The Courage To Be Brave

Being brave is something foreign to me because to be brave you have to possess courage and be a courageous person, so for me being brave is not normal because I’m not always the most courageous person.

Courage to my one of my roommates is taking a step of faith, and being willing to do the hard things and make the hard choices for your dreams, family, loved ones, and lives. Courage to me is doing the scary things in life; stepping out of your comfort zone and just going for it not matter the consequences. Even though these two definitions of courage are different they have one commonality – doing hard things, and making tough decisions.  Sometimes the tough decision is changing majors or getting a job that is absolutely terrifying. Other times the courageous decision is going, or better yet staying put. Either way the choices we make based off the decisions we have in our lives are scary, but why should that stop us!

Lately I’ve been on a journey with God and He’s been showing me a lot of things in my life both good and not so good. But one thing I’ve learned in this learning season is that even though I want to make the tough decisions, and even though I want to do the hard thing fears and anxieties get the best of me. For me, just thinking about the tough decisions of life exhaust me. They are draining and I always just want to sleep afterwards, but God’s been showing me lately how much He longs to be my strength.

Over the weekend I went home, and my home Pastor spoke on Isaiah 40:27-31 (The Message):

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

And I was so moved and felt like God was speaking so directly to me! But the thing I got out of this whole passage, is that God gives STRENGTH. God renews our strength. He allows us to run and not grow tired, and gives us the ability to walk without fall behind. He LASTS!!! I love that in the message it says “He give strength to the dropouts”! God gives strength to the dropouts. He give strength to the average Joe/Joanne.

It’s nice and oh so very refreshing to hear that God gives strength to the dropouts because so many times in life I am the dropout. I am the one with no strength. The one who doesn’t have the energy to learn about school or life or about God because it is all oh so draining. But that verse says God gives us strength to learn and to do and to go. He gives us the strength to make the tough choices! That is what God has been teaching me for so long, especially now; that He gives me strength to get up and go. To get up and do. To get up and stay where I am learning the things I am being taught.

God gives us strength to make the tough decisions. He gives us the energy to go through with the tough choices. God gives us the stamina to learn and to live. God brings about a courage that isn’t just choosing the hard things in life, but living out the hard decisions we’ve made. One of the hard decisions I’ve made in my life is to go. To go wherever God wants me to go. Even if that means I am going to the ends of the Earth, I made the decision to go. And I’ve weighed the decision I’ve made, and I’ve weighed the consequences, and even though they are hard even though it is going to be tough, I chose to go. And for now God is calling me to go to class, to Chi Alpha, to Japan, and to my family. And even though those things sound easy, they are so hard to go to because with God going means going for Him and going on His behalf. But God is strength, and God is peace. He brings about the strength to go to these places, and He gives the peace needed when it becomes overwhelming. God provides in ways we cannot see, and moves in ways we cannot understand. But God promises to renew our strength and gives courage for the day and God never says He will provide if He doesn’t intend to.

God is joy. God is peace. God is love. God is the strength for tomorrow. God is the strength for today. God is lasting. God gives us the courage to be brave.

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Food, Friends & God

Yesterday was a day that reminded me how blessed I am and how even though I am completely broken, and even though I think I am completely inadequate to do what God wants me to do and go to the places He wants me to go, it’s okay because God is greater than my fears, and He’s greater than my shortcomings!

There are so many times during a 24 hour period, when I think about how unqualified I am for the purposes God has for my life. Or doubt I will be able to make it from one class to another because I just want to go home, read a good book and go to bed! And really the list of things that go through my mind that are unbearable, untrue, and extremely unwelcome is endless. But then there are times, like last night, when God pulls me aside and shows me how blessed I am and lets me know He’s got my back.

Times when God just pulls me aside and has a talk with me have been happening quite frequently as of late, and I am really glad for them. Especially during this season in my life when I am doubting many things, and I am trying to figure out where God is wanting me to go. Sometimes I think I am the only person experiencing these feelings. Not because I think my life is just full of rare circumstances and what not, but simply because I assume people have their lives far more together than I do. But last night while I was at dinner with a very dear friend, I was reminded that everybody wonders and questions, and wants answers and nobody truly has their lives together. It’s all about how we perceive things. How we view ourselves and the people around us, and getting into a frame of mind when we view ourselves as adequate, as more than enough. Getting to the place where we view ourselves as ‘good enough’ and the people around us as normal human beings who have struggle just like us, is part of this life journey we’re all on. For some people it’s easier to find the confidence needed to get the through the day, while for others (such as myself) it’s a great thing to get out of bed and fully dressed. One thing that is true of all people is we are all insecure. We all feel inadequate. Unloved. Unwelcome. Weak. But all of us also have that day, or those days rather, when the good truly outweighs the bad. When we’re reminded we are far more blessed than we some times believe we are.

The days when the good shines far brighter than the struggles is always a wonderful day. Yesterday was that day for me. The day when I realized that God has gotten me through quite a bit in this season of my life. A day when a nice dinner with a good friend, sweet prayer with another, and a night of worship with fellow classmates is all I needed for God to show how blessed life is. How life is an adventure best taken with people beside you. An adventure where God has shown me that He has always had my back. An adventure where the people surrounding me have shown me by their strength and kindness that God has gotten them through the tough times as well. We didn’t get through the struggles, because of our own strength, but because when life gets hard, God comes in and gives strength we can’t even imagine. Then when it’s really tough He picks us up, and carries us for a bit and gives us rest showing that He truly has our back.