Take Courage

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But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

These past few weeks have been a blur. Some days I  am not sure whether it’s Monday or Thursday. The clock has lost significance and breathing at times feels laborious. As if breathing is one more thing on the list of things to do…yet, it is a constant reminder that there are some things I am grateful are not dependent on me. My life, my very breath is in hands that are more capable and faithful than mine.

This is a reassuring reality when circumstances spill you out on the highway like a misplaced deer.

We have lived on takeout for the past couple of weeks. We are like strangers in our own home, travelling back and forth across our small state with visits, appointments, lengthy meetings and discussions with too many strangers who are advising us, all having initials after their names and titles that seem irrelevant to me; In light of the One I spend time with begging for intervention, who has just two initials but many names.

My prayer life has become one fine tuned plea. All other prayer seems insignificant, and perhaps that is exactly as it needs to be.  For now. Not only am I praying for one thing, one life, one intervention and deliverance with what little strength I have, but I am also being carried by the prayers of others.

This is all beyond me. It is a season that can only be seen clearly from the safety of a distant shore, somewhere on the horizon, yet to come.

Recently I stood in a hospital gift shop. Have you ever just lost yourself in a little gift shop because it feels good to be surrounded by so many uplifting messages and gifts? Just looking at each little uplifting treasure encourages me,even as I look for something for another. As I poured over the presents, treats and trinkets, overwhelmed by grace and overcome by sadness simultaneously, I came across a jar of keys. Each key had a word on it. Naturally, as a writerly type,  I was drawn  to the words. I sifted and sorted through each one, settling on three that were swirling around in my heart and mind. Believe, Courage, Hope. Each one seemed to hold a message for me, but I asked God what I needed most in this moment.

I knew I needed to Believe. Believe in His character, authority, sovereignty and faithfulness. I needed to believe my God was and is able. I heard the words of Jesus, “Only Believe.”

I needed Hope. Oh, the Lord knew I needed hope and I was feeling at the end of my hope rope, hopeless with no end in sight.

But more than anything I recognized what I needed most was Courage. I felt God’s presence close and tears that wanted to escape. I am a coward. Worse yet, a secret coward. Fear taunts and bullies me regularly. I doubt myself, my worthiness, God’s Word and trust no-one. This is the voice of a survivor. This is the voice of a girl who needs God and has relied on her own limited strength far too long. This is a woman whose default is flesh and whose flesh is weak.

I take the key, pay 1.29 and leave the gift shop.

“Would you like a bag?” the cashier asks politely.

“No thanks, I’ll just take it in my hand”.

So that’s what I am doing, taking Courage,  friends and holding it in my hands and heart.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I don’t know what you’re going through in this season, but I know this, we all will have a season when taking courage will become the one thing needful. Don’t turn to the ways of the flesh. Don’t turn to your own limited strength. Don’t sublimate and pacify.

Our God is an awesome God.

Take Courage.

And if you are in a season of strength and peaceat the moment  in your life, pray for those who are in trials. And may God unify us all, His called, by the power of His Holy Spirit.

 

Linking with Bonnie and looking forward to joining her for the journey of finding Spiritual Whitespace.

Linking with Miss Kathy @ The Writer’s Reverie

 

 

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    May 23, 2014 @ 12:29:25

    What beautiful words spill from your soul. Your courage to write with such honesty and openness. Thank you. God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Reply

  2. Toni C
    May 23, 2014 @ 12:50:31

    Oh Dawn, sweet Dawn…I knew you said you were dealing with something and I’ve been praying for you, but this post caused tears to well up for about the hundredth time today. So many in hard places and I am there with you. Last night I was pouring out my heart to that one with 2 letters and many names (loved that) asking Him why no part of this current journey is easy. I have no answer, but I know He is good. Lifting you up my friend, praying for that heart of courage as you face this trial.

    Reply

  3. amzech
    May 23, 2014 @ 15:31:19

    You write strong and brave, sister, with tons of courage! Take the courage God gives you here and walk with it!!

    Reply

  4. annb48
    May 23, 2014 @ 16:26:09

    Dawn, It always brightens my day when I see “Enthusiastically Dawn” in my mailbox. And today I could really, really relate to your post — in fact I was just commenting to my husband that it has felt like Saturday all day long (it’s only Friday) I think I’ve been living in the wrong day since Easter. The busyness of my life recently has been beyond my control & thankfully I know that God is the one in control for I know that I couldn’t make it without His divine help.
    Thanks for the words of encouragement Dawn, and may God be ever near to you in your trials.
    Ann

    Reply

  5. susieklein
    May 23, 2014 @ 18:18:29

    Sending a long and nourishing hug to you dear friend. I am so glad you are writing as you walk this awful zig-zg path. it is helpful as you already know. But also I am remembering how we have talked about the sweet way that journaling is a great way to look back and see God’s hand, when we are on the other side of the situation. And you WILL get to the other side. You are a courageous woman even though you do not feel it or believe it. It’s there…especially regarding your family. The prayers of others out here, are holding you up in the moments when courage falters. You are covered. Love you Dawn. Susie

    Reply

  6. shortybear
    May 23, 2014 @ 18:23:28

    Sending you many prayers and much love.

    Reply

  7. Barbie
    May 23, 2014 @ 18:49:50

    Love you my friend. I know that God will bring you through. He is so faithful. Keep pressing into Him. Sending you a big hug from afar.

    Reply

  8. dawnmaurice
    May 24, 2014 @ 05:00:37

    (((He is holding you right next to His heart))) Love and prayers, my friend, and of course-courage ❤

    Reply

  9. shanyns
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:52:08

    Loving on you girl, and praying for you and with you. LOVE your heart and your words.

    Reply

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