I hear from a lot of people that I’m brave.
They see what all I’ve gone through and say “wow, you are one brave young lady!” or “that really takes a lot of courage!” or my favorite, “I could never be as brave as you”.
Well, my friends, it’s easy to be brave when you don’t have any other choice.
I always find it funny when people call me brave. I don’t really consider me having surgery as an “act of bravery”. More like, it was something that needed to be done and I had no other options. For me, bravery wasn’t a choice. It was forced upon me. It was something I had to go through and if I’m being honest, I was kicking and screaming the whole time.
One of the things I struggle with most is fear; fear of the unknown, fear of being out of control, basically anything that I can’t predetermine the outcome in my head. For a while after my surgery, I was really peaceful. For one, I was a ton healthier and not having that anxiety everywhere I went was such a relief. And two, I had no responsibilities for a month or so. I spent most my days recovery and once I got to a point where I was feeling normal again, I spent my days relaxing, writing, reading, watching TV, and just enjoying life. I had nowhere to go and nothing to be done. I could simply be with no expectations. It was actually quite nice.
Now that I’m back, I’m feeling all those responsibilities weighing on my shoulders. And as I get busy with work, volunteering, and friends, I find myself slowly getting back into my old lifestyle of worrying and dwelling on the things I can’t control. Anxiety is creeping its way back into my life and I hate it. I can see it happening but I don’t know how to stop it. For a while, I got used to not worrying about anything. Now, I see uncontrollable situations and start to panic. Not how it used to be.
It was easy for me to be brave when nothing required courage.
This summer taught me a lot about being brave in the face of adverse circumstances. I learned what it meant to trust God in every moment; to step out of my comfort zone and try something that scared me for once because I knew that it would bring me one step closer to defeating fear. Each step I took in bravery was a step toward faith and it deepened my dependence on God. It was a season of risking, succeeding, failing, and learning. I was enjoying every little adventure my new “let’s be brave” mantra was bringing me.
And now, after everything I’ve gone through and the new season that’s staring in my life, I feel like it’s time to try it again. I want to be brave. Bravery is a choice. Choosing to trust God and take a step in faith takes courage. It’s not easy but it’s always worth it. I always come out of it stronger, wiser and happier.
So this week, with a few unknown and kinda scary situations coming up, I’m going to choose to be brave. And here’s how I’m going to do it:
- I’m going to pray from the end backwards – This was an idea that my pastor spoke about on Sunday. As Christians, we know the outcome: God always comes through for us in the end. Am I right? Somehow, He always gets me through my most anxious moments and never let’s me down. So what if I started praying in belief that God will come through for me this week? What if, instead of saying “God, please get me through this, please, please please…”, I said “God, I know you’re going to get me through this. I know you will provide for me and take care of me. Thank you for getting me through this”. I think that will be a lot more effective prayer.
- I’m going to pray scripture – Also another idea I got from my pastor. The Bible is full of people who are scared. And desperate. And worried. And in distress. And suffering. And in pain. Most of these people have prayed prayers that referred back to scripture stating God’s goodness, faithfulness, and greatness. They know what the scripture says about God. So they basically speak these truths back to God and say “God, I know you are faithful because your Word says it. I know you protect me because of what the prophets said”. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. This is something I want to try this week.
- I’m going to stop fear in its tracks – Instead of dwelling on all the possible ways things could go downhill for me, I’m going to stop those thoughts in their tracks and immediately give them over to God. Part of the Holy Spirit’s power in us is the ability to exercise self-control. I think this is true in our thought life. We have to be disciplined and diligent in controlling our thoughts and not letting them control us. Easier said than done, but it’s the truth. My prayer is that God will keep me strong through this and help me as I attempt to take captive each thought.
I believe God will be faithful to help me as I go throughout this week. Each day will bring its own trials but I’m going to choose to trust Him in each moment, knowing that He’s got it covered. There’s no need to worry or fret about anything because God’s got it. If I remember that..I’m good to go.
Have a good week everyone!