When Hope Makes Us Brave {Rays in the Storm Series}

rays in the storm series

As we continue our Rays in the Storm series, I am glad to be welcoming my friend Christy Mobley back to the blog. Christy’s heart for hospitality and encouragement have blessed me more times than I can count, and her loving spirit shines through in her writing. What I love about her style is her ability to cut through any pretense and fluff and get straight to the heart of the matter. I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome as she shares a very personal story with us today.

When Hope Makes Us Brave

In my 33 years of married life my husband and I have lost a baby, both my parents, too many precious friends to count, numerous pets and a job position that changed the trajectory of our lives. In each instance there was hope, because God is hope and He has always been in our midst.

When Abby asked me to write on the subject of loss, I had many choices but when it came time to putting words on paper the decision fell hard.

Today, my thoughts turn to someone I didn’t know personally but whose testimony God used to bring me peace of mind and awake a gift I didn’t know I had.

On August 6, 2011 my husband and I waited in a condo near the military base where my son was to arrive home the next day from a tour of duty in Iraq. Our nerves were already on pins and needles when the program we were watching was interrupted for a special news report.

A Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan killing 22 Navy Seals, 3 Air Force special ops. and everyone else on board.

Our son was already in route home but my heart ached for those families who wouldn’t see their solider boy’s homecoming.

In the days that followed personal stories about this group of the fallen brave started popping up all over the news. This was a historical event as it would mark the first time in U.S. history that the world would get a glimpse into the personal lives of these mysterious, superhuman, covert warriors, always kept in the shadows and known to us only as Navy Seals.

On our trek from Hurlburt Field back to Tampa, I heard a story on the radio of one such super hero, Aaron Vaughn, told by his grandmother to a Fox News reporter.

After a few minutes of questions about why her grandson became a Seal and what he was like as a child, the reporter came to a couple of questions that struck a nerve and pierced my heart.

“Did Aaron ever say he was afraid to die? Was he ever scared he would be killed on a mission?”

This sweet-tempered woman answered with a gentle but firm, “No.” And then with conviction in her voice went on to tell the reporter, her grandson knew there was a risk of death with every mission, and his bravery came from his hope.

He knew where he was going when he died.

When Hope Makes Us Brave

I was always the mom who sweated it out every day her son was overseas, and spent sleepless nights praying for his safety.

But, my son knows where he is going when he dies.

Vaughn’s hope made me brave.

During the seven hour car ride home, his story stirred sweet memories of the last few moments with my dad as he passed from this life to the next.

My dad knew where he was going as he died.

Vaughn’s story brought me peace.

When I arrived back in Tampa, my heart still full with bittersweet emotion, I penned my first and favorite blog post, Another Homecoming—a tribute to my father, a World War 2 veteran, and all the brave men and women who defend our country.

I had never been interested in writing, blogging or stringing two sentences together for an email, but Aaron Vaughn’s hope gave breath to a gift.

Through one person’s testimony of faith in Jesus and life eternal, God enveloped millions of listeners with his grace,

including this one.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways…all of which I’m thankful.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 NIV

for linkedin

Christy is a girly girl who chases tennis balls for recreation and at the end of the day does her best thinking in the tub.

She’s also a wife, mother, mother-in-law, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. Her passion is to encourage women to move forward and press on, seeking God in the midst of life’s struggles.

You can find Christy at her blog, Joying in the Journey, on Twitter, and Facebook.

14 thoughts on “When Hope Makes Us Brave {Rays in the Storm Series}

  1. So good to see you here at Abby’s Christy. What a beautiful story. Amazing how that impacted you and actually moved you to start writing? (Or gave you the thought behind your first post?) Lately I got some news that made me remember that one day I will die, it might be sooner, it might be later, we never know. But it does give hope to remember we know where we’re going.


  2. Thanks Betsy. I think the emotion of seeing my son, mixed with Aaron Vaughn’s story and my dad’s death made up just the right formula God needed get me to move on something that was never a thought in my mind. Weird how things work out. I’m glad we share the hope!


  3. Such a beautiful testimony, I thank Jesus I know where I’m going when I die….Glory to God God bless you Betsy!!!


  4. Thank you, Christy. This is a beautiful testimony of God’s grace. He works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He? I’m so glad He inspired you to use your gift of writing. I’m so sorry for all the losses in your life. Blessings and hugs!


    • Thank you for the comforting words. If you live long enough, you have losses. I can’t explain them just like I can’t explain our God…and well, I’m glad to serve a God too big to explain.


  5. Christy,
    Thank you for this stirring post. Grief and loss become more common as we get older. I believe that’s why my outlook becomes more and more eternal in scope. This life on earth is but a blink of the eye, but to spend eternity without someone I love….that brings me to tears. It makes me brave to share the hope that is within me because I want others to be unafraid and certain of the hope that lies before them. Great post…


    • Thanks Bev. I feel secure in knowing my mom and dad knew the Lord, my husband and both my kids. Siblings and extended family…well, it’s hard. But God’s will is for no one to perish so I continue to pray that my whole family will be together in heaven one day.
      Blessings ~


  6. What a beautiful story, Christy. Thank you for sharing it. It reminds me of what Michele Morin wrote about: an eternal sisterhood. I love how God used this to turn you to sharing His Love via writing.

    I lost my Mum to cancer two years ago, before I had accepted the Hope of Jesus into my life…living in that Hope now has completely changed my life. And the fear that plagued me then and thereafter through flashbacks of my Mum’s last days has been broken open and replaced by a powerful peace through the Truth of Hope God has been gifting me through His Word. In January I felt led to write a series on Hope: it was amazing how God ministered to my and others’ hearts through it, in His leading.


  7. What a touching story, Christy. That sweet grandmother shared such an incredible faith Aaron had. I’m so glad his testimony brought the peace you needed and brought you to writing. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you while your son was serving our country. I’m not sure I could have held it together as you so bravely did. Many thanks to your precious son for his service!


    • Oh Candice, yes my son is braver than me. He loves what does and he has no fear. Aaron’s story and the grace by which his grandmother told it, put me in my place. I can’t imagine how many souls were saved by one man’s story of bravery.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.


  8. Your post made me think of one of my favorite quotes: “The woman who knows God intimately is able to face life’s chaos with assurance, security, strength, and hope because her tranquility flows out of the glorious character of Almighty God.” – Becky Harling

    It’s so good to know we can trust our future to the Lord. Thank you for the reminder that no matter what comes we have hope!


  9. This is beautiful Christy! Such a wonderful and amazing example of how God uses people to touch our lives in a special way. What a legacy this young man left – still making a difference here on earth as he rejoices with our heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing your story:)


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