At the end of last year, the word courage seemed to be everywhere. It glimmered in books I was reading, Christmas gifts I received, jewelry, and quotes my roommate texted me with a “this just made me think of you.” I’m fairly certain that had I continued to ignore this theme long enough, I would have found the word scribbled into the pattern on toilet paper or “liquid courage” appearing on my kitchen counter as dish soap.
Courage is beautiful to me and brave is something I’ve always wanted to be. Here’s the thing, though. If given the choice between my own adventure and the ones in my imagination, I would almost always choose the imagined ones; satisfied to put my feet up on the front porch rail to tuck into a bowl of buttery salted popcorn and a good novel, staining the pages with every turn.
But our relentless Father would not allow His beloved daughter to live in her imagination. No, He took my hand asked me to join Him on an adventure, speaking sweetly to me in songs and stories and friends and verses. With weak knees and a shaking voice, I accepted His invitation to be brave, not yet knowing exactly what it meant, only that God wouldn’t leave me alone about it, still not sure if He could be trusted to come through.
Six months later, here’s what I know about being brave:
It looks a lot like being scared to death. The only difference between fear and courage is one step. Fear steps backward and courage steps forward. It feels like breaking open. Like crying tears of surrender and relief until you’re convinced there are no tears left, until there’s nothing left but quiet and sleep. Because that thing you’ve been carrying finally got too heavy and it’s getting in the way of what God is creating in and through you. And now there’s nothing to do but lay it at His feet and whisper “take it. There’s no room for this where you’re leading me.”
Courage is letting go of everything you thought you should be and trusting that you are who God says you are.
Courage looks a lot like faith, and faith looks like trust; trusting that God is taking you somewhere worth going, and that He won’t leave you there alone. It means believing that God wants to do the impossible; in you, for you and through you even when fear says “Who am I to be chosen, adored, cherished and set apart for something more?” God whispers “You are, because I say you are; because I have designed you by hand, on purpose and for a purpose. You are perfect in my eyes. I see no flaws in you.”
Believe me when I tell you that is all you need. On the days when it doesn’t make sense and you want to go back to the well paved road, His words will be enough to be brave for one more day. All He asks is one step forward at a time.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
Krista is a writer & life coach. She is every day falling in love with moments & lines from her favorite books. She loves daydreaming & getting her hands dirty in her garden alongside her dog, Hank. Her heart overflows with love for opening the eyes and hearts of young women to the way that Christ pursues their hearts, and to the love story and grand adventure he calls them to enter into. Check out her website: kristawinbigler.com or follow her on Instagram: @kristawinbigler.