Thursday, August 8, 2019

Brave in the Dark by Sara K. Parker

On Tuesday morning, my 16-year-old looked out the window and was surprised to see that our van was missing. He called downstairs to me, “Mom, where’s our other car?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “It’s out front like it always is.”

A pause.

“Mom. The van is gone!”

I went running to the window, panic-stricken. Sure enough, the van was GONE! In the span of approximately 3.2 nanoseconds, I remembered three things:

1. The previous night, a neighbor had called the police because she believed someone had tried to get into her house through the back door; no one was caught.

2. Months ago, someone else’s van in our neighborhood had been stolen. The van was found, but it was pretty messed up inside.

3. Months before that, another van in our neighborhood had been stolen. When they got it back, it had also been stripped inside.

I knew immediately that we had been victims of a terrible theft: our van had been stolen in the middle of the night while we were peacefully sleeping. I sank to the floor in the living room and burst into tears.

Maybe my cry-fest sounds a bit dramatic. Or maybe you can see yourself falling to the floor in a puddle of tears, too. At that moment, I had zero control over my emotions because the case-of-the-missing-van came on the heels of two months of very private heartache that had thrown my life into complete chaos. Along with the traumatic event of two months past, nearly everything that could go wrong had also gone wrong:

The pool turned green.

The bathtub upstairs leaked through the ceiling.

The rear window of our van cracked to smithereens.

You get the point. So much was going wrong that when I saw our van missing, I figured – well, of course the van was stolen. Everything else was going wrong. Why wouldn’t a selfish nasty thief target my car?

And a tiny part of me wanted to just climb into bed, curl up into a ball, and stay there for a few days. I did not want to face the mayhem of my life.

Then I reminded myself it was only a car, and my kids were depending on me not to lose my mind, so I pulled myself together and called the police and reported the van missing. After making the report, I was told an officer would arrive shortly. I then texted my neighbor friends:


Immediately, one friend responded:
What?? I just saw it outside like an hour ago.

I thought…huh. That’s strange. Who steals a van at 7 in the morning?

Then she called me.

“Sara? I’m looking right at your van.”

It was parked right in front of her home. A few houses down the street. Exactly where I’d left it the night before when we’d gotten together.

Red-faced and stifling hysterical laughter, I called the police back and told them that my van, in fact, had not been stolen. I had just parked it down the street and forgotten about it. (I left out the part about the frozen lime margarita my neighbor made for me the previous night because I promise that had nothing to do with my forgetfulness, and let's face it - why borrow trouble?)

Years ago, I would have been mortified by such a mistake. On Tuesday, I could only laugh. I was both relieved that the van had not been stolen and amused at my own forgetfulness, which I've been told is a common aftereffect of trauma so I should not be alarmed.

As I thought about the incident later, I was struck by how quickly my fears had sent me into a near-tailspin. How, for a moment, I had felt paralyzed, the problem too insurmountable. How, very unexpectedly, the temptation to just. not. face. it. took hold of me. This is not like me. While generally an avoider of conflict, I do tend to put on my big-girl panties and take care of problems as they arise. That unfamiliar emotion of wanting to run and hide reminded me of a character in a proposal I’ve been working on for a while. Suddenly, she seemed very real to me. Years ago, she was completely blindsided by a traumatic event incited by someone she trusted implicitly – and she wound up serving prison time for a crime she didn’t commit. When she’s finally out of jail and free again, she can’t live in that freedom. Instead, she lives in fear, in constant expectation of the-next-worst-thing.

I read a quote today that spoke to me:

This is the type of brave my heroine is going to become by the end of the book, and it’s the kind of brave I’m working on developing in myself.

In my August release, Security Measures, Triss Everett has always been brave. Too brave, actually. I love her life story because it is a reminder of how much we need God and one another to truly be brave. Yes, sometimes brave means taking steps on your own, but more often it means reaching out to others. It means being honest with yourself and those who love you. It means facing pain and reaching for new hope even when your deep losses warn you not to dream again and you really can't see beyond each new step you take.

Tell me your stories of bravery – a moment when you felt brave, or a moment when you witnessed bravery. While you’re brainstorming, I’ll leave you with a song. If Triss had a life song, I think this one would be it:

Also, keep an eye out for Security Measure in the stores. Post your sightings to my Facebook page to be entered to win an Amazon gift card!


  1. LOL....Glad you can laugh Sara. I pray for you each day. A book swap friend will be sending me your book next week....I am so excited!

  2. So glad you "found" your van! Sorry about the green pond, broken windshield and leaking ceiling! UGH! Stuff happens, unfortunately. Glad this time the problem resolved with laughter!

  3. Phew, Sara. So happy your van wasn't stolen because that would be very scary. I don't blame you one bit for crying because sometimes when I'm on edge or under stress it doesn't take much to make me sob. And laughter is the best medicine in the world. Blessings.

  4. Oh, Sara. SMH I know that kind of forgetfulness, but oh what a happy ending. I'm keeping you and the family in my prayers.

  5. First, I’m glad your van wasn’t stolen! Second, we all have those moments. I once thought my son’s friends were messing with our pool because my little dolphin thermometer went missing. We’d find it in the yard every morning. I worried someone was sneaking into our fenced yard and swimming at night. Turned out it was giant raccoon that thought the plastic dolphin would make a tasty meal. My husband had an encounter with him one night. You’ve had a lot happening lately, so a good cry was in order I think. Sometimes, tears are healing and soothing and a sign of strength because they show we are human.


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