Brave Heart

She called me for prayer. Life had been frustrating, little things blowing up into big things while she waited for bigger things.

A year after her diagnosis of breast cancer, double mastectomy, chemotherapy, hair loss, reconstruction, came her next battle ---the battle with fear. New tests were days away, tests that would reveal victory. Or they could rally the battle cry to fight on. 

I listened. I couldn't talk to my friend about fighting cancer but I do know something about fear.

I took a deep breath before speaking into her life---this friend who knows God’s Word, who understands God’s sovereignty, and who has walked bravely into an unknown future.

“Embrace your humanity.”

When we have known God for a long time and understand His unfailing love, we want to please Him because we love Him so much. We want to be faithful because He is faithful. But when fear raises its ugly head, we are certain we are falling short. God remembers we are human but we forget. We are so hard on ourselves.

I am certainly harder on myself than God ever is.

He knows me. He knows my weaknesses and He knows my strengths. But as my friend said on the phone, in the midst of her weakness, fear had become a gift. It was a gift because her need to overcome fear had compelled her to the throne of God.

Our weakness sets us up for assurance and comfort, strength and courage. Not things we can will ourselves to have, but that which comes from the hand of our loving Father when we reach for what He so freely gives.

As she talked about her struggle, I felt her voice strengthen, her resolve. The spoken word has power. We listened as the “issues of her heart” flowed out her mouth.

We need to hear ourselves speak truth, God’s truth.

Words are powerful.

Her vulnerability led me to share my own struggle. We talked about callings.

It was good to hear my voice talk about my struggle with my calling, to speak it into the phone, into the room. It’s like putting the pen to paper. It congeals into something coherent. At least, the issues flow out of the heart, ready to be revealed.

I have built new relationships and have been blessed with old. People with whom I can talk to and be me, relationships that I hoped would speak into my life, say clearly to me, “Dea, this is what you need to do.”

I am not going to hear those words.

I'm not going to hear them from my old friends, not my new friends. I am not going to get the answers I want from my husband or a life coach.

So who’s going to tell me what I need to know?

The answers will come when I still, listen, and lean into the heart of God.

He is the only One who has the truth, who knows the end from the beginning, who laid out the path before there was yet one day.

God knows. And though He is unseen and often a mystery to me, I feel His Presence near, His Spirit within, and His concern for my place in His kingdom. I am His child and I must trust the heart of my Father.

So here’s where courage comes in. Though unprepared and not at all certain of what it will look like in real life, this is what I sense God calling me to: I will lead.

I will lead---not a following, not a tribe. I will become a lead follower to the One who alone is worthy of following.

I told my friend on the phone, “Whatever we do, it won’t be about us, it will be about Jesus.”

Life is so fragile. Fear is a snare that pulls us swiftly into its grasp. We battle with faith, hold fast to the promises of God. And if we are courageous, we will call our friends to battle with us.

When you live in a human body, you need a brave heart.

What are you facing right now? Do you need to hear yourself speak? Are you willing to admit your fears, dismantle them in confession, speak truth over your life by risking vulnerability with someone who cares about you?

(So thankful for the positive test results my friend received concerning her battle.)

Linking with:

Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Emily Weirenga at Imperfect Prose


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