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You Make Me Brave

When I was a little girl, my grandma watched two TV shows religiously: “The People’s Court” and “The Young and the Restless.” The latter was referred to as her “stories” and should not be interrupted for conversation or emergency unless it was a commercial break. During the commercials my grandma would chastise or applaud the characters, extracting life lessons on how Nikki and Victor’s relationship wasn’t working because they didn’t “love one another like the Bible says.”

I never scheduled my day around Judge Wapner or Mrs. Chancellor but I found my own “stories” in “Grey’s Anatomy.” I’m a sucker for a hospital drama so I jumped ship from watching “ER” when a young, hip hospital show starring these new interns Meredith, Cristina, Izzy, George, and Alex began.

I chastised Meredith for sleeping with her boss. I felt her pain when she spoke the “Pick Me, Choose Me, Love me” monologue in the scrub room. McDreamy, McSteamy, Burke, the on-call room, the break room, the operating room, the makeups, breakups, firing, hiring, and all the quintessential Shonda Rhimes’ cliffhangers kept me glued to my couch for Netflix “Grey’s” binges and every Thursday once I’d caught up.

I recently watched the season 10 finale and exit of one of my favorite “Grey’s” characters, Cristina Yang, played by phenomenal actress, Sandra Oh. In one of Yang’s final scenes with her best friend, Meredith she said, “You’re my person. I need you alive. You make me brave.”

Maybe my grandma was right. Maybe we can learn something from all the drama in our “stories.” This scene reminded me of all the people who have made me brave, the people I needed to be alive.

For my mom, who by the time she was my age was raising two daughters by herself, worked her dream job and encouraged us to do the same.

For my friends, Kimberly and Bethany who reassured me again and again that I wasn’t crazy to leave the safety of my corporate job for the adventure of becoming a full-time artist.

For my sister who is the best trash talker I’ve ever met and refuses to make herself small for anyone, who helps me to silence the people-pleasing, critical voice that all too often runs rampant in my head.

For my friend Adrienne, who every time I talk to her reminds me that obedience to God is not a weight to carry but a privilege to honor.

For my friends who have struggled with disease, grief, and heartbreak, and as I have watched many of them find joy and gratitude while walking through sorrow, I’m encouraged to be more joyful and grateful too.

Sometimes, it takes us so long to realize we need people and that needing people doesn’t make us weak. Cristina and Meredith reminded me that we can’t be brave by ourselves. We need people. We need someone to be our person.

So find someone who can walk with you, cry and snot with you, pray with you, laugh with you, sit in silence with you, grab your shoulders and speak the truth to you until it hits you right where you need it. When discouragement and pity creep in, lean on your someone and let them help you to be brave, in hopes that when they need it, you can help them to be brave too.