we are called to be brave.

September 3, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 14 Comments

I’ve been meditating on the word bravery often these days. The Oxford dictionary defines bravery as:

  • ready to face and endure danger or pain;
  • showing courage:
  • to endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behaviour) without showing fear.

From the Italian bravo: ‘bold,’ courageous, untamed, savage.

Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified) says that God is our own personal bravery, our storehouse chock full of all we need.

habakkuk 3:19

What if we were a savage people in the face of danger? Never backing down, caving in, giving up, falling into depression, letting fears dictate. What if we pushed aside the odds, the disease, the lack and unleashed the glory?

And what if, even in the face of death, we really truly felt no sting? And if the battle was lost, but we knew we had won the war, how would our hearts expand?

1 Corinthians 15:55 (MSG.)

“Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”

Looking back at the last year and a half, I can’t say I was brave by my own merits. I can’t say I was brave very often.

I can’t say I was untamed and free. I was broken and fearful, some say rightly so, and I cried often, rivers of salt. Oh, how I wish the locust eaten months could be forgotten, turned back into empty, unblemished days. But…then would they be forgotten? I would have remembered those moments, but would I have grown and changed? This change has been so deep, I am starting to feel a bit whole.

Those months, would they would be unspectacular, and swept under the carpet with the other thousands?

Don’t get me wrong: I so desperately want this chapter to be over, I want the suffering to end for us all. I just desire life to be breathtakingly meaningful and rich. I want wild abandon to the one my soul loves. I want no lack, no fear, and I want to be brave in the darkness. I want each breath to be a fanning flame to my spirit. I want a heart that clings to the truth, instead of sitting in comfort, fattened by the ease of the world, oiled up by my daily partaking in self. I am living the breathtaking, even though it’s often painful. Each moment is something to be savoured, the good and the bad, this is life, this is life. Who said it would be easy?

I am a dreamer, and often living in the moment is very difficult for me. I look to the future, to the next event, the next plane ride. That’s how I have lived for many years.

But now, I’m unable to escape to any moment, and the future could be so much harder than it is now. Suddenly I’m pulling back the reigns and letting the dust settle. This. Is. Life.

I know that He has called me to be brave.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

I know that He has replaced my garments of heaviness with a spirit of praise and grace. And I know also that God is showing me the “advantages” of suffering. He’s showing me where to press in for breakthrough, to keep my eyes locked on His, not tempted to look behind or to the side. He is allowing my spirit of bravery to break forth, perhaps a spirit we have forgotten about, especially as women.

Is He showing me that there is beauty and even…reward in this?

The definition of bravery actually makes me recoil a bit. Ready to face danger? Ready to endure pain? Who wants to forge ahead into the storms, who wants to lead with bravery?

You do it! I’ll watch.

Isn’t that why we as a culture are drawn to the heroes? To the Joan of Archs and Corrie ten Booms, the Dietrich Bonhoffers and Sauls turned into Pauls. And yes, even the Frodos and fairy tale heroes created for sheer entertainment–but always teaching us to fight, press on and endure. Is that because the authors had bravery imprinted on their hearts by the King? Is that because their hearts were swayed by truth, and their mission was simple? Teach them to be brave in this dark world.

CS Lewis bravery, courage, children

Be brave, be brave, be brave in Him, I sing over my heart. The heart can be so deceptive. It trembles, it sways, it is not always truthful. I think the world tends to romanticize the heart. We are not born perfect, and our thought life needs to be reigned in. I have so often bowed to my thoughts, because they are there. Because my feelings must be right, the weight of them, crushing me. How do I push through the misery?

Follow the Spirit, something called out, let Him lead you, create a renewed spirit in you. Go against the grain and say: no, I’m not giving into this. I can do this, I can do this. For ages I would speak the opposite, thinking it would somehow make it all go away. I can’t do this. It was my hearts way of telling me it had been pushed past the brink, it was teetering, licking the edge of death. I can’t do it, I know this. Parent a terminally ill child? Be told time and again, there is no cure, it will get worse. Come to understand no one knows what it is, they will not know what to do or say because it’s not cancer, so they will ask if she will grow out of it, and I will make them really sad when I tell them what the textbooks say, so I’d rather just not get into it? No, she is not sleeping, her muscles are sick. No, she’s not a really big newborn baby.

Oh.

But the Grace in me can do this, the one who has called me to be brave. He’s called you to be brave too.

You can do this.

The Spirit speaks to us through goosebumps and those lovely shivers, surprising tears and convictions, sentence structures and highlighted verses. Let’s bow to that. Let’s let Love reign us in. Let’s let God be bigger.

Slingshots in hand, pebble stones heavy in our palms, giants staring us down. Let’s take back the land that has been promised to us.

Let’s be brave.

20130906-120910.jpg

14 Comments

  • Reply Melissa September 2, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    This post was beautiful I needed to hear this I’ve been battling bipolar and I’m working on being brave. Your words pierced my heart and gave goosebumps. I hope you continue to blog in the midst of your storm. I pray God gives you strength. Sara Bareilles has a song called Brave. Your post made me think of that.

  • Reply Briana August 4, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    I am sorry for the pain and suffering of your child, you, and your family. God bless you!

  • Reply Linda Stewart January 8, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Michaela, This page is a blessing and so are you. Be encouraged and stay BRAVE in HIM!!!!! With HIS love, JESUS. Linda Stewart. 1/8/15

    • Reply Michaela Evanow January 10, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      Thank you, Linda.

  • Reply Katrina Cutbill September 18, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Michaela,

    This post is amazing. You are a amazing – Glad you are starting to feel a bit whole 🙂
    Wondering too – could I print that amazing Lion Print with the C.S.Lewis quote? Did you make it? Would you mind? I want to hang that in my son’s room. I have always loved C.S. Lewis’ depiction of Aslan/Jesus. One of my favourites. Bless you and this blog – the number of people you touch through your words – you won’t know until you get to heaven yourself one day…the impact you are having on so many souls…because you are abandoning yourself to Jesus and his goodness and his love. Inspiring.

    • Reply Michaela. September 19, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Thank you! Yes I made it and please feel free to print it, although I’m not sure the quality will turn out great 😉 it is pretty small, but you could print it like that.

  • Reply Jolie Lambkin September 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I just never knew how this all worked together. Deep heartbreak and Jesus’ presence. Misery and His grace. Being afraid and brave at the same time…
    Living FULLY in this present you have been given is honouring to the Lord. He sings, dances, grieves and flexes His muscles over you. YOU have been born for such a time as this. Thank you Michaela for bringing a clarity to murky waters. I’m so proud of you, so proud of Jesus in you. So happy you can write and SEE what is happening in you. I’ve never read anything like these posts. And I have read a fair share.
    This journey, your journey, is helping me understand and cope with the realities around me. Its breaking down fear and disappointment. Living with disappointment in the ONE I love best wasn’t working out so well for me! I’m getting it, I’m getting it a tiny bit more reading these.
    Every day I bless you in my prayers before the Lord.
    Jolie

    • Reply Michaela. September 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      your words are, well, I can’t explain it. something about you…you carry such authority, and it just means a lot when you speak what’s written on your heart. And that you’re getting it, on your journey. So encouraging to me.

  • Reply Bev. Nash ( Grandma) September 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    This is worthy of meditation on, over and over and over! So anointed!

    • Reply Michaela. September 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      That means a lot coming from you!

  • Reply child of God September 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Hi Michaela

    Bravery doesn’t mean one is not afraid but that one will continue to do what is right even when afraid. Father provides what is needed for the day, moment by moment He will supply all of your needs. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can do that which we do not want to do.

    Praying for you and your dear precious daughter.

    • Reply Michaela. September 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      Yes it’s true. Thanks for your prayers!

  • Reply Debbie Tuit September 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    My shortest comment ever…….WOW!

    • Reply Michaela. September 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      Love it! Your long and short comments 🙂

    Leave a Reply