Today I’m delighted to share a post from my friend, Julie! We met via the lovely Kaitlyn Bouchillon, who I’ve known online for awhile, and met at the #FMFRetreat in August. During the retreat, we chatted quite a bit about how we both ended up being called to lives and jobs different than we expected, and the bravery it took to be obedient. After the retreat, she sent me a tweet basically saying “You need to meet Julie!” Turns out Julie and I both thought God was calling us to go live abroad, only to discover that He was calling us to stay bravely.
And so, I’m excited to have Julie write here today, showing that when fears comes, we can still stand brave.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela
Thank you Jen for allowing me to share a story on the topic, Brave. It is an honor to be here!
When I think of the word brave, the picture I see in my mind is young David standing before the giant Goliath. This young man, barely shaving age valiantly stood before and defeated the man everyone else feared, with no armor and no spear. He used only what he knew how to use: a sling and a few stones.
While everyone around him shouted reasons to just drop off the sandwiches to his brothers and go back home, David saw an opportunity. He’d slung that sling many hundred times before and killed many a wolf trying to attack his flock of sheep.
Why should this time be any different?
We don’t hear much fear or doubt in David’s story, but I’m sure they were there.
[bctt tweet=”Being brave doesn’t mean an absence of fear. @juliesteck”]
It means you just keep moving despite it.
In today’s world, the word Brave makes me think of my mom and other single moms out there.
My mom raised me on her own from the time of her divorce when I was 12 months old till she remarried when I was five. This single-parent road was not what she planned or ever dreamed would happen.
She worked from home creating “miniatures” for a wholesaler who in turn sold them to craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. It wasn’t her ideal job, and kept her up until the wee hours of the morning, but it allowed her the blessing to be home with me as much as she could.
You know how early childhood memories are rather vague and not crystal clear? The miracle is, those memories of her are images of strength. I never remember seeing my mom as a struggling or hurting woman. She loved me and fought to learn how to be a mom during a very difficult time. I knew she drew her strength from a power greater than herself. I later came to know that greater power as Jesus Christ Himself.
Somehow amid the pain she was feeling inside, she showed Jesus to me so clearly. Because of that, I wanted “her Jesus to live in my heart.” I said that phrase as she led me to begin a relationship with God through Jesus at age 3.
My mom has always exemplified a woman who knows her identity in Christ, regardless of how her outside circumstances seek to define her. She pulled off those labels of divorced or single-mom that society tried to stick on her. That wasn’t who she was. And to me, that is true bravery.
Though times were tough, she banked on the fact that she was the daughter of the High King and that was and continues to be her identity.
The funny thing is we never talked about these things when I was a kid. We do now. Back then, she simply lived it. It wasn’t always pretty or perfect; she just did it.
Was she scared? Were there voices telling her she should just “drop off her sandwiches and go?” That she’d never be able to defeat Goliath? Yes!
And those people are probably still saying it! Fortunately, they were wrong, because they didn’t take into account what happens when God gets involved in the lives of his children. Crazy things happen! Goliaths are slayed. Armies with hundreds of thousands of soldiers are defeated by a mere 300 men. Mothers raising children on their own have strength beyond them and their children turn out OK.
No, Bravery isn’t living life with an absence of fear. It’s choosing not to focus on it and embracing God’s power and strength to endure it, because we’re His.
Mom, and other single-mothers out there, thank you for being brave!
Thank you Julie, for your lovely words. What a blessing!
This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.