Novel Bravery

It’s those first few moments in the morning that appear to matter the most to me. When my world is just waking up, all feels hazy and quiet. There are mornings when I’m graced to awake before my tribe, and I’m given the gift of coffee in solace. These minutes are rare, beautiful, and embodied with divine silence.

As Asha has grown a bit older, I’ve taken up an old habit—morning journaling. In my house I’ve hidden a stack of journals that are chronicles of life dating back to my teens. These are holy testaments that I hold to the caliber of what one may call sacred texts. While others may not find my accounts as anointed as the Testaments, I find the words ascribed in various seasons to be a divine recount, helping me remember the influence of testimony.

My journal has been a best friend, my confidant, my enemy, my lover, and my therapist, and in seasons when I’ve halted the conversation, there has often been a parallel of withholding speech. My journals are trail markers; they share where I’ve passed in scribbled words, prayers, words from God, sonnets of hope, and recollections of dreams. The pages are stained with tears, crayons, coffee, food, and wine. They are a divine sacrament of my life, for they cause my heart and body to remember the journey and shine hope into the present.

It takes strength to bear the memory of the past. It’s so brave anytime we let our bodies commemorate both the joyous seasons and the times when tragedy loomed.

In recent months I’ve spent my early mornings permitting myself to remember the hallmarks of the last decade. My journals have been my companion in this novel bravery. Unexpectantly everything I worked towards and hoped for came to screeching halt with the death of Restore One, which has exploded both a chasm of grief and a crisis of identity. While I’d not choose the path of calamity, the end of Restore One has been a parachute of sorts. It has caused my heart to recant all that I’ve aspired to become and to question the dreams I once held for myself and my family.

Failure has placed me at a crossroads of who I was and who I am becoming. In my conscious recollection, I comprehend that God is in the movement of people, not organizations or buildings. I’m learning to define character outside the realm of a traditional profession, success, and the do-good mentality that merits evangelical Christians. Through it all, my body holds each second of skepticism, doubt, and obscurity that comes with a significant life transition. She bares the ache that Monday brings, as my heavy heart knows this will be another week to remember that my dream did indeed die.

Yet, while visions crumble, hope endures. Hope is a looming umbrella that continues to catch my attention in the playful presence of my daughter’s grin or the vigor I embrace in Tadasana, Mountain Pose. Hope holds me in the hushed mornings, as I unwaveringly pitter pater to the coffee pot and pick up my journal to scribe my ponderings. Hope emerges as a soft belief that my caffeinated potion will indeed one day evoke the magical courage to begin again.


Anna SmithAnna Smith is the Founder of Hope Bound Collective in Ft. Collins, offering trauma informed yoga, counseling and retreats. Anna has a resilient passion to see trauma survivors experience healing and wholeness. Mother to Asha and wife to Chris she enjoys biking with her husband Chris, reading, cooking, throwing pottery, running and yoga. Learn more about Hope Bound Collective here.