kpgmd7nr_lg9bl9htn0vg7kzlsk3nrs9zmsjwy2ur9uShe wouldn’t call herself brave. She shares her painful frailties, the rawness of her experience without a filter. The depression, the nausea, the dizziness. Her beautiful little girl is the same age as my son. She could be me.

About a year ago I started following a blog by a young woman named Michaela Evanow. Her daughter, Florence Marigold, has spinal muscular atrophy. I hate to even write the words because that does not identify her, it merely classifies her struggle into terms we can file. As though where she fits in the medical database really matters. But she is a hero. A mama bear. A woman on a mission to survive, to love no matter the outcome.

Her daughter is a joy, a sweet fragrance that fills her life, and the lives of so many others with a special beauty. Michaela shares her dark moments and her hopes. She lays herself bare to whoever will engage. In emails and blog comments, I feel like I know her. Through her pain I am encouraged, inspired and challenged. She is braver than I. But I know where her courage comes from. The same God who carries her through the valley of the shadow will hold me fast as well. He holds us all. None of us are brave on our own. But all of us can be, because of Him.