I don’t typically gravitate toward war stories and military biographies but when a friend recommended Fearless by Eric Bhelm, I decided to pick it up. After the first chapter, I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I devoured the book in two days, listening to parts of it on audio and reading some of it in print. (I’m a little intense that way!)
Despite the tragic fate of the main character, Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown left me feeling encouraged. I have little in common with Adam Brown, but his journey inspired me to be a better mom. Here’s what I learned from the story of Adam Brown:
- My job is important. Whenever Adam was home he told his wife Kelly that her job was so much harder than his. And I think he meant it. I believe he meant for all of us moms to know that raising children and keeping a home is an important job. That we each have a role to play in this life and that heroes live at home as well as in the war zones. He wanted us to know that we are warriors, too. That our husbands could not do their jobs without the love and support of their families.
And I think the same message holds true for our work – whatever that may be. We may not be tasked with protecting the country or saving lives, but our work is important. So we have to approach it with the kind of passion and persistence that Adam exhibited in his work.
- Share the whole story. We’ve all read books and watched movies about military heroes. What I love about Fearless is that the writer told the whole story. We got to see Adam Brown’s struggles along with his rise to victory. We got to marvel at God’s power to bring this man out of addiction and incarceration through a spiritual and physical journey that led him to become a man of character and faith.
It was a reminder that when we share the most humbling parts of our past, we provide inspiration for others. It makes us better moms when our kids know we’re not perfect. It’s why we love to learn about the lives of the saints — because they were human and they made mistakes.
- All things are possible through Christ. It’s not that I had forgotten this truth, it’s just that I don’t think I’d seen it demonstrated repeatedly in one person’s life before reading about Adam Brown. This man didn’t just rise above the seemingly impossible once – he did it many times. Defying all odds, Adam became a member of the U.S. elite special forces with a criminal background. He had so many serious injuries and setbacks that he was physically disabled and eligible for an honorable discharge. Yet, he continued to pursue his goal. Why? Because he knew he was doing what God called him to do. And he knew God would equip him to do the job.
Whenever I question my ability to be the kind of mother I want to be, or to take on a difficult task at work, I lean on Philippians 4:13. Whenever I want to quit or take the easy way out, I tell myself that all things are possible. Now I will remember Adam’s story as proof.
- There are heroes among us. I’ve always known there are angles among us. I believe God sends people into our lives as messengers and guides. But this book reminds me that there are heroes among us. It was eerie to read the parts of Fearless that took place in Virginia Beach where I live. I wondered if I had passed the Brown family in Target or seen them at Dam Neck beach on summer afternoons. I knew a couple of the men who were interviewed by the author and I am surrounded by Navy SEALS in my community. Not a day goes by that I don’t pause and thank God for their courage and sacrifice.
We are all blessed to have heroes and warriors among us who choose a very uncomfortable life so that we may live the comfortable life. And there are probably people in our lives who regard us as heroes. It’s possible (highly unlikely, in my case!) that our children will someday call us heroes. And it’s not unrealistic to think the people we minister to through our work consider us champions. I believe God designed us to be heroes for one another in many ways.
- The anecdote to fear is faith. Adam Brown wasn’t afraid to die. Despite the fact that he willingly entered dangerous warzones for a living, he wasn’t filled with fear. Instead, he was overflowing with faith. And he relied on God’s Word to help calm the fears of his loved ones, sending his wife notes with encouraging scripture verses. The fears I have in my life pale in comparison to what Navy SEALS encounter. But I have the same weapon at my disposal – the Word of God.
In an interview following the book, the author Eric Bhelm said that Adam was fearless in more ways than one. That he was able to do what he did because he was physically and spiritually fearless. Could you use a little more fearlessness in your life? I know I could. And I thank Adam Brown and Eric Bhelm for inspiring me to be a little more fearless.
© Theresa Ceniccola, International Christian Mompreneur Network, 2015
Image Source: Theresa Ceniccola. All rights reserved.