If you've been walking with me for a while you know that my Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2019 has been courage. I felt that word stirring in my heart early last fall as I looked ahead to the new year. I had invested a lot of time and energy starting Do The Thing Movement, 818 Ministries was growing, my relationship with Dustin was headed toward marriage and I slowly felt God uprooting me from the city I've known and loved for the last decade to follow him and do life and ministry together after we got married.
In many ways, I guess it was the word I was asking the Lord for this year. I wanted Him to make me brave. I can't have courage to do brave things in my own power or by my own strength. I'm weak but He makes me strong.
It's not always looked pretty, shiny or happy but I've learned a lot about this word in 2019. Mirriam Webster defines courage as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere or withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Simply put, courage is possessing the ability to do something brave.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Don't be afraid or scared of them; for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you."
The strength and courage of the warriors of Israel would come from their confidence that their God was always going to be with them and would never leave or forsake them.
It's a quiet confidence that I'm not doing this alone. As a follower of Jesus, the same power that raised Him from the grave on the third day lives inside of me. Therefore, I'm never alone, forgotten or forsaken.
Here are a few things God has used to continue to grow courage in me this year:
Courage is believing that God has a plan to provide for my future family after I get married and having confidence that He is sovereign over my eight month job search (especially when my inbox is empty a few days after an interview). "Whatever the LORD pleases, He does. In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps." (Psalm 135:6)
Courage is packing up my belongings in my Honda CR-V a week before our wedding to drive 8 hours toward a small town where I knew relatively few people apart from my future husband, trusting that He has gone before me and I will develop a sense of community in a new place. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)
Courage is trusting in His promises, even on the hard days where I miss my people and my family and the mountains. He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).
Questions to Consider:
1. How has God used the uncomfortable in 2019 to build courage in me?
2. In what ways am I trying to rely on my own strength to accomplish His will?
Jesus, you are all powerful. You are sovereign over everything that comes my way. You go before and behind me. Help me remember these truths when the uncomfortable situations in life make it easy to forget your promises. Help me to let them be the first words on my lips. Always.
In Your name,