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Giving God Our Dreams When There's No Guarantee: Bravely Clinging to Christ Alone

By Erin Greneaux

Brave Women Series - Erin's Story


I used to think that bravery was moving forward into a challenge that God placed in front of me, a grand adventure beyond my capacity. I would be forced to trust God to handle the extra blessings and responsibilities overflowing from my cupped hands. He would catch the balls that I couldn’t juggle.


After more life experience, I know that the bravest moments are not the ones in which I am called to something new and daunting, but rather the ones in which I have to release everything and step into a season that’s desolate and silent.


 

"I know that the bravest moments are not the ones in which I am called to something new and daunting, but rather the ones in which I have to release everything and step into a season that’s desolate and silent."

 

True bravery is lifting up hands in worship, even when they are empty, when everything precious I once held has slipped through my fingers.


 

"True bravery is lifting up hands in worship, even when they are empty, when everything precious I once held has slipped through my fingers."

 

When I was months away from graduating college with a degree in Latin American Studies, I longed for the opportunity to serve on the mission field. I was offered the exact position at the organization of my choice, just as I had planned. It would take bravery to move by myself to the remote highlands of Guatemala and operate in a second language, but I wanted to be strong and courageous. I wanted to conquer the world for God.


Instead, God made it clear that I was supposed to turn the job down. Even though I had no other prospects for work after graduation, I reluctantly obeyed. Four years of training and a lifetime of dreaming were rendered meaningless with a single email. I spent the next few months applying to countless jobs and being turned down. Had I made a mistake? Had I heard God wrong? Once He closed a door, wasn’t there supposed to be an open window? If I’m not a missionary, who am I?


 

"Had I made a mistake? Had I heard God wrong? Once He closed a door, wasn’t there supposed to be an open window?"

 

I had wrapped my identity and pride in the future I had dreamed of, and suddenly it had all vanished. I ended up working in children’s ministry at a church in my hometown that didn’t even have a missions program. The low pay meant that I moved back into my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. I felt like a fool.


Only after fast-forwarding half a decade could I tell you the story of how God allowed me to start the missions program at that church, lead teams to three continents, and find incredible joy in God’s work. I would also tell you that none of those moments required as much courage as giving God my dream with no guarantees on the other side. Even more, I could only carry out those new mission opportunities with the right perspective because my identity was no longer tied to the list of goals, but to the One I served.


 

"I could only carry out those new mission opportunities with the right perspective because my identity was no longer tied to the list of goals, but to the One I served."

 

When I found out that I was pregnant for the first time, I knew that I would need bravery for the challenge of motherhood. I didn’t know that I would need to be brave much sooner than my due date. At my ultrasound, the doctor said four words that wrecked my world: “There is no heartbeat.” In the following year and a half, doctors would slowly uncover that I may not be able to have children. Again my identity and the dream that I had for the future vanished. I stood, lost, in the empty nursery we had prepared. If I can’t be a mother, what am I?


Through loss and infertility, God never left me. He caught my tears and listened to my wailing, ranting, and blaming. There is nothing scarier than holding out empty hands to God, with no promises other than His will, especially when His will had allowed my loss. However, with empty hands, I discovered that I could cling to Christ.


 

"There is nothing scarier than holding out empty hands to God, with no promises other than His will, especially when His will had allowed my loss. However, with empty hands, I discovered that I could cling to Christ."

 

Fast forwarding almost a decade reveals that I am now the mother of three beautiful girls. I can only raise them well because of the relationship with Christ that grew in the moments when I thought that these children would never exist.


Courage is rarely bold bravery that screams into the face of the storm. Bravery deepens in seasons of grieving, questioning, and feeling battered and drained, but still believing after it all that God is good and His promises are true. This kind of bravery looks weak on the surface, but it is the mightiest form of strength. Those brave moments shape our lives, our spiritual foundation, and our knowledge of the Author and Perfector of our faith.


 

"Courage is rarely bold bravery that screams into the face of the storm. Bravery deepens in seasons of grieving, questioning, and feeling battered and drained, but still believing after it all that God is good and His promises are true. This kind of bravery looks weak on the surface, but it is the mightiest form of strength."

 

It is in those moments that we ask: If I lose everything, absolutely everything, is Jesus still enough? That is the scariest question I have ever asked myself, but the answer has made me braver than I could have ever imagined.


 

"If I lose everything, absolutely everything, is Jesus still enough? That is the scariest question I have ever asked myself, but the answer has made me braver than I could have ever imagined."

 

It is in our weakness that we discover God’s strength. It is when we face a silent season of loss in which God asks us to lay something down instead of pick something up, that we must bravely rely on Christ. It is in the loss, the grief, the emtpy-handed waiting that we see God’s true character. He is faithful, present, and making all things new in His time.


 

"It is when we face a silent season of loss in which God asks us to lay something down instead of pick something up, that we must bravely rely on Christ. It is in the loss, the grief, the emtpy-handed waiting that we see God’s true character."

 

Are you brave enough to uncurl your fingers from your dreams, goals, and plans and take hold of Christ alone? He wants to take you deeper, but the only way to do so is with empty hands.


 

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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About Erin


Erin Greneaux is an award-winning author and mom to three girls who make every day an adventure. She loves working in the garden, and finds her best inspiration while digging in the dirt. Erin is passionate about exploring the practical application of faith in everyday life. She uses writing to take Biblical ideas and present them in a way that is clear, creative, and captivating.

Connect with Erin on her website greneauxgardens.com or on Substack. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Amazon.

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