Have you ever had a moment in life that you know you’ll always remember? Something so monumental happens (you may not even know what) and you know you’ll always remember that moment? I have a couple, but the two I remember most gave my unimportant blog an important name.
“Be Brave” A little while after a suicide attempt, in a “Cognitive Behavior Therapy” Program at a hospital in Southern California, I met a man who gifted me with one of these moments. His name was Keith and he was schizophrenic, sometimes violent, and troubled. A stylish and exuberant man in his early 50’s, I was immediately drawn to Keith’s magnetic personality. He was always kind to me and showed me nothing but love. In the 6 weeks I knew him, I knew a man who was selfless and kind, unique and protective. Everyday, in the midst of my continued abhorrence of who I was and what my life was, he would tell me how strong and smart I was. On one particularly horrid day, when fear seemed to be the only thing I was capable of feeling anymore, Keith came to me. He gave me a fatherly bear hug and then became very serious as he looked me in the eyes and simply said to me, “Katey, Be Brave.” The smile that lit up his face after he said those words to me was so full of confidence and love, I couldn’t help but smile too.
I never saw Keith again after that day and I’ve chosen to believe that Keith was my angel. Because even when I feel the fear knocking at the door and the darkness trying to drown out the light, I remember Keith and his strength as he said those words to me with such purpose and confidence. I now know that if Keith, an imperfect human (or angel, wink wink) could have that much confidence in me, how much MORE confidence does God have in me? And not only that, but how much more strength, courage, and purpose does God give TO me, so that I may live a life pleasing to Him?!
“Habibti” Habibi حبيبي (male) / Habibti حبيبتى (female), is an Arabic word used to describe someone the speaker likes or loves. It literally means my beloved, and is normally used between close friends of the same or opposite gender or between couples romantically involved.
I have a unique love for this word. I spent about 6 weeks in Lebanon amidst the Syrian refugee camps and getting to know the Lebanese people. Before we left for this trip, we were given a, very, small lesson on Lebanese Arabic so we could communicate some basic language while visiting. This word “habibti” was easily my favorite word but it wasn’t until I learned the intimate nature of this word that I heard God say it to me personally. It is a word reserved for someone who truly is special to you. It is not thrown around easily and it is not said to someone of the opposite gender unless they are in love. I, as a female, would not call a guy friend “habibi” unless he was also my husband. And I, as a female would only call my very best girl friend “habibti”. The word has a weightiness on it akin to that of “love”.
Weeks after I came home from Lebanon, as I was spiraling in pain and quite literally shaking in fear, I cried out to God. He held me in his arms and whispered to me, “habibti, oh habibti…be brave.” In that moment of intimacy with my Father, I remembered my love for the arabic language (well, the little I know), my love for the Lebanese and the Syrians, I remembered God’s love for me. Shaking in the arms of the Father, I remembered that I am his beloved and he is mine. I felt courage surge through my bones and laughter bubble in my throat. In that moment, my puddle of pain quickly became a dance party. And over and over again, I would hear Papa say “habibti, be brave.”
So there it is. The important (at least for me) reason behind this just begun blog. I just felt like someone should know. Goodnight my dears.