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How Growing Our Boldness Muscle Helps Us Brave the Future

By Sally Livingston

Brave Women Series - Sally's Story


I grew up in a loving, Christian home, and my coming to faith story is unremarkable. Don’t get me wrong – coming to faith and the gift of salvation is more than remarkable in and of itself, but my story seemed ordinary.

 

As a child, I knew I was “different” in my family and among my friends and schoolmates. I always sensed that God had called me to a certain boldness, and it did not always work well for me, nor did I always use it appropriately. This bent was somewhat ironic because I fall on the more introverted side of the personality continuum.  

 

Some of my early nudges outside of my comfort zone had to do with speaking up for God’s way, even when it got me into trouble in my family. It showed up in listening to the “cool guy” and encouraging him to faith when it would have been easier to stay quiet and not risk embarrassment, the death of any middle schooler. At another point as a teen, I clearly heard God prompt me to give my non-Christian hairdresser a gift of support and encouragement after listening to his story. I started to realize that these small promptings, when responded to, not only helped others but also grew my boldness muscle.

 

The more I leaned into what seemed a whisper, the more I could know and hear His voice. He promises that when we draw near to Him, He will do the same. And boy, did He! 

 


 

"The more I leaned into what seemed a whisper, the more I could know and hear His voice. He promises that when we draw near to Him, He will do the same."

 

Not surprisingly, my love of listening led me to become a psychotherapist, and the gift of exhortation has served me well as I work with people needing encouragement and faith.  

My life at this point was moving in a safe and predictable manner. I was married, had three wonderful kids, and had a job working in a church I loved in the place I was born and had lived all my life. I had no thoughts of doing anything other than what I could currently see based on where I had been. That is when God really tapped me and sent me into the much deeper waters.

 

We were being nudged to leave the only home we had known and to move to a very different place without any security of job, family, or friends. After much wrestling, we decided to say “yes” and move 500 miles away from everything and everyone we ever knew - fully into the unknown. God is faithful – He showed us very quickly how following Him is always the best idea. Though it was not always easy, or we were always happy, we were given an overwhelming sense of His presence with us and His leadership in our lives. We saw that His plan was beyond our limited sight and better for our kids.   


 

"Though it was not always easy, or we were always happy, we were given an overwhelming sense of His presence with us and His leadership in our lives. We saw that His plan was beyond our limited sight and better for our kids."

 

This move into the unknown freed us in a way we would never have been without it. Trusting God and letting His plans be the best plans gave me a newfound strength. The boldness muscles were growing, and braving the future became exciting. We moved again after five years, in faith, to another experience that uniquely shaped and challenged us to grow and learn. Our most recent move is yet another act of trusting when we don’t understand but knowing with certainty that He is charting our course.

 

 

"Trusting God and letting His plans be the best plans gave me a newfound strength. The boldness muscles were growing, and braving the future became exciting."


 

In this entire journey of leaving and letting go, He has birthed three books from me with another in the works, a vibrant speaking career, and a healthy clientele where I am blessed to listen and encourage daily. These things were too big for me to imagine in my “old life.” 

 

I have come to release my plans – as best I can do so in my humanity – in favor of His best for me. This journey taught us and modeled for our kids how trusting God is safe and is always the best way.  

 

God creates us, He shapes us and builds into us what He calls us to. My unremarkable story now seems so remarkable to me. I look back and see all the times that I felt ostracized, weird, or left behind were actually His protection from what I thought to be right – saving me for what He had for me.

 

 

"I have come to release my plans – as best I can do so in my humanity – in favor of His best for me... God creates us, He shapes us and builds into us what He calls us to."

 

God creates us, He shapes us and builds into us what He calls us to. I am in awe of where He has brought me – feeling ready for the next chapter. Not ready in my own strength but in His – to go wherever He calls and venture into the deep unknown – because I have experienced firsthand that He is there waiting for me, and it has all been prepared ahead of time with me in mind. God is specific in His love for us and desires to grow us to the highest potential He sees in us, something we cannot see from where we sit.  

 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG) 


 

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 Sally


Sally was born in Miami, Florida, as Sally Snow White. Though the name is legitimate (named after two grandmothers), she is also fond of the fairy tale. She has been a  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Speaker, and church ministry leader for almost 30 years and has worked with many people caught in the trap of believing they have to live out of what they were given or have experienced. She loves counseling, speaking, teaching, and helping people move to a place of freedom that only comes by accepting God's Truth about who they are and where they can go in life. Sally works to move people from where they are to where they want to be with grace and purpose.


Sally and her husband, Scott – a retired Fire Captain – live in Florida and have three amazing adult children, two amazing “children-in-law,” and two beautiful grandsons.


Connect with Sally on her website Sallylivingston.com, as well as Instagram or Facebook. Feel free to purchase your copy of her books Get Over It or Parent or Partner.


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