Being brave is something I was never intentional about. I never felt brave, even though I did some dangerous things in my life. People might say it was brave to get married at 20 to someone I barely knew, to move across the Pacific to the tiny island of Oahu without friends or family, to pick up and move whenever I felt like it actually, to publish my books for others to read and criticize, and the list goes on. The thing is, before I always did these things a whim, not because God was leading me to do these things. Today I want to talk a little bit about what it means to be brave, but be brave as a woman of God. Now THAT takes some real bravery.
First off, Webster’s dictionary’s definition of brave is:
1.ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”a brave soldier”synonyms:courageous, plucky, fearless, valiant, valorous, intrepid, heroic, lionhearted, manful, macho, bold, daring, daredevil, adventurous, audacious, death-or-glory; More
1.a North American Indian warrior.
1.endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear.”we had to brave the full heat of the sun”synonyms:endure, put up with, bear, withstand, weather, suffer, sustain, go through; face, confront, stand up to, meet head on, face up to, brazen out, defy; literary dare”around 400 fans braved freezing temperatures to see them play”Merriam-Webster Dictionary
There you have it. That’s what brave looks like to the world, and in a sense they don’t have it wrong. But it’s only a part of what makes a Christian brave. How can we as women of God show the world that we are some of the bravest and strongest out there, and that they can be too? I’ve been considering my life, the paths I’ve taken, the new paths I am taking as a Christian, and how I can be braver in my walk with God.
Here is a short list I’ve come up with on ways we can be brave as women and ways we might already be brave!
1.Brave enough to believe every word in the Bible is true, even though that is not widely accepted in today’s society. We have to believe God’s promises, believe in his power even when we don’t see it. This is true bravery!
2. Be brave enough to be you! This is a big one. God made you just the way you are, with the likes and dislikes you have, the passions your heart holds, desires, personality traits, everything about you. He did all that for a reason. So don’t be afraid to be the you that God made you to be.
3. Be brave enough to like what you like. Don’t let the world determine what you like. Sure, it’s okay to like something that the majority does, but you have to take a look at why you like something. Do you like it because you enjoy it or everyone else does? Don’t be afraid to like something no one else likes. That’s what makes you unique!
4. Be brave enough to pursue your dreams. These aren’t coincidences. If they’re genuine, they are placed on your heart by God. You probably don’t even remember when you started dreaming about it or how. You just always wanted to [insert dream here]. For me, it’s be a successful author. Before that meant making a lot of money and being famous. Now that I walk with God, my reasoning for wanting that dream to be a reality is different. I want to be an influential author to touch people’s lives and shine God’s light on others. Sure, I want to make enough money at it so that it’s my only job and it helps to provide for my family, but it’s not because I’m money hungry. God says we should get paid for our work and even the disciples accepted food and shelter for what they did in helping others. Don’t be afraid to pursue the dream God has placed on your heart, whatever it is.
5. Be brave enough to try new things. This was always a struggle for me. I had my comfort zone and I wasn’t leaving it. I played piano when I was little and I never tried another instrument even though I always loved the violin because I was scared I couldn’t do it. So, what did I do? I made my dream of playing the violin known and my sweet boyfriend and child got me a violin to start playing for Mother’s Day! I also started taking horseback riding lessons again because I love it. I started writing again to publish more books. I bought a bow and arrows and am going to start archery. I kayaked in the lake instead of passing it up for watching others have fun on the shore. There are a million things to do in this world. Don’t get stuck doing the same thing every day because it’s comfortable and you’re too afraid to try something new. If someone invites you to try something, just do it. If you like it, great! If you don’t, well now you know. But that’s the point. You never know!
6. Be brave enough to love others. This one is a struggle for a lot of people. They have their loved ones and they treat them good, but again it’s about comfort. It’s hard to step out there and show love to everyone when you know you might not get anything more than contempt and judgement in return. But God calls us to love everyone, not just our family and friends. Do loving things for everyone and watch your bravery in putting yourself out there sore.
7. Be brave enough to forgive. This kind of goes hand in hand with loving others. Hurt is a part of our fallen world. The Lord promises we will have it. Not everyone follows God’s way and even when we do we make mistakes. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt you for your own health and sake and for God’s glory. Most don’t and this is a way you can show that you are set apart from others by God. Do something most are not ever brave enough to do.
8. Be brave enough to walk through the doors God opens for you. Again, this is a struggle for me. I know. I have many. I think my struggle is that I am always uncertain if it’s a door God opened for me or a trick of the devil or someone else’s doing on earth. But I know I need to be brave enough that if something is placed in my path, it’s because God put it there. If someone offers me an opportunity, God is opening the door for that opportunity. This is not to be confused with saying yes to every little thing and then becoming overwhelmed. When we have an opportunity presented to us, it’s our job as Christian women to take it to God and ask Him if we should walk through the door or not. I feel like if something is nagging at you, or keeps popping up, God’s trying to talk to you about a door he’s leaving open for you.
9. Be brave enough to let doors be closed. If God takes something away, we are not meant to keep chasing it. That doesn’t mean somewhere down the road he won’t open that door, but at the moment it is not for you, so leave it alone. This takes courage, to let go of something we may really want and trust that God knows better than we do what is best for us. Be brave!
10. Be brave enough to go places you’ve never been before. This one gets me excited! I love to explore new places and learn about new cultures. Sometimes it can be scary, though. In today’s world it can seem dangerous to leave the comforts of home to put yourself somewhere unfamiliar where you don’t know your way around and you don’t speak the language. Be smart, but also be brave. God is everywhere, even wherever you travel. He won’t leave you. And God’s people are everywhere too. God’s beautiful design is this entire world. Don’t miss it.
11. Be brave enough to meet new people. Again, struggle for me. I’m an introvert. I like my “me” time and most of the hobbies I enjoy are solitary activities. But God doesn’t want us to live our lives in isolation. Sure, I might require more alone time than most for rest and prayer and study, but I still need to put myself out there, even if it’s just smiling and saying good morning to a stranger. You never know. You might make a friend. I’m actively working on this one and I can see if moving in my life already.
12. Brave enough to reject the ways of this world and to reject sin. It’s not the most popular thing to do in the world these days, but it’s what God wants us to do. If you’re feeling pressured to do something you know is not right and God wouldn’t want you to do it, be brave enough to say no, even if it means you will lose people you love, friends, family, co-workers, whoever. You will please God in this, and that is someone you can never lose no matter what. It’s hard and scar to choose what pleases the Lord over pleasing someone we love and value here on earth.
These are just a few things to get you started on being brave. The rest is up to you. Pray to God to show you how to be brave in your life and watch him work wonders all around you. Brave was my one word choice for this year’s challenge. It’s only June, halfway through the year, and already it’s appeared to me in so many different ways I never expected. It has changed my life forever, and it can do the same for you!
Leave a comment and tell us about some of the bravery you’ve displayed or seen displayed around you in others! Let’s inspire each other. Thanks for stopping by today!