Courage

A month ago I wrote about accidental living and having a mission and a vision for your life. I also mentioned a “word of the day.”

I’ve not posted for a few weeks because I was finishing up my book, “Lessons from the Trenches: Staying in a Difficult Marriage” to submit to a contest, and so I can renew my pursuit of a literary agent. I finished it and am deeply grateful for the help of my amazing editors who spend time and energy into making me a better writer.

I was also pondering my “word for the year” and it is COURAGE. Yup. Someone said that was a dangerous word because God would give me more reasons to have courage. Maybe so. Kind of like praying for patience–be careful what you pray for, right?

I already knew that going into this year I was going to have to face down some of those deep fears that could potentially keep me from my desire to be published. See, it’s one thing to sit alone and write a book and maybe show it to a few people and get some good feedback because they actually like me to begin with. It’s entirely another thing to put it out there where ANYONE could read it. It’s another to consider the other aspects of marketing a book that would put ME out there as well.

Those who know me understand that I have no problem talking. I love to talk. I love to teach. But I have deep set insecurities (just like so many of us) that would keep me from possibly speaking out on THIS topic especially. Lilly Grace Brown is my nom de plume to protect my identity and husband simply because of the provocative nature of my writing on this topic. So there is fear of exposure. Fear of being told I’m doing my marriage wrong or that I’m a failure.

Ah, the vagaries of being human.

I also need courage as a mom and wife. When I want to run and hide from the challenges I face, I need to have courage to stand up and make the decisions that might make my son angry. Then I have to face that rage. I don’t like rage. Or maybe I have to face my husband’s verbal or emotional abuse if I challenge him on something and he dislikes it.

Courage. Strong word for a weak person who simply wants to walk in a way that would honor my God.  But in Psalm 31:24, it says: “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (NASB).  Courage. It doesn’t mean I won’t be afraid. It will simply mean that when the choice comes, I can stand firm in who God made me in Christ Jesus, and do what He is calling me to do, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone.  Like Daniel in the lion’s den, I need to simply move forward in the face of my fear and in confidence in Christ, whether I feel like it or not. And then trust Him with the results.

I am grateful that God does not leave me to do this on my own. I’m grateful for the power of His Holy Spirit within me to enable me. I’m grateful for the people He has placed along the way to encourage and pray when those moments come.

So my word for the year is courage. If you were to select a word for this year for yourself, what would it be?

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