You know that phrase “Courage, dear heart” that Aslan whispers to Lucy in Narnia?
Courage felt like a code word in that moment, like it wasn’t quite strong enough to represent what was actually happening but Aslan knew. And Lucy knew. Yes, courage, but there was something more.
In that moment, Lucy needed more than courage. She needed fortitude. Strength of spirit, strength of heart, strength of body, strength of mind… Strength of soul.
I understand fortitude because I see it in you. You embody and represent every tiny nuance found within the word fortitude.
You are a strong woman. Your strength is unassuming. It’s quiet. And it’s powerful.
Your strength comes from your fortitude.
Your ability to stay strong while the storm swirls around you is incredible.
You’ve endured storms of connection with fortitude.
You’ve endured storms of faith with fortitude.
You’ve endured storms of pain with fortitude.
Even now I watch as storms swirl around you. Yet your fortitude emerges with glimmers of hope, as a beacon of what will be.
This isn’t to say you come out unscathed. Your body and heart and spirit carry scars that tell the stories you’ve lived.
But you live.
You live with fortitude as a foundational virtue that carries you through the storms.
You embody so much strength. Strength of mind, of heart, of body, of soul.
It’s your fortitude that inspires me. It’s your fortitude that lights the flame of strength in all those around you.
Fortitude, dear heart.