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It can often be viewed that bravery is facing the greatest giants in our lives with no fear; but what happen when our own giants are everybody else’s ‘pixies’ – something that is barely noticeable in life.

This has been my experience of life; I have not won major battles such as cancer or any life threatening moments; I haven’t faced a huge fear such as heights by climbing the tallest mountain; I haven’t put my life in danger for another or been forced out of my home and surroundings. In my mind I have been far from brave in my life; I more often than not class myself as a coward. I have felt shame and embarrassment that the simple and everyday parts of life for so many of us have captured me with great fear. How can I claim that I am brave,bold and courageous when the things people do without a second thought everyday cause me to feel such extreme panic?

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Of late however I have come to realise that i can in fact acknowledge that I AM brave! Not because I am completely without fear in my life or because I have achieved an enormous feat but because I haven’t allowed fear to rule me. It’s not been an easy place to find myself in – as i re-read the above I’m filled with an uncomfortable feeling as though the statement of me being brave is a lie. There have been times in this battle of fear where it has won and it has grasped hold of me too tight; holding me back; restraining me from really living; BUT it has not ruled my life.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

Bravery is stepping out into the dark spaces of life with the hope that there is someone waiting to guide you through with a light. For me I find my hope is found in God – I hold onto his promise that he will not forsake me; the truth that I am his child and he will never let me out of his sight. He may let me wander into the darkness; let me find my own way but he is always right there ready to shine his light upon me whenever it becomes too much.

His light has shone on so many situations that have brought me great fear; with Him beside me I have had the courage to:

  • Walk my daughter to school each morning
  • Cry in front of others
  • Talk to people I don’t know
  • To simply leave the house
  • Drive somewhere on my own
  • Visit the shops
  • Meet with friends
  • Attend Church
  • Ask for help
  • Invite people round
  • Visit a cafe by myself (AND order something other than water – my safe drink)
  • Take my children to the park
  • Take out the bins by myslef
    And lots more as well!

To me these are all things that at times have brought me great fear – in fact sometimes they still have the potential to grip me with great fear; they are all things that require me to step out into a place of darkness hoping my God will light my way and bring me both the strength and peace to carry on. This he has always been faithful in providing.

For most of you I am sure that my places of darkness are not your own but whatever they are know that you are truly brave every time you are willing to step into it; even if that means just a toe at a time.  There is someone who is ready to light the way for you.

In the last 6 months as I have gone through a rise in my ‘refining process’ much has changed within me; many thoughts of myself have been challenged; many roots of my belief have been shaken; many deep uncertainties and insecurities have come to light – It’s forced me into my dark places; a truly uncomfortable darkness where it is hard to see the light; but as I have allowed myself to adjust; given myself a chance in the dark; I can see light. A light that is growing and leading me to believe that there truly will be a time when I live more in the light of confidence than in the darkness of fear. A confidence that I have found not because I am a greater person now than I was before but because I know where my source of light is coming from; my source of courage and strength is not found in me alone but the fact that my God lives within me. I am brave and courageous because He is with me.

You are not alone in walk; not even in your darkest valleys!

Even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.Psalm 23:4