By Nicole Williams
God's Brave Women - Nicole's Story
I used to think being brave meant you had to conquer something, but it’s really so much more. It’s about being committed to leading. It involves a posture of humility, patience, stepping out of our comfort zones, and living with our eyes and heart open to the world around us.
Being brave reminds me to commit to the long game of leading because our own storylines develop slowly and can take longer to piece together than we hoped.
"Being brave reminds me to commit to the long game of leading because our own storylines develop slowly and can take longer to piece together than we hoped."
We’re watching Game of Thrones right now for the first time. It took me 11 years to agree to watch it with my husband. I may not have come to the table willingly, but I’m loving it! It’s an epic story of nine noble families fighting for control over their lands. There’s compassion, acceptance, cunning, legacy, empowerment, freedom, and so much heroic bravery.
It’s easy to think about bravery when it comes to war. A person has to be inherently brave to run in when most of us would turn and flee. Their service is selfless, and even though they benefit if their side wins, they're fighting for more than just personal benefit. They’re fighting for what they believe in.
I’ve taken to the storyline because it reminds me how we’ve been feeling these last few years with the pandemic: people fighting for their lives, walking uncharted roads, unsure of what’s next, many with a sword in hand ready to fight. We’ve all had to be a little brave as we’ve faced this unknown future. But sometimes being brave just looks like leading people in the right direction.
"Sometimes being brave just looks like leading people in the right direction."
Since 2006, I’ve read through the Bible seven times. God faithfully offers new lessons at each pass. His word has the power to gracefully speak to all of us. In early 2020, as we were just in the baby phases of the pandemic, I was in Exodus. All around the world, I saw people overwhelmed, scared, and anxious as to whether they would be affected by COVID. We all started carrying a heavy load, uncertain of our futures. Life as we knew it had changed.
Then God revealed something in Exodus 3-4 that I never noticed before. As Moses was in the wilderness, God called to him from the burning bush and told him to go set His people free. Moses felt small and insecure, so he resisted. Maybe he was struggling with imposter syndrome—worried people would see everything he was lacking. He was scared and felt inadequate to do what God was saying.
Who am I?
Who are you?
What if they don’t believe me?
I’m not a good speaker.
I can’t do it.
And this, AFTER God had just told him “Come now therefore and I will send you.”
I see myself in Moses’ struggle. Moses simply didn’t think he had what it took to do what God was asking.
"I see myself in Moses’ struggle. Moses simply didn’t think he had what it took to do what God was asking."
In all this resistance, God quietly asks Moses “What is that in your hand?” Holding onto the rod reminded Moses that God was with him.
That day, as I read Exodus 3-4, God made His word come alive for me by asking, “What is in YOUR hand?” Life felt overwhelming and I felt little, just like Moses. But God reminded me to give what I had and not be frozen by imposter syndrome.
"Life felt overwhelming and I felt little, just like Moses. But God reminded me to give what I had and not be frozen by imposter syndrome."
I wanted to lend my faith to others as a lifeboat out on choppy waters. I solidly believed God was with us, even though life felt dicey, and I wanted people to know the same thing.
The thing I knew? Prayer with complete faith and unfailing hope in God. I knew “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). I knew “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
I started writing prayers on social media to bring truth and hope and peace to a community that was struggling. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And you know what? That one little step out of my comfort zone brought light to other people. People were thankful for the reminder of God’s power and that He was still in control. Even though I felt little, leaning in brought strength and hope to someone else.
"One little step out of my comfort zone brought light to other people. People were thankful for the reminder of God’s power and that He was still in control. Even though I felt little, leaning in brought strength and hope to someone else."
Through my own life I’ve experienced the power of intentional praise and thanksgiving. When I shift my focus away from my problems and meditate on the nature and character of God Himself, a miraculous thing happens. I remember who God is and what He’s capable of doing. Instead of being overcome, I’m strengthened, and my praise becomes my testimony. It reveals a faith that believes in God’s goodness above anything we face.
"When I shift my focus away from my problems and meditate on the nature and character of God Himself, a miraculous thing happens. I remember who God is and what He’s capable of doing. Instead of being overcome, I’m strengthened, and my praise becomes my testimony."
As the pandemic wore on, God led me to create a book of 31 devotional prayers that model a simple method of intentional praise, even in the midst of crisis. I had never done anything like this, and I definitely responded like Moses. But God reminded me to simply use what was in my hand.
Yes, life can feel overwhelming. And yet, God asks us what is in our hands?
Let’s remember He is with us and use the little we have to do all we can.
Love + Grace,
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 He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect 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 empowered email tribe.
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Nicole Williams is a writer and poet who loves spice shops, travel, throwing great parties, and a strong cup of black coffee with NY cheesecake! Her passion is influencing people to read the Bible for themselves and her mantra is Love + Mercy Matter Most. She’s the author of RISE UP: Believing God When the World is Falling Apart.
If family relationships are tough for you, grab her free guide Start Tiny: 7 Tips for a Healthier Life; it's an essential tool to create biblical and practical habits to heal unforgiveness. And be the first to know when the Forgiveness Course launches by joining her free online community at msnicolewilliams.com. She’s been married for 27 years and is mom to two young adults.