An Invitation to Courage

February 3, 2019

 

Lipstick doesn't make you fragile. Let that soak in.

 

I was reading a post on IG and out of curiosity, I clicked the hashtag for strong women. I'm not sure what I was expecting to see, but let me tell you, I was a little taken aback. I saw body building women, , women in the military, women in the hospital fighting for their lives, women jumping out of airplanes and climbing up mountainsides . I saw women athletes, business women and leaders ... a whole gambit of images of strong women, which they all were. But what about women who live life on a regular Monday? Aren't they strong? What about women who gather for coffee with their friends or women who wear pink paisley dresses or walk their dogs in the rain or women with messy hair holding multiple babies in their arms?  Aren't they strong as well?

 

I think sometimes, we feel that strength requires some kind of super human courage out of the ordinary and above the mundane. Like it has to be this intense take on life, but that simply isn't true. YOU have courage because the Holy Spirit lives in  you and since God commands us to be courageous (Joshua 1:9), then He will equip us to do so.

 

Yes, I said God commands us to be courageous!

 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

 

You don't have to be upfront to be strong or courageous. You don't have to be in demand or even in control. 

 

No matter what you face, you can be courageous because God is with you wherever you go. You can hold you head up high in the midst of adversity and life's unrelenting circumstances. You can interview for that job without anxiety. You can mantain your purity in a world of promiscuity. You can love who you see in the mirror, even if she's not your picture perfect self. You can love those who hurt you and forgive the unforgivable. You can be financially responsible and resist the urge to splurge. You can be strong and feminine. You can fight this good fight and still enjoy the beauty of your life in Christ! 

 

 Here are three reasons why you should affirm the courage God offers you and enjoy the confidence of knowing that His strength surrounds you wherever you go

 

1. Girl, You are smart and amazing, capable and confident!

G.I. Jane with Demi Moore, Million Dollar Baby with Hillary Swank, Enough with Jennifer Lopez ... these are sometimes the images we have in mind when we think about courageous women: fighters. Rebels. Winners. Man defeaters ... Look, those are the movies. And I'm not discrediting the confidence, strength or courage of female athletes, military, lumber jacks ... whatever. But what I am saying is that who you are and where you are doesn't need to be altered to show that you are strong. You don't have to throw away your gentle demeanor or your kindness to be strong.

We need to stop comparing our strength to men. It doesn't take dirty fingernails and an attitude to prove you are courageous.God made men with divine purpose just as He made women because His purpose includes us all and He has gifted us all with courage that takes both confidence and intelligence. So  please don’t apologize for being an intelligent woman! You don't have to trade in your fashion sense to be taken seriously. You don't have to be gruff to be tough. Be who you are and know that God loves you and He is with you!

 

2. What you are facing, fighting and faithing has purpose. 

When it's time to be courageous, many of us are looking ... maybe demanding to find a door of escape. I"ll tell you a story, the entire year of 2018, I spent it avoiding someone. Yes, I spent my entire 2018 avoiding one person because the animosity I experienced from them drove me to retreat. I was not being courageous and my desire to get rid of the problem over took my ability to stand firm. Listen, don’t be so focused on the end of your issues that you fail the grow in this moment. You are where you are on purpose. No, it's not comfortable and it doesn't always make sense, but we know that all things work together for our good when we put our faith in the Lord (Romans 8:28). I know I keep using this scripture a lot, but ladies, we have to take hold of it! 

Be present in this moment and in this season, because the trajectory of your life is based on the lessons that you are learning now and what you are learning is only ever based on what  you allow God to teach you!  So be careful about who you allow to  speak into your life. If they are not encouraging you to grow in your God given season, they could not only hinder your confidence but distract your spiritual eyes from seeing what God is doing in your situation. 

 

3. You were made in the image of God. 

Is our God strong? Is He might? Is He able? Is He confident and courageous? Then so are you because not only have you been made in His image, but in Christ Jesus, God lives in  you!

 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". -Phillippians 4:13

 

You belong to Jesus and we know He is victorious, therefore YOU are victorious. You are more than a conqueror in every situation (Romans 8:37). There is no room for doubt when He is near and since He is always near, we have courageous. Of course, we do doubt, don't we? That's life. That's being human, but when doubt raises it's ugly head, we can turn to Jesus.

"Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts", this is a quote my brother has said so often to me. I pass it on to you!  You only need to look at the cross of Jesus to be reminded of this: The lover of our soul, the Savior of the world, the maker of Heaven and Earth and the defector of hell and the grave would rather die for you than live without you. He loves you dearly and He walks beside you. That is a fact, and you can walk with that courage.

 

So today, let's all begin our day knowing that we don't have to shoot people in combat or know martial arts to be courageous. We can go about our daily lives in skinny jeans and curly hair, yoga pants and crying babies, manicured nails and business proposals, knowing that we are surrounded by the love and strength of our Lord!

 

Here are a few scriptures to chew on to help boost your courage. Pray over them and live your life with confidence!

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27 
  • The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1 
  • For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
Be strong and Courageous, Loves! And count me in!

 

 

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