Courage means “not deterred by danger or pain; brave; the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery; to have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism; possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching”.
The adjective courageous derives from the Old French word corage, meaning “heart, innermost feelings, or temper.” In fairy tales, the courageous knight battles the fire-breathing dragon to save the princess. In recognition of their courageous actions, soldiers who have been wounded or killed while serving are given the Purple Heart medal (refer https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/courageous ).
To be courageous is to be brave, bold, fearless, undeterred, unafraid, adventurous, heroic, gallant, lion-hearted, undaunted, valiant, spirited, spunky, resolute. It’s the opposite of timidity, fear and cowardice. It’s about having ‘guts’, as we like to say in Australia, or being ‘gutsy’. It’s finding that something extra inside you to push through and face the challenge that is upon you, to overcome, to defeat the giant and proclaim the victory. It’s something that is already in you. It’s your heart, your emotions, your spirit awaiting your potential. It’s a constant resource ready to be untapped and it’s eager to be unleashed. It’s courage, pure and simple.
I don’t know what you are facing or what is going on in your world, but I know that you are courageous!
It takes courage to be a little girl, braving your first day at a new school, sharing your favourite toy, speaking respectfully to grown ups and following rules that you don’t understand or agree with. It takes courage walking up to someone and asking them to be your friend, to share your study notes with someone, to brave the canteen and walk up to a table of people wondering if there is a seat available for you. It takes courage as a teenager to stand up for yourself, to be yourself and to not follow the status quo. It takes courage as a blossoming young lady to not sleep around, to not drink with the crowd, to stand up for what you believe, to follow your dreams, to save yourself for marriage, to navigate through college with your morals and integrity intact, to follow Jesus.
It takes courage to walk into adulthood with all the expectations that entails, to find your life partner and journey through courtship, engagement and marriage with them. It takes courage to become a mother and to parent the best that you can. It takes courage to stand aside and let your children fly, to find their independence and navigate through their own life. It takes courage to follow your career, pursue your dreams and live life to the fullest – squeezing every ounce of breathe out of your experiences and making your future all that you want it to be. It takes incredible courage to face failed relationships, illness and death.
And for each one of us, this is the story of our lives. Our stories don’t all look the same and we all navigate our journey in different ways, just as we experience the exact same event with different emotions and outcomes, we still live them and we still come through them. It takes an enormous amount of courage just to face each day. For some of us it’s difficult, and yet others seemingly breeze through life, but we all need a little bit of courage to help us through.
Being courageous is a choice. Just as being defeated is a choice. You can choose to let life overwhelm you, curl up into a ball and let life just pass you by, or you can man-up (or rather ‘women-up’) and take the bull-by-the-horns, grit your teeth and push on. God didn’t promise us that life would be easy – no! In fact, He actually says, “in this world, you will have trouble” (see John 16:33), but He promises that He is with us! Psalm 9:9 says “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble”. What more could we need? If God is for us, who can be against us? (see Romans 8:31).
“Be strong and very courageous”
In the Bible, in Joshua 1:5-9, we find that the Lord spoke to Joshua and admonished him three times in just this short passage to “be strong and courageous”. It seems to me that God was really trying to get His point across and Joshua really needed to take note. When you are facing the unknown, the giants, the lions, or anything that has you feeling overwhelmed, remember this – Be strong and very courageous! You don’t need to go looking or searching for your courage, you already have it in you. You just need to access it.
I could write on courage all day. There is so much courage in each and every person. It’s an un-recognised well of resource. “Get your courage on” should be a common catch phrase (or #getyourcourageon ). It should be yelled from the rooftops that you are courageous. Courage is often attributed to those who are fighting a visible fight – like suffering through a sickness, illness or disease. Don’t get me wrong, these people are incredibly courageous, but you are too! Whether you are battling publicly or internally, where no one knows or sees your struggle, it takes courage and that makes you courageous.
As I am writing this blog today, I have two close friends who are going through significant health issues. Both of these beautiful ladies are suffering and are waiting for test results to come back, for more tests to be done, for possible surgery to take place. They are living in the unknown at the moment, yet, they are doing just that – LIVING! They are both making the most of the days and moments that they are given, they are concentrating on spending time with their families and loved ones, they are praying and worshipping their Saviour, and they are truly living. It’s inspirational to watch their courage in the face of their challenges. They don’t know what their future holds, but both of them are gracing the now with beauty and courage. It totally blows me away.
I am inspired by them. I am inspired by their courage. It is one of those attributes that is incredibly admirable. As I have probably mentioned a few times before, I love people watching. In fact, I’m sitting in my local library right now as I am writing this and doing a lot of ‘people watching’ as I ponder and type.
It always intrigues me looking at strangers or people I don’t know and see how they are going about their business. I am constantly in awe of the fact that there are so many unique and interesting individuals around me and the fact that each one is walking a different journey and experiencing life so differently to me. I like to sit, watch and imagine what their story is, what drives them, what they are living for, what they are trying to get out of life, what challenges they might be facing. I sometimes pray over them and sometimes get a word or thought or feeling for them. Sometimes I feel prompted to talk to them and encourage them – to put courage into them.
You see, I believe that each one is courageous. That there is courage inside every single individual. Some don’t even know that they have it. Some use it everyday and don’t even realise it. Sadly, some don’t ever open up the tap of the potential that is inside them. Oh, but imagine what explosions of wonder could take place when they realise that they have courage…
What about you? Do you know that you have courage in you? Do you know that you are courageous? Beautiful one, do you know what your courage can help you achieve? Do you know that the courage you possess is so powerful and wonderful and has the ability to change your world? You, my lovely are courageous! Let your courage blossom and shine! In the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, “be strong and very courageous”! You are… COURAGEOUS!!!