By Kate Berkey
God's Brave Women - Kate's Story
As a kid, I think I just assumed that adults had it all figured out—life, relationships, careers, parenting, and everything in between. In my parents, I saw two people I thought were living with such certainty. They knew how to build a beautiful marriage, how to raise four happy and healthy kids, how to run their business, and how to discern a right decision from a wrong one. But now I’m almost 30 and completely convinced that our lives are just one step after the other into the unknown.
I haven’t been great at unknowns. I’d like to blame my fear on my three brothers, who took turns hiding in my closet or under my bed, but it’s so much bigger than them. It’s a fear of stepping into the impossible, of falling and failing, of making the wrong decision. Too often, I let these fears hold me back—exchanging comfort for the place God is calling me to walk.
"It’s a fear of stepping into the impossible, of falling and failing, of making the wrong decision. Too often, I let these fears hold me back—exchanging comfort for the place God is calling me to walk."
In 2017, the Father asked me to step into the unknown in ways I had never imagined. I was working in communications and graphic design at my home church. It was a safe job—predictable and known in so many ways. Like He often does, the Lord shook me from my comfort and asked me to trust Him. Instead of continuing to plan and dream for my future in a town so close to my family and friends, the Father put a new dream on my heart—move to Mae Sot, Thailand to write a book we could use in ministry on the border of Thailand and Burma.
Talk about the unknown.
I’d never fundraised before. I’d never lived in a foreign country outside of short-term trips and vacations. I’d never co-authored a book. I knew little about Thai or Burmese cultures. So, when the Father called me to this place, of course, I felt excited but also crazy fearful.
A few weeks into life in Thailand, the Father gave me a vision. In it, I saw Jesus standing in a meadow, arms outstretched—an invitation to join Him. I walked to him, dancing with Him in the tall grass, the solid ground, but as we twirled around and around, the solid ground turned to water. We were dancing on the waves—deep in the unknown. But we danced together.
In that season, I was living in a constant state of culture shock; to say my new home overwhelmed me might be an understatement. My world was upside down, but I don’t believe we need to move far away to experience this.
A million moments in the unknown saturate our lives. Just when we feel safe and comfortable in the known, Jesus pulls us a little deeper—onto the waves to dance with Him in a place that is unknown and unfamiliar and completely outside of our reach without His help.
"Just when we feel safe and comfortable in the known, Jesus pulls us a little deeper—onto the waves to dance with Him in a place that is unknown and unfamiliar and completely outside of our reach without His help."
I’m convinced that we find life to the fullest here—bravely dancing in the unknown with Jesus, doing the impossible with Him.
"I’m convinced that we find life to the fullest here—bravely dancing in the unknown with Jesus, doing the impossible with Him."
So often I think of bravery in these big, grand ideas. Courage feels huge—something out of reach or only needed for big moments of life. But these days, I think we find and fight for bravery in the everyday moments—like talking to a stranger or practicing vulnerability. This is when Jesus invites us to dance with Him on the waves.
"Courage feels huge—something out of reach or only needed for big moments of life. But these days, I think we find and fight for bravery in the everyday moments..."
We don’t need to uproot our lives to walk on water with Jesus. We don’t need to quit our full-time jobs and move to a foreign country. No, friend, we just need to recognize the place Jesus is asking us to step, the place that might feel scary. For some, this place is having a hard conversation, serving with a ministry, reaching out to the neighbor who feels too messy.
Dancing on the waves with Jesus is scary. It’s daunting and overwhelming, but if we keep our eyes on Him, we will find the courage we need to take steps deeper and deeper into the unknown with Him.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Kate Berkey is a writer and serves refugees and immigrants on the north side of Chicago with Devon Oasis Ministry. She is passionate about helping people encounter the heart of the Father through her writing. She and her co-author Kristy Mikel recently published their book A Place Called Braverly: Daring to live courageously, dream boldly, and influence bravery. In it, they challenge readers to find their courage in who the Father is and who He says we are! If you want to learn more about their new book, you can find it online wherever books are sold or at aplacecalledbraverly.com.