Writing for each blog post, whether to share a pattern idea or a message from my life and heart is not always as easy as it may appear to those reading my thoughts.
Sometimes I have to dig down into my reserves of courage because sharing what I believe to be true in my own life may not be what you believe or even what you want to hear about so I may need to remind myself that those particular readers can easily skim past the sections they don’t like or choose to not read a particular post at all.
After all this is my blog so it should always be a reflection of who I am and what I stand for, whether that be my design style or the things that matter most personally.
Having said that, continuing in authenticity can sometimes require courage to keep going when outsiders try to rattle my cage and threaten to stop reading Elefantz if I don’t change it to something they’d feel more comfortable with (this usually happens during periods of illness, fatigue or depression) but God gave me this blog, this gift to design and the ability to write, so removing Him from Elefantz just isn’t going to happen.
I want to assure you today that whether we stand together as ‘sisters-in-Christ’ or ‘sisters-in-sewing’ (or both) I appreciate *you* and want you to know it.
When you leave a comment you are also being brave if you’re opening up your heart or sharing a belief, and this in turn will make yourself vulnerable to my own judgement and that of those who read each comment.
I pray I am always gracious and kind to you, respecting you have the right to your own view and that it may be different to mine but trusting you also will be respectful in the words you write.
Novels like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings abound with acts of courage in the face of opposition, the need for bravery in choosing right from wrong. In such books we read of character strengths (or weaknesses), chivalry, laying down one’s life for another, stepping forward to make a difference, rescuing the maiden (or hobbit) in distress – we can picture this because the author has written the story in such a way that our mind and hearts are carried along as though we were there. In such movies the orchestral impact to tug at our heartstrings helps too.
Men and women of valour who cause our hearts to surge with pride because of the goodness in their humane acts can summon grateful tears to fall from our eyes at their decision to step forward and take a difficult situation in hand – these are symbolic of a normal understanding of bravery in action. Yes, indeed, this is to be brave, and thank God for those who act with such courage.
But let’s not limit bravery to those extreme examples. Have you ever done something that took a great deal of courage?
Consider these examples from ordinary lives…
A woman who is agoraphobic steps outside her door to help an animal who has been hit and left to suffer alone in front of her house. Brave.
A child stands beside a friend who is being bullied, puts his arm around the other fellow’s shoulder and leads him past the bully. Courage.
The child next door has new bruises on her legs again, and her screams of fear and pain from the night before still ring in your ears. You pick up the phone. Brave.
Your husband is still without work. You’ve sold all you can spare, and now there’s not much left. The children need to have their bellies filled. You pull on your coat and with head held high you walk through the doors of the Salvation Army to ask for help. Courage.
You can argue the point one more time with your husband and tear him down again with your clever words and finger pointing. But you decide to step back, hold your tongue, and hug him fiercely. As your tears fall against his shoulder you tell him how proud you are of him, and that you’re fine with his decision. Brave.
Courage comes in many forms, and many measures. But it’s always about stepping away from fear and putting another’s feelings and needs forward instead of your own.
I believe we have all been brave at times and we’ve each acted with courage when fear has threatened to cripple us. We are stronger than we think and braver than we realise, but if someone does not remind us we easily forget.
I wasn’t sure why I needed to write this post about being brave today, but when the good Lord taps on my heart and directs my words I hope to always listen and trust His lead.
Jesus is my hero, the One whose life inspires mine to (eventually) become one of good and honest measure. He encourages me to be brave through His own example and even when I sink so deep into depression or grief or fear that there seems no way up He will gather me close and carry me gently back to shore so I can start over when I am stronger.
He reminds me to always be of good courage because He will never leave me nor forsake me and in this I take comfort and hope.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the your God with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
May you find your courage if it’s lately been lost, and I pray the good Lord does more with your ounce of courage than you ever believed possible. The same God who fed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes can increase all our insufficiencies if we ask Him to.
How do I know? He did it for me.