How amazing is the beautiful worship song, “You Make Me Brave,” by Amanda Cook and Bethel Worship? The Bethel Music Kids video is even more compelling. If you haven’t seen it, click here to watch it on YouTube. Any parent of a middle schooler should show it to their child as an encouragement. I first heard it in Ireland a couple of years ago when I was speaking at a women’s conference, and it immediately it became one of my all-time favorites.
Bravery, or courage, is something we all need. I know we have all had to dig deep into our character and faith to find it at different times in our lives, so the words in the song speak to us at a very personal level.
I have seen many leaders fail or fly depending upon their ability to be brave and have courage in what God is asking of them.
I have also seen and walked with many women who have shown outstanding acts of bravery because they had Christ with them.
I have seen a friend carry a child to full-term and then have the courage to have a natural labor when she knew without a miracle this tiny baby would surely die within a few moments of being born.
I have seen and encouraged our daughter and son-in-law to be brave enough to start an adoption process and then see it through to its celebrated conclusion after knowing the grief and loss of their own biological child.
I have walked with a friend who after two failed and disastrous marriages had the heart and stamina to try again and has now been happily married for the past 20 years.
I have witnesses pastors start again in another job in another part of the country after his or her job suddenly ended.
Sometimes bravery isn’t one big brave act. It is more often a series of small, faltering steps we tentatively take toward the future, not knowing what’s really going to be required of us or what the end might be.
I am not naturally or easily brave, but I have found many occasions when this has absolutely been required of me. When we flew to the USA nearly 12 years ago, I thought I knew what I was being courageous about and why. I thought I was being brave in leaving our two daughters in the UK to finish their college educations. I thought I was being brave about not knowing where our income would definitely come from. I thought I was being brave when I thought about not having the role of pastor’s wife anymore. There were so many areas where I overcame fear and found faith. Little did I know so much more would be required of me. By making several small decisions to be brave daily, it would carry me toward a future I had never even considered.
It is only by walking hand-in-hand with the Father and by relying on the Holy Spirit that I can do it. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and discipline.” This is so encouraging to me; it gives me a method of becoming braver. I need to lean in to all the available power here on earth. I need to show love to others and know that I am totally and completely loved, and, therefore, I am secure in my identity. I then finally approach the fear with discipline, not allowing the panic and anxiety to overwhelm and suffocate me, but to be disciplined in my thoughts and conversations.
I would love to know your personal stories of bravery even if they are seemingly small or frighteningly large. If it’s about having the courage to go back to school after failing your GED, finding a new church or whatever your challenge might be, I have a space to publish them to encourage others. I am looking forward to hearing all your stories. This one is mine.