Three Steps to Cultivate Courage.
A few months ago I laid awake until midnight. Every time I tell myself I’m going to bed early, I end up finding reasons to stay up. The dishes. Finishing laundry and all of the rest of the chores I didn’t get done for that day. Netflix. It all keeps me awake. The real reason was my husband was out of town. He was flying back from Honduras (after a short trip) and then driving a little more than two hours back home.
My mind, with the darkness of the time change, kept thinking about bad scenarios. As I laid in bed, my mind wouldn’t shut off. I thought of everything under the sun, or moon by the that point. The room seemed empty and cold. I just wanted to stay up, but knew the kids needed at least one functioning parent the next day. The boys still had school and I had to wake up to drive them there.
Jason wasn’t due home until 3 am. I tossed and turned, but felt the enemy gripping my heart with worry. Every single bad outcome of him driving home at three in the morning rushed through my mind. I prayed and prayed for his safety, but felt the hand of fear covering my heart. It was then I realized, my worry and doubt was really just fear.
Fear of what could happen. Fear of how I would respond if something did happen. Until I remembered: fear wasn’t the enemy. Fear was only an avenue to doubt or courage. Which would I choose? If I dwelled on all of the wrong things that could have happened to him, I would have let doubt creep in and take up root. Doubt in moment isn’t necessarily bad, but doubt cultivated can lead to serious sin. I choose instead to cultivate courage. I had to take small steps to grow courage in my heart in that moment. Although I didn’t feel an immense relief from fear after practicing these steps, I can tell you – I moved further away from doubt and was able to fall asleep.
Three Steps to Cultivate Courage
1. Remember truth. I chose to stop thinking of all of the bad things that could happen to him on the road. I choose to remember truth about God instead. God was good, even if Jason died, God was still good. That is truth. God protects. Another truth I hung onto. God has called me to rest in Him. He is enough. As I laid there with my head on my flowery pillow, I remembered truth. Slowly and surely the Holy Spirit brought truth to my mind.
2. Repeat truth. Next, I repeated the verses I knew. Through this journey of fear I’ve found the extreme necessity of memorizing scripture. The psalms I’ve studied this year came flooding back. I had just read Psalm 73 earlier that day. So I repeated the truth: Whom have I in heaven but You? There is none on the earth I desire but You.”
3. Rest in the truth. Next, it took a conscience choice to let truth win. The truth of God, the truth from His Word had to take root. And for it to happen, I had to choose to believe the truth. When we rest in something we trust it to be true. If I was just remembering and repeating truth, it wasn’t enough. I had to trust in that truth.
Thankfully, God works in our hearts alongside our choices. He encourages and gives us courage when the fears come to our minds and heart. I pray you will find comfort in knowing these three simple steps can lead you on the path of cultivating courage.