I’ve never really thought of myself as courageous.
To me, courage and bravery are built inside individuals who have been to war, one who has risked his/her life in an emergency rescue or those who have battled a life threatening disease….. but not me.
I’ve never been one to jump up and be the first to lead, or to make something well known…. all because of fear. Doing that really hard or uncomfortable “thing” was always so challenging for me, and it was all because of fear. Fear of man, fear of failure, even fear of change.
Since I was little, I’ve always thought of courage to be this big, all powerful word only labeled on the elite – not an ordinary, stay at home mom and housewife who homeschools the kids. It never struck me that I could embrace this strong, but beautiful attribute for myself.
Maybe, it has never struck you either.
Many of you know, that our large family, is a foster care family. Years ago though, when I would even think of the words ‘foster care’, I immediately made myself think of something else or change the subject. It was too challenging, too difficult and way out of my comfort zone. It was such an uncomfortable thought for me because of how hard I thought it would be for us. And … I was full of fear. I didn’t look at what God needed us to do for them.
Fast forward a handful of years, and we actually DID take the leap to become foster parents, with not just one child, but with a sibling group that we’ve had since birth. They have been our kids, and they definitely have my whole heart. I would have thought I was strong as I helped my boy through drug withdrawal, or brave as I witnessed traumatic events from their birth family, or even courageous as we learned they were becoming crown wards of the province. But, nothing could have prepared me for finding out that we might lose them. If fact, this is EXACTLY why I was fearful of foster care in the fist place.
Then comes the year 2020. On January 1st, I had no idea as to what that year held, no one did. All I knew, was during my morning devotionals that day, God gave me the word courage. As clear as day, it’s like He handed me this word to hold onto, but with no explanation. So I did. I held tightly to this word that has always perplexed me.
As the year unfolded, we all entered into the uncomfortable and challenging time of a world pandemic. Our family also said YES to adopting our babies! But with both of these things, came an outpouring of challenges, hurdles and way more fear that I wasn’t expecting. Anxiety gripped me like a vice on so many levels, and I thought at times I wasn’t going to make it through.
This is why God gave me this word. For this time right now. And I know that others need to grip onto this word as well.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[a] Be strong.
– 1 Corinthians 16:13
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
– Deuteronomy 31:6
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
– Joshua 1:9
So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!
– Psalm 31:24
So that big, strong and powerful word that I thought was for many other people except myself … I took hold of this year. And I hold tightly to it everyday, sometimes every hour. This doesn’t mean I won’t feel fear – but I can keep moving forward with courage.
To those of you who need a great boost of strength in whatever you are facing, please know that God is ready to give you that strength and courage. He so beautifully and freely gives. And He will be right by your side every step of the way.
Until next time….