By Rachel Schelb
God's Brave Women - Rachel's Story
Gutsy. Sure. Self-confident. Independent. Self-starter. Determined. These are words that I’ve been described as. Sometimes they're used in positive ways, and other times, they have been used with negative connotations. I prefer to think of myself as brave. This one word encompasses all these other words but is never used with a derogatory tone. You never hear someone say, “Ugh, she’s so brave,” as they roll their eyes in disgust. Rather, it’s said with pride and respect.
Maybe you’ve just read that first paragraph and thought, she isn’t brave - she’s cocky! Hear me out. It’s taken me 33 years to finally feel brave. To be brave means to be scared but doing it anyway. Bravery is surrender. Surrendering one’s own ideas, safety or actions to accomplish something better. So why do I consider myself brave?
"To be brave means to be scared but doing it anyway. Bravery is surrender. Surrendering one’s own ideas, safety or actions to accomplish something better."
I grew up in a home with difficult dynamics. Love was given but not unconditionally. Expectations and standards far higher than anyone should live up to were in place, and there were consequences for not meeting them. It took bravery for me to face each new day. It took bravery to work past the anger and grief that a childhood like that brings.
As a senior in high school, it took bravery for me to trust God when my college plans were not the reality and it meant three and a half more years at home. It took bravery for me as a freshman in my World Religions class to stand up in front of peers of literally every major world religion and confront the nun teaching the class because she belittled my beliefs.
It took bravery for me to go on a date with the clean-cut guy who worked at a church because what could he find to like, let alone love, in the tattooed girl with a grimy past? Turns out, he could, and did, find a lot of things. We just celebrated 11 years married! It took bravery for me to say “yes” when my then-boyfriend proposed because could marriages really be happy? I didn’t see that modeled growing up. It was a risk.
It took bravery a few years in to our marriage for me to say yes to having a baby. What if a baby messed up our “good thing” and I couldn’t break the cycle after all? It took bravery to proceed with adoption plans. It took more bravery to surrender that desire a couple years later and obey God with having another biological child.
It took so much bravery to trust that I could break the cycle yet again when the ultrasound tech said “It’s a girl.” See, I grew up with an older brother and we weren’t close. We felt constant competition, and he passed away before we ever got to mend the brokenness. Having an older boy and younger girl meant the chance for messing up their relationship in ways I experienced from childhood. It took bravery to trust that God knew what he was doing by giving me them in this order.
It’s taken bravery to surrender my dreams and plans time and again to God knowing that his ways are, in fact, so much better than what I could think or imagine!
"So you see, I am brave. I am brave because I’ve kept moving. I’m brave because my past does not define my future. I’m brave because if God is for me, who can be against me? I’m brave because I am a daughter of the King."
So you see, I am brave. I am brave because I’ve kept moving. I’m brave because my past does not define my future. I’m brave because if God is for me, who can be against me? I’m brave because I am a daughter of the King. And you’re brave too. Each of us have a story of bravery woven throughout our lives. Each of us have plenty of reason to be too scared to move forward. However, when we pick ourselves up, sometimes in multiple pieces, and we surrender it once more to God, we are brave. Be brave and tell your story!
Brave Woman Manifesto
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.
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Rachel Schelb is an introvert who frequently gets confused for an extrovert. She loves tacos, breakfast food, Diet Dr. Pepper and kayaking. She’s been married to her best friend, Andy, for 11 years and they have two small kiddos. Most importantly though, Rachel is incredibly passionate about the biblical call to show hospitality! Romans 12:13 says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” 1 Peter 4:9 says to do so without grumbling. When we each #lovewellonpurpose we will look and act more like Jesus Christ as we carry out his instructions! Through her blog and podcast, Rachel shares practical tips and biblical encouragement to do just that. Connect with Rachel more on her website www.rachelschelb.com | Facebook | Instagram | as well as her Podcast: Love Well On Purpose (found everywhere podcasts are heard.)