Bruises. Blood dripping down. The kids came in and showed off their wounds with pride. Savannah started, “This one I got when we went up the rope ladder and my foot slipped.” Laurentz joined in, “I got mine when I ran into the tree stump going over a huuuggge boulder.”

“Well,” I said, nodding with approval. “You know what I say, ‘Every…’”

They joined in and said it in unison. “Every brave adventurer is bound to get boo-boos!”

It started when they were just little. Savannah doing a trick on the trampoline. Laurentz taking the training wheels off. Wilna doing gymnastics – all adventures that led to bandages and bandaids. “Just imagine,” I’d say. “You could be sitting inside and you’d never get a single scrape. But because you’re out adventuring – yeah, you have a scrape, but you did something super cool to get it!”

Now they take pride in it.

The other day, one of my kiddos came to me with a different kind of hurt. A friend had walked away, disengaged, turned away. Tears came and a tender heart was hurt.

I wanted to comfort, take it away, heal the heartache… but I couldn’t. I told my hurting one, “You hurt deeply because you love deeply… the fact that you’re hurting shows how well you love.”

And it hit me.

Every brave adventurer is bound to get boo-boos.

Loving is an adventure, sometimes a very painful one. It’s a risk, and sometimes the wounds feel beyond repair.

Opening our hearts to intimate relationship only to have it broken through betrayal or loss.

Loving a child who walks away, rejects or lashes out with words of anger.

Adoring a parent who abandons, abuses or leaves us feeling alone.

Pursuing a brother or sister who knows how to cut us to the core… and then does.

Pouring our hearts out to a friend only to find the relationship grow strangely distant.

Trusting an unseen God and and then the utter heartache and sense of betrayal when tragedy strikes.

But here’s the thing. If you’ve hurt deeply, it’s because you’ve loved deeply.

You’ve been a brave adventurer, risking for the love, for the hope, for the memories, for the deep joy of connecting to another human being, to our God.

And like the scars of a physical wound, those risks produce memories that stay with us. That first kiss under the moonlight. Snuggles from a little one who smells of sweat and summer air.  Uncontrollable laughter with a sibling who knows how to make us laugh, and then does . A friend who shows up with Moose Tracks ice cream and a bottle of caramel in the midst of our meltdown. Seeing God bring sunsets, music, hugs and provision as we face that unexpected tragedy – and how we feel strangely held even as the ground has dropped out from beneath us.

Sure, we could hunker down, refuse to risk, guard our hearts to live a life free of pain, but we have to remember – if we have a scrape, a bruise, a broken heart – that just means we did something super cool to get it.

Every brave adventurer is bound to get some boo-boos.

So way to go. Keep being brave.

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