October 18, 2013

On Being Brave

A friend recently discovered my blog and after reading a few posts commented, "You are brave to be so open and vulnerable."  I chuckled a bit at her response and wondered if she really meant to say crazy instead of brave.  Sometimes I feel crazy, and other times, I feel brave.  The truth is, I'm maybe a bit of both.

I've been praying for strength, asking God to make me brave and bold and to give me the courage to keep offering my heart and life.  You can't make a difference in this world, or truly walk in the gifts God has given you, if you close your door and hide in your home and stay quiet and small.  I've been that woman and I don't want to be her anymore.  In fact, I refuse to be her anymore.  I want to be the woman God made me to be in every way he imagined.

But being brave isn't easy and it calls up a strength in us that we often don't even know we have.  Several years ago, a friend said to me, "Jenny, you are stronger than you think you are, but you are not as strong as you will be," and I know now how very right he was.  Over the years, God has brought forth a strength in my spirit I didn't know I had.  It's been the most wonderful surprise and it's changed the way I live.  My husband even tells me I have the balls most men would envy (forgive the expression) and that always makes me smile.  Living from a place of strength brings such freedom and life.

But strength and bravery isn't something we can fake or put on like stylish clothes and sparkly jewelry.  It comes from within.  From a heart that is free and alive and at rest.  When you know that you know that you know, deep in the core of your being, that you are safe and loved and seen and held by the God of the universe, you can throw yourself off cliffs, stand up to fear and doubt, and boldly offer the weight of your life.  You can be brave.  Being open and vulnerable isn't careless or crazy, it's an act of love and worship.  It's a way of saying, "Jesus, I trust you completely and I offer you my life."

If you know Jesus and you've given him your heart, then you have every reason to lean fully and confidently into his arms and trust him to provide for you in the ways you need to be brave.  He will give you the strength and courage needed and he'll reveal himself to you in ways you never dreamed.  He has big plans for your life and he's calling you up to walk boldly in your glory.  Be strong.  Be brave.  Be courageous.  He will honor your obedience.  Lean into him and trust him.

And for you, my dear friends, who don't yet know Jesus, who haven't trusted your hearts to him, he wants nothing more than to make himself known to you.  Ask him to show you his love, his forgiveness, his mercy and grace, and he will.  He will.  He has big plans for your life and he's calling you up to walk boldly in your glory.  Be strong.  Be brave.  Be courageous.  Throw yourself off the cliff of faith.  He will catch you and change your life forever.  Lean into him and trust him.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength."
~ Philippians 4:13

"He gives power and strength to his people."
~ Psalm 68:35

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, 
because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”
~ Madeleine L'Engle

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."
~ Proverbs 31:25


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