I was thinking today about courage.
It occurred to me that it takes tremendous courage to fall asleep while surrounded by strangers.
Think about this: at the tender age of 16 a sweet girl decides to become an exchange student. For her entire life she's been surrounded and supported by a mother, father, grandparents, and a sister. She gets on a plane and leaves all that to go to a foreign land where no one speaks her language. When she arrives, she's expected to eat, sleep, toilet, study... LIVE with strangers for a year.
Our new "daughter" arrived today. She started her journey more than twenty-four hours ago. I knew I would be doing her no favors by letting her spend today sleeping, so we brought her to the Fair. When we finally got in our car at four, I encouraged her to sleep. She finally did. When I saw her -- soundly sleeping in the backseat -- I wondered how it must feel to fall asleep among strangers while in possession of every important document and every dollar you possess in that moment. Yikes.
What is it that makes courage?
When I was seventeen, I went to Germany with a bunch of other people. I remember sitting on the plane at the airport and thinking "I can still get off the plane!" I was scared to my core! I didn't REALLY know any of the people who were going, I didn't REALLY know the language, and I was leaving everything I REALLY loved to go.
I went anyway.
That's what I think courage really is. It's doing something even though you're afraid and uncertain.
I'm so proud of Mari for having the courage to step out of her safe world and into an unknown and scary world, and I will do whatever I can to make sure her experience is the best it can be.
Thanks be to God for Heros. Mari's one of mine!