them playing on any available land space, including side streets and empty lots. Not having a lot of space, my husband came up with a courtyard cricket version of the game, with courtyard cricket rules.
Saroja was fearless and when the boys came up to bat, she stood in front, ready to catch the ball even though they hit it hard and fast. One of the boys told her she was brave and she proudly responded, “I have iron in my heart.”
After a few years of living in the home, she returned to visit her forest village. Several young and older men approached her family and requested to “have her.” She was only around thirteen years old. When she returned to the children’s home from her village, Saroja came to us and said anxiously, “I am too young and I don’t want to get married yet. I want to study some more. I want to become a teacher.” Unfortunately, this little girl’s family had already spoken to her about arranging a match for marriage.
We put our heads together and came up with a plan to stall the family. Even though it is not customary, she pleaded with them to wait as well. Surprisingly, it worked. That was four years ago and she has gone further in her education. Last year, we lost contact with her. I don’t know if her dream to become a teacher will become a reality. However, I remember the last thing I said to her as we hugged, tearfully saying goodbye, “Be brave!”
It makes no difference what culture we are from, situation we find ourselves up against, or season in life that brings fear to our soul. There are times when the next steps in our journey require us to be brave. We all need to be brave sometimes. To set aside fear and take the first steps; leaving our comfort behind and walking down a path that is at least initially unknown and scary. Stepping away from the main path, and blazing a new trail.
I’ll tell you what I told Saroja and what I tell myself, “Be brave!” As Saroja said, “Have iron in your heart!”