The Bright Light of Hope

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Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

– Mary Tyler Moore

I have never been very brave or adventurous. As a child, I was hesitant to take physical risks. I didn’t play sports. I didn’t ride a bicycle much. I was terrified of theme park rides. When I was a teenager, though, I took a turn, living on the edge, speaking my mind, taking chances.

In my adult years, it was a part of my calling to stand up with persons who were abused. I developed enough courage and tenacity to do that. It was a meaningful career, one that rewarded me by seeing women and children move away from abusive relationships and begin to thrive.

They were brave, not only facing their abuser, but also facing a system that was often stacked against them. I had the privilege of walking with a mother of three who fought for custody of her children for many years. She left no stone unturned. When the family court system ruled against her, she patiently and wisely stood her ground.

Most often, she had to face the darkness of injustice. But her courage sustained her until she prevailed for the good of her children. She, and so many others, have inspired my life, showing me how to take chances, how to get past mistakes, how to walk forward in courage.

I am grateful for the lives I was privileged to touch through the years, and for all that they taught me. I am grateful for the opportunities I had to watch them stand bravely before the darkness and to remain there, for as long as it took, until they would again face the bright light of hope.

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