I have a pretty journal that sits on my night stand. I love the way it looks sitting there, all peaceful, with swirly gold lettering. And I love the message on the cover – be brave. Yes. Brave.
I want to be brave – I truly do. I see bravery in people in my life – my daughters, husband, friends. In my Bible friends like Queen Esther, Father Abraham, and bold Elijah. But it seems almost impossible to walk in their shoes. It’s so easy to see bravery in them. In others.
I’ve had to act brave a few times in my life, like when I became a widow and a new mom (on the same day) at nineteen years old. I was brave when I said yes to my new husband and turned the corner into a new life. And when I moved away from my island community to the mainland with my little family. Also, when I put on my ‘big girl clothes’ and flew across the country – alone – to visit my daughter. Sometimes you just do the brave thing without even thinking about it too much.
Sometimes being brave feels just too hard. Too much. Overwhelming. Bravery can look like speaking hope and beauty from the trenches of grief and trauma. I try to be brave as I write letters of hope to my loved one in prison. And as I pray for healing, restoration and ‘new life’.
Recently I’ve felt God nudging me to write. Write my story – share the beauty in the broken, the message in the mess. His story – told through mine. Singing has always been easier for me. The writing, it feels awkward at times, and a bit stilted. But God pushes my pen. Because He wouldn’t give up on the message, or the girl. The Messenger has a beautiful story of grace, peace, hope, and faithfulness – even in the trenches. Especially in the trenches.
So I write my story – which is really His story. Of mercy and grace, peace, healing, and hope. HOPE! The Beautiful Healer, He walks with me and holds my hand. The tiny, calloused hand of the common island girl. Leaning on Him, I rest, and walk on in the light of His beauty. I can be brave, leaning on His strong arms of HOPE as He continues to write my story.
Do not fear for I am with you. Don’t be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will hold you up with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
You have been an unspoken mentor of my faith. I have watched you move forward through some VERY challenging and difficult times, always giving glory to God for His faithfulness. Thank you for bravely sharing your story of God in your life and your walk with Jesus every minute of each day! Luv ya girlfriend!
Having watched you live your story Joanne ,I have been amazed at your strength and resilience.God is using you to bless others through your anthenticity.He holds your hand .
Having watched you live this story Joanne ,I am amazed at you strength and resilience.From despair to healing has been a hard journey but God is using you now to b!ess others with your authentication.We pray for you and yours every day. God Bless.🌺
pete benson says
So incredibly good. Well written and a message we all need to hear and read again and again. Be brave!!!
You are one of the bravest women I know.
Your story-God’s story gives us so much hope. Hang in to every word God gives us🙏❤️