Updated: Jan 7, 2020
By Stacey Pardoe
God's Brave Women - Stacey's Story
Some conversations remain imprinted on our minds in the precise location where they took place. Hard conversations with friends. Phone calls that change everything in the blink of an eye. Faith-filled conversations that shift paradigms in our minds.
As last summer drew to a humid close, I remember precisely where we were walking when a close friend asked how I felt about an impending season of immense difficulty. Our family was on the brink of change, and it wasn’t going to be change that came softly and easily. It was a change that was going to require courage, and I wasn’t sure I had it in me.
This change would require a greater degree of death to self than I’d ever experienced. I didn’t know this for certain at the time, but there was a sense that the kind of laying down I would be required to do would have a cost – that it would hurt, that it would feel more like death than anything I’d ever known.
There were also fears. What if our perfectly crafted plans for the future weren’t what they seemed? What if God had different plans – plans involving disappointment and heart-shattering loss? It was possible. We’d walked that road not long before.
It doesn’t matter what the hard stretch looks like; we’ve all faced them. A transition to a new job, a call to fight for a relationship that’s downright painful, a clear command to walk away from a place or person where your heart is still attached, an unwanted diagnosis, a valley of pain you would never choose to walk through. Hard times come for us all. We are each called to be brave in our own kinds of battles.
"We are each called to be brave in our own kinds of battles."
“How are you feeling about stepping into this?” my friend asked, cattails bending beneath clear skies behind her.
I’d been mulling over a single world that seemed oddly simple in light of the potential complexities of the very near future, and I told her with a smirk, “Safe.”
It was a word that had wrapped me in a white cloak of comfort from the day I sensed the shift in my soul. I’d been fighting the idea of change for a few months, but when I finally conceded, it seemed to be a word whispered from heaven above: “You are safe.”
"And isn’t this how it is when we say yes to God: It might be hard, but we are safe."
And isn’t this how it is when we say yes to God: It might be hard, but we are safe.
It’s not the kind of safety promised by the world. There might be bumps in the road and even physical danger, but there is safety when we step out in faith to follow God’s plans for our lives.
We can be surrounded by enemies, yet find that our feet are planted in a spacious place (see Psalm 31:8).
We can be hard pressed, but the Lord makes a wide and plentiful place for us to find our footing (see Psalm 118:5).
We can feel like we’re drowning, but he is ever-ready to rescue (see Psalm 18:19).
As I told my friend about this promise of safety, we discussed the promises of God and the reality that he not only saves us from our sins at salvation, but he continues saving us throughout the rest of our lives. He is an ever-saving Father.
"... we discussed the promises of God and the reality that he not only saves us from our sins at salvation, but he continues saving us throughout the rest of our lives. He is an ever-saving Father."
In the months that followed, stepping out in faith was more difficult than I ever imagined. It required greater sacrifice and more physical and emotional pain than I considered possible. I was just about at my breaking point when the call came from my walking partner and friend. “I was just remembering that walk we took in the summer, and I was inclined to remind you that even now, you are safe,” she said.
And the Word I’d almost forgotten echoed true.
The trial was hurting me in the most literal sense, but my Father had not let go of me. There were uncertainties about the future and the outcome of the trial, but I was still in his arms. I had said yes, stepped willingly into the refining fire, and in a little while, I would come forth refined like silver.
If you are in a difficult season, lean into the safety of God’s arms in this place. This is where we find true courage to be brave.
You have not been forsaken. He is ready to rescue, and even if this fire continues to burn around you – even if your enemies press hard on every side and you feel like you’re losing the battle, the ultimate victory belongs to the Lord. He has already reigned victorious over sin, death, and loss. He has prepared a spacious place for you, and you are safe.
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave! No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and grit. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the BRAVE WOMEN BIBLE STUDY coming out later this year and a sample chapter! *insert happy dance here* Sign up for more info on the study’s release and availability!
Stacey is a lover of the woods, a passionate and imperfect follower of Christ, the mother of two blue-eyed children, the wife of Darrell and much more. She writes words about her walk of faith in the in-between moments, and she mentors and teaches the Bible to younger women. She would love to connect more on her blog @www.staceypardoe.com or through social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
If you are coming out of a difficult season, or if you’re in the thick of it right now, Stacey would love to give you her 20-day devotional, Glimpses of Hope for When Life Lets You Down. This devotional will lead you through a daily reflection, Scripture reading and questions for reflection. It will help you bring your broken heart to God and process your emotions in the safe place of his presence. It’s yours by for FREE clicking here.