Brave. That is the word you keep speaking to me, God. Brave.
But I am not brave. No, this girl of yours is far from brave.
I want to be. I try to be.
But fear. Fear always pushes its way into my mind, hoping to shut me down.
God? I hear you whispering to me. Your voice is soft and gentle. It’s as if you’re speaking to a precious child, one whom you love dearly. And for this moment, your full attention is on that one child. A child who desperately needs approval and affirmation.
Lord, I am that child.
You gently lean in toward me. You pull me close. Your words are spoken kindly and clearly. The warmth of your love encircles me. And in the midst of the moment, you lovingly remind me, “Dear child, courage is not always the absence of fear.”
You intentionally speak those words to me again. “Brave. Child, you are brave.”
I am brave, God? This girl so unsure of herself? Is she really brave? Is it even possible?
Are you sure, God?
I am familiar with the sayings about courage and fear. That courage is moving forward despite your fears. That being brave doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not afraid.
Yet, I suppose I did not believe they applied to me. I suppose I had forgotten how many times-with God’s help- I did not give up. How many times I pushed my way through fear until it finally loosened its grip on me, refusing to allow it to paralyze me any longer.
Yes, I had forgotten.
I did not believe this thing called bravery could ever be mine.
Yes, God, I see now what the enemy has done. He has been the driving force behind my fear. He has fed me this lie much of my life. Through the words of others. And even worse, through the words I have spoken to myself.
And all this time I believed him.
I accepted this label he fastened to me, and although I’ve succeeded at concealing it at times, I never once realized I had the power to remove it.
I believed fear would always be my companion, my struggle, my label. I believed I would never -could never- be truly acquainted with bravery.
But God. God is writing me a different story today. He has gone to great lengths to capture my attention. He has spoken His goodness to me -about me- in undeniable ways. He has revealed the enemy’s tactics to me. And in doing so, He has given me a new hope. He has revealed to me a new label.
I must learn to wear only the labels He sets aside for me. I must tear off that old label of fear and replace it with that which declares God’s truth about me …
I am brave. I am strong. I am courageous.
All because I am His.
Thank you, God. You are indeed a good, good Father.