A new month is here already and I am so grateful for all that I learned in April about gratitude. I have embraced it and my class at school have joined me with adding leaves to our ‘Tree of Gratitude’ with things they are feeling grateful for. These have been incredibly heart-warming and myself and my class team have at times been moved to tears by the words out of their mouths.
I was thinking about what my choice for May would be and was talking to God about this one morning whilst standing on the station platform at New Cross. I had a sense that courage was going to be the theme but wanted confirmation. As I stood on the platform a large sign caught my eye through the trees. The lettering on the side of what I could see was a pub was-‘Take Courage‘. Later in the same day a friend of mine was talking to me about getting a tattoo done that would say, you guessed it, courage! Okay, okay I hear you loud and clear God.
Choose… courage it is!
Courage is… the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery. Or strength in the face of pain or grief. I just love all the synonyms for courage: bravery, braveness, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valour,fearlessness, intrepidity, intrepidness, nerve, daring, audacity,boldness; dauntlessness, doughtiness, stout-heartedness, hardihood, manfulness, heroism, gallantry; backbone, spine, spirit, spiritedness,mettle, determination, fortitude, resolve, resolution: guts, grit,spunk, gutsiness, gameness; informal: bottle, ballsiness; moxie and cojones. I will be using lots of these this month and will be liberally using them with my class.
I have never considered myself to be a particularly courageous person but over the last few years I have been on an adventure with God and I have grown in this area so much. My journey started when I stepped out and joined up to do ‘TSM‘. I soon realised that being courageous had just ramped up a notch to say the least!
I learnt to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life which has been fun but then I had to act on them! This is where the courage comes in. Being courageous in a situation where you have to do something out of your comfort zone takes a great deal of nerve. But it’s about not letting the fear in that situation take over but choosing to do it anyway. You have to literally step through fear. Once you get to the other side it’s such an amazing feeling and rush of excitement and you just feel Gods pride in you for being obedient.
I have learnt that courage looks different for everyone and what seems a big deal for one person another finds incredibly easy. For instance, I am more at ease with speaking to someone on the street about Jesus than I am to sing a prophetic song over a friend. But for you this may be something completely different like offering to pray for someone at work, school or mother and toddler group etc. or speaking a word of encouragement to someone who serves you in a shop or restaurant.
I have also learnt this, that as you step out and depend on Holy Spirit to guide you He will. What was once a scary thing to do becomes less so and the outcome is so worth it you want to do it again. You begin to notice your parameters for courage change and what once took lots of courage has become easier and you can do so much more than you could. As this happens you are moving into deeper waters without realising it which is where all the adventure and fun is with God. You become more and more reliant on Him showing up and your relationship grows and flourishes as you press into Him.
Last night I had a picture of a child learning to ride a bike and at first the stabilisers were on and the child was wobbling around but in no real danger of falling off. Once they had their balance the stabilisers came off and they had to learn to ride without them. Then I saw a dad holding onto the back of the bike to steady the child so they could feel what it was like without the stabilisers but still with the security of feeling ‘held’. Then the dad started to let go a bit and the child was pedalling but still felt held. But, unbeknownst to the child the dad had let go and the child was riding independently. Every time the child wobbled because they felt the hand let go of them the dad would grab hold again until they were steady.
I felt like God was demonstrating his fatherly love for us and how he has ‘got us’. Stepping out and doing ‘the stuff’ God wants us to do is sometimes scary and demands courage, but it’s how we grow. Whenever we feel wobbly He wants us to know He is there and whether you feel His hand or not He is there. He is looking on with fatherly pride at how far we have come.
I was reminded of this quote: ‘God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He’s called.
Join me in May and Choose Courage!
Thanks Dad from one grateful daughter xx