Today I’m writing about the virtue of courage using excerpts from my book, The Divine Invitation from the section called Fearlessly Courageous.  

The first example of a courageous, unintimidated person that comes to my mind is my son Mike. As a little guy, he would boldly “go for it,” whatever “it” was at the moment! Sometimes it was something risky, but he was not afraid even when a measure of fear would be a good idea! He is still not afraid of risk-taking today, and he has balanced out with wisdom that doesn’t give way to fear. It has helped him keep on moving forward in life without being paralyzed by fears that plague so many. Because of this, he brings great encouragement to those around him. Courageous people encourage others!

I often marvel at the courage of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was fourteen when the angel came to her to announce His plan to make her the mother of His child. Can you imagine that at age fourteen? (Or at any age for that matter?) That’s truly an intimidating prospect for any woman! Even though it is an amazing honor, wouldn’t you be at least somewhat terrified? She was engaged to Joseph and this would make life very complicated for their relationship. She had no idea what the future would hold with this kind of responsibility—all the unknowns would have been very scary.

Very often the things that scare us to death are the very things that make us into the courageous people we are destined to be. They either make us or break us. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s choosing to move forward anyway, shaking in your boots!

Think of the times when you said “no” instantly to something or someone and later regretted it because it would have been an amazing opportunity. You were afraid you didn’t have what it took or were afraid to leave the security of the known for the unknown, non-secure future, pregnant with possibility. Think of the times you had to face really difficult, painful realities and felt your knees buckle and your courage melt like butter. You wanted to give up, but something in you rose to that occasion. Something said,

“No, I will not be afraid! In faith, I’m choosing to take courage.”

A courageous heart coupled with the Holy Spirit calls forth something from deep within your soul, pulling you to your feet to be the best you can be!

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline (abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control).” 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

That’s what I’m talking about! It’s a supernatural thing. The Bible says, “Fear not” a total of 365 times! Amazing, that’s one for every day of the year. Let the reader understand that it’s likely we will experience some kind of temptation to fear every single day! Therefore, the grace of God, His supernatural provision of the Holy Spirit in us, is here to help us live a fearlessly courageous life in spite of ourselves.

I’d like to highlight a current story from the life of my son Mike who I talked about earlier in this post. He’s married to a lovely lady named Jeri and they together have been on a very courageous journey of believing God to help them have a family in spite of infertility issues . Their struggle with this hardship of infertility has been very difficult. Yet they have continuously opened their hearts to the ways the Lord might provide a family for them. They have 2 precious daughters they’ve been able to give birth to with God’s help in spite of their physical limitations. They’ve also kept their name in the hat for adoption for several years. That has also not been easy. After several opportunities fell through, they were chosen by a birth mom just a month ago. Such joy! The little boy was born just a few days ago. But now the mom had decided she will not go through with her plan to give the baby boy up.

Wow. Such an emotional rollercoaster! When hopes are so high, the letdown is so great. When you take a courageous risk and it doesn’t turn out as you hoped, it really hurts.

I just want to honor them for their courage – for choosing to keep opening their hearts knowing that they might be disappointed again.

C. S. Lewis says, “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” I believe this struggle is doing just that in their lives. I believe your hardships will also prepare you for your own extraordinary destiny.

Maybe you have had similar struggles in your life. My heart goes out to you having now experienced in my own family the pain of infertility and the related struggles of having a family. You are courageous ones indeed if you keep opening your heart over and over again, trusting God, come what may.

If you’d like to read more about courage and the 26 other virtues I write about in my book The Divine Invitation, click below to check it out. You’ll find the book along with several other opportunities to grow in character and maturity. Maybe you would like to take a good book along on your summer travels. I believe you’ll be blessed by what you read on those pages!

With love and prayers,

Terri

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