Scarier than feeling pain is feeling nothing.
~ Amey Fair

What image comes to mind when you think of courage?  A soldier?  A police officer? A firefighter?

I see a woman I’ve never met. I see Amey Fair.

Her daughter Phoebe is only 3 years old and she’s already faced more obstacles than I have in 46 years.  January 1, 2012 Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare and agressive brain tumor. She had a baseball-sized growth removed and has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments ever since. This little angel has been through hell.

I follow Amey’s writing. It’s raw. It’s honest. It’s the most beautiful and faithful thing I’ve ever read. She writes of how painful it is to pump poison into her daughter; how sometimes she just wants to pull out all the tubes and wires, pick up her daughter and run.

Most of us do not know how we would handle a storm of this magnitude. It’s easy to say we’d remain faithful — that we’d “give it to God.” It’s remarkable to see someone actually do it. It makes me seriously question everything I call stress; everything I call challenge. Phoebe makes me change my prayers. A 3-year old girl with the power to change a heart.

Recently, Amey wrote of a scary feeling of “nothing.” But then she wonders if it’s really a gift of grace.  My empathy-meter has reached an all time high, she writes. I am slow to judge and quick to identify with another’s pain. I am more forgiving of weakness in others as I have experienced it myself. And I “see” with new eyes, with His eyes, all of the hurt around me. She calls this a light that cracks through the nothing and feels a little bit like hope.

This young woman’s faith is my face of courage. I do not know what future obstacles will come before me. I do not know the pain of a sick child or the fear of losing one. I look to Amey, this young mother who, in the midst of often uncontrollable tears, breaks through her “nothing” and says, “I am here by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”

This is strength I may possess…strength you may possess; a muscle we hope to never have to use.

Real faith through real fear.

Real courage.