God's Brave Women - Rachael's Story
“Mom, I’m scared.”
Kate whispered this to me as she reached for my hand. We were on a girl’s trip in Savannah, Georgia. Oak trees draped with Spanish moss lined the cobblestone streets we walked while exploring the city together for the first time. The unfamiliarity made Kate nervous and if I’m being honest, I felt a sense of uneasiness too. Navigating unfamiliar territory can be scary.
After souvenirs, sunsets, and sweets, Kate and I made our way back to our hotel. She was smiling — happy about the excursion, delighted she had faced her fear. While we often face more difficult circumstances in life than navigating a new city, the lesson remains the same. How often do we allow fear to rule and keep us from experiencing what God may have for us?
I have allowed fear to dictate too much of my life. That is why writing this piece for the Brave Women Series seems so foreign to me. Bravery is what I aspire to, but brave is not a word I would have ever used to describe myself. I’ve been what I would consider insecure most of my life. Fearful even. Fear of others’ opinions led to people-pleasing tendencies. Fear of rejection led to playing it safe. Fear of failure led to never beginning.
"Fear of others’ opinions led to people-pleasing tendencies. Fear of rejection led to playing it safe. Fear of failure led to never beginning."
But my biggest fear of all is not living the life to which God has called me. To reach Heaven’s gates only for Him to ask why I wasn’t obedient or missed out on His best for me. I was so thankful Kate reached for me when she felt fear rising within. It made me question, to whom or to what do I turn to when I need courage?
Fear is the opposite of brave. Today when I consider bravery, I think of the single mom trying to stay ahead of her bills and raising her children on her own. The patient with a terminal diagnosis. The woman in the nursing home staring at the same white walls for yet another day alone. The prodigal swallowing her pride to come home. The woman forgiving her husband, who committed adultery again. Bravery is putting two feet in front of the other for yet another day. Marriage is brave. Having children is brave. Friendship is brave. Chasing a dream is brave.
This life is not easy. God never promised it would be. We are all facing a trial, an opportunity, a test. What God did promise was He would be with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. The Bible hall of faith modeled the courage to overcome fear with bravery. David with his sling and his stone standing bravely in the shadow of a giant. Rahab, a woman ashamed of her past, bravely hiding Joshua and his men. Moses standing in front of Pharoah with a speech impediment and the fate of the Israelites on his shoulders. Esther bravely standing up for her fellow Jews, risking her life in the process. And Ruth bravely standing by her mother-in-law’s side in a strange land.
As I reflect on these examples of bravery, the common denominator is faith. They believed and trusted in the Lord and so their obedience followed. There was no lukewarm or grey area. They loved God with all of their hearts and souls and minds.
"Total reliance and dependence on the Lord makes us brave. Just as Kate reached for my hand for strength and courage, we must choose to cling to Him to overcome our fears and live bravely."
Total reliance and dependence on the Lord makes us brave. Just as Kate reached for my hand for strength and courage, we must choose to cling to Him to overcome our fears and live bravely. Armed daily with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit will all help us to stand.
God is calling us to live on mission for Him. He is calling us to rise above our fears and rest in Him — to move past our doubts, insecurities and opinions of others and focus on His opinion of us. He gives strength in our weakness. He makes us brave.
What is God asking you to do? Is there a risk God is asking you to take? Sling your stone, put out your scarlet thread, step out into the water. Take the stand with your armor in place. Even as you whisper, “God, I’m scared,” He will be with you to hold your hand every step of the way — all the way to the streets of gold.
Rachael Adams is a writer, speaker, podcaster, and founder of The Love Offering. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women to realize their God given purpose and to embolden them to move into the world through compassionate action. Rachael and her husband live in Kentucky with their two children. Connect with her online at www.rachaelkadams.com or on Facebook and Instagram @rachaeladamsauthor.
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
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