You are brave.
I remember the day I began to know that I was courageous. At the time, I didn’t feel very courageous at all.
I was preparing to move to France. I’d decided that I wanted to learn French and that the fastest way to do it was to move halfway across the world. I was 24 and full of ambition, but also full of fear.
I remember talking to a friend the day that I was leaving and he said: “Connie, this is courageous. What you’re about to do is an act of courage.”
It stopped me in my tracks.
I was just going through the motions of preparing to learn French. I wasn’t trying to be courageous!
In fact, his words terrified me. “Courageous? No. If this is courageous then I definitely should NOT be doing it! If there’s one thing I know that I am NOT, it is courageous.”
But my friend had mentioned the whole courage thing far too late. I was just hours away from getting on the plane.
I spent most of the flight crying – as the reality of this “courageous” move to France set in.
I was 35,000 feet in the air and I had nowhere to run. I guess I’d be living in France, and learning day by day that perhaps I was…just a little bit…courageous.
As I’m writing now it seems obvious why this memory has resurfaced at this point in my life.
I find myself once again on another 35,000-foot climb in the air.
In the past year I’ve heard those words time and again as I’ve shared my story of stepping out to start Unveiled. People would say: “Connie, you’re so courageous.” And I’d mostly deflect with a long explanation of how I’m not really courageous, I’m mostly scared…and mostly just trying to obey God…and mostly just being pushed off of a cliff…and mostly just this…and mostly just that.
You know, full of every excuse in the book to avoid actually owning one of the truest realities of my identity in Christ – that “Yes, I am in fact…courageous.”
But it is true that often in the midst of our most courageous moments, we don’t feel very courageous at all. It can mostly feel like just putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s really all it is.
Courage is continuing to walk forward.
I refer to the day that I decided to quit my full-time job and step out into this vast unknown as my “Gethsemane.” The place of surrender where Jesus himself taught us to pray: “Father, not my will but yours be done.” (Matt 26:39)
It was a heart-wrenching decision.
The Lord had been whispering to me for a couple of years that it was time to move into the next thing he had for me. But honestly, I’d envisioned my transition to that next thing very differently (I’d be lying if I didn’t confess my vision had something to do with marrying a millionaire and a move to Paris!).
On that “Gethsemane” day of mine, I grappled with the decision placed before me. I’d not had quite that experience before – it was a clear tug of war in my soul. Jesus was asking me to do something very difficult: walk away from the stability and security of a job that I loved, with people that I loved, and to walk toward him.
That was it.
There was very little additional instruction other than to walk in the way that he was slowly unfolding before me. I knew it had something to do with encouraging women through Unveiled, and with learning to rest, and with spending time with family. Beyond that, I didn’t know what he had in store.
And so I wrestled with the Lord. I mostly wrestled about the basics of life and livelihood – do I have what it takes to make this big move? Will God provide all that I need?
Interestingly, my “Gethsemane” day came just two weeks after an amazing trip to Israel. It had long been a dream of mine to visit Israel and I’d begun asking the Lord very specifically for it. In fact, that January I’d put “going to Israel” on a list of seemingly impossible things that I was asking the Lord to do that year. And in a series of truly miraculous events, I was able to tack a trip to Israel onto a previously planned work trip to India. Amazing!
On the heels of this “impossible thing” that God had done, he was asking me to step out and to believe him for more impossible things.
We were created with courage in us. We were designed to do hard things – and not just hard things, impossible things.
That’s one of the most important realizations in the life of a believer.
We were in fact “born again” into a new identity, into a calling and into an assignment that is impossible, apart from the power of Christ in us.
Jesus’ instruction to his followers is to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cast out demons. Cleanse the lepers.
Well, that’s impossible.
And I think the Lord is like “um, yes it is. That’s why I’m inviting you to do it with me – my power at work in you.”
The courageous act in living out our callings as followers of Christ is to say yes to things that seem impossible, because we have put our trust in the God who does impossible things.
God calls into being that which does not yet exist. (Rom 4:17). He calls impossible things into the realm of the possible.
And guess what, he’s our Daddy.
We were created to be like him – bringing impossibilities into the realm of possibilities.
So here I am – over a decade after that move to France – mid-flight with the launch of Unveiled.
We’re 35,000 feet in the air and I’m beginning to catch a glimpse of the reality of what I’ve stepped into. But unlike the fear that engulfed me on that flight to France – this time there is also a reverential or “holy fear” attached to the journey.
I have gotten to glimpse the transformative power of God in the lives of the women he’s brought through Unveiled’s programs.
I am in awe of him. And I am completely humbled.
I’ve now gotten to glimpse what could be – the dream of a Father for his daughters to arise and to shine, for our light has already come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us. (Is. 60:1)
I hear the Father reminding me in these days – You are courageous. It is who you are.
And upon reflection, I must honestly say – Wow, Lord. Yes. Yes, I am.
You have made me brave.
Did you know that Unveiled has programs to help you step courageously into your calling?
An Affirmation of Courage for your Day
I’d challenge you today to look in the mirror and see what your Father sees...and then say what he says boldly and without hesitation – I AM BRAVE.
I am courageous because my Father is courageous.
I am courageous because Jesus says I’m courageous.
I am courageous because He made me courageous.
I am courageous because it is HIS power at work within me.
I am courageous because HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness.
I am courageous because my Daddy says so.