I love the show Parenthood.
I fell in love with the series Brothers and Sisters by way of re-runs.
Both remind me of my family. This zany cast of characters with big personalities and big voices scrambling to do the best they can. The lot of them equal part failing miserably to smashing success all with the appropriate combination of comedic relief and dramatic suspense.
At least I think so.
One could dissect the shoddy parenting, life choices, boisterous family gatherings and the insanely nosy thread they all share. But no one could deny the passion they share to love one another deeply.
I come from a big family and I married into a big family. It's a bit of a zoo. Finding a voice can be a challenge. Growing up my aspirations were to be an actress...the theatrical version not the on screen variety. I loved preparing for a role, losing myself in the storyline. The closing curtain was bittersweet, the culmination of hard work and the end to another pocket of time. Time that I was able to become someone else. See life through another lens.
Once I tried out for a Jewish role in a concentration camp. The role would be incredibly challenging, but I was motivated so I would have an excuse to shave my head. I was a senior in high school. My seasoned and level headed Director cast me as a Nazi guard. Not quite a year later, I would find myself in my college freshman theater class and I was practicing a scene were I was to kiss my partner. I was engaged to be married and pregnant. I dropped the class.
One year, very different perspectives. I don't regret dropping my class. In fact, I'm glad I did. But, somewhere along the way I laid down my passion to pursue motherhood and being a wife. I never felt I was giving one up for another, but in a blur you look back and 15 years has passed. It makes you pause to examine your life. To compare your teenage aspirations to your adult goals. And what I find and know to be true is that I am exactly where I should be. What I also have discovered is that I lost a little of my brave. The part of me that was fearless and thought I was unstoppable.
So what does being brave have to do with the show Parenthood? I watched the season premiere last week and was struck by the scene shared by the character Christina who was recently given a clean bill of health after being diagnosed with cancer and her friend, Gwen who also has cancer and has relapsed. Christina is contemplating helping a local politician run for mayor. Indecisive about her decision, Gwen offers this advice to Christina, "Don't wait, don't wait for anything. If this is something you want to do, you need to do it. If there's anything 'this' taught us, it's that there's no waiting. This is not the dress rehearsal, this is it."
As a wife and mother in the thick of homeschooling two teenagers it's easy for me to think God can't use me. That he didn't prepare me for such a time is this. Maybe his plan isn't for me to be an actress, but I don't need some grand standing call on my life to be brave. And I surely don't need one to obey, follow and be used by God.
I know this post is a jumbled mess of words. So am I. I feel all the feelings all the time and they bounce around in my mind fighting to get out. But what I'm trying to convey is that being open to be used by the Lord is the easy part (for me anyway), the go and gets tough with the follow through. So, I'm going to pray for the brave. It's already in me because He is in me. Let's do it, let's be brave together.