I’ve invited my friend Betsy de Cruz to tell her story in the #BeBoldGirl series. She shares my passion for Bible study and prayer, and knows her way around a suitcase like I do! Welcome, Betsy!
I always said I’d celebrate my 50th birthday by getting a tattoo. But 50 came and went, and I didn’t get that tattoo after all. I was too scared. Scared of what people might think since I don’t exactly look like the tattoo type. Scared it would hurt too much and scared I’d regret it later.
But a friend’s tattoo keeps catching my eye. It says:
“Courage, dear heart.”
“Courage, dear heart.” The words speak to me because I may look brave on the outside, but on the inside I’m a chicken. I mean what woman is too scared to even get a tattoo? When I see the words on my friend’s arm, I remember all the times I’ve felt fear. Fear that would have paralyzed me had God not kept me moving forward.
God gave me boldness to do things afraid:
I was scared to death to get on a plane from Texas to Istanbul when I was 24. Even more scared when I arrived at my new Turkish home with people I could barely talk to.
When I could hardly walk at age 27 and the doctor said, “Rheumatoid arthritis,” I was terrified.
And when I got my second marriage proposal from the man who’d broken off our engagement four years earlier? I was scared silly to say “yes.” I’d have to go live in El Salvador to marry him.
Five years later when my husband and I loaded up our 2 toddlers and 17 suitcases to get on another plane back to Turkey, “overwhelmed’ does not begin to describe how I felt. Even knocking on my neighbors’ doors to say “hi” made me nervous.
And when my dear husband had a mini-stroke at age 53? I felt anxious and fearful beyond words as I wondered, “What would I do if Jose couldn’t take care of me anymore?”
My hands would literally sweat when I started calling younger women on the phone because I sensed God calling me to a ministry of mentoring and encouragement. What if they didn’t want to talk to me? What if they thought I was an idiot?
When God called me write, I was petrified to tell people about it. Would anyone even want to read what I had to say? Who did I think I was, anyway?
Courage doesn’t mean an absence of fear. True boldness does things afraid.
When we feel afraid, God calls us to bolder faith. When we feel scared, God leads us to new levels of trust. He calls us to pray, believing He can do more than all we ask or imagine. Sometimes He calls us to bold steps of obedience as we act on our faith.
What kind of fears are you facing?
Maybe you’re worried about your doctor appointment, or scared your depression will never lift. Perhaps you’re wondering if your marriage is going to make it, or if you’re going to make it through a difficult spot with a child. Tight finances might leave you panicked inside.
Whatever you’re scared of, God is bigger. You can be brave in the face of fear because God is with you. Courage doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. Courage means we take bold steps when God calls, in spite of our fears. Maybe your next step is one more prayer for your marriage, or one more hug for your strong-willed child. Maybe it’s sending out one more resume for your dream job.
It’s okay to be afraid. God’s voice whispers reassurance:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)
Take courage, dear heart. Be bold. God is with you.
Betsy de Cruz writes to encourage people to stick close to God, even when life gets bumpy and crazy. Most days she feels privileged to live with her family in the Middle East; other days she wants to pull her hair out and catch the next plane home. Betsy’s passion is to encourage women to get God’s Word in, so their faith can spill out. On her blog, Faithspillingover.com, you’ll find tips for Bible study, prayer, family life, and everyday faith. You’ll also find Betsy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Linking up with Angela Parlin at #RaRaLinkup