I sent out a request for women to share with me their brave stories to include in my new book! Silence.
hadn’t happened with previous books. Women are usually eager to share
parts of their story to help other women. My ministry tagline and the
subtitle of my latest book Mentoring for All Seasons is: Sharing Life
Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. I knew women had experienced many
occasions of bravery, but few were willing to share them… or at least
that’s what I thought.
So I changed my story request to,
Sharing a time God called you to do something you knew you couldn’t accomplish without His help. Still, no stories.
one woman responded and I understood: “Brave is not a word that I
associate with myself or with any action I’ve taken!” Yet, this woman
had bravely admitted to difficulties in her life that were hard to share
openly, but she did it to help others.
How Do You Define Brave?
for brave are valiant, resolute, unafraid, courageous, adventuresome,
bold, fearless, spunky, gritty, spirited, undaunted, etc. Maybe I was
using the wrong term, because I know many women would attribute some of
those synonyms to themselves.
Women may feel it’s not humble to
acknowledge bravery, or don’t realize their actions are brave. Women
just do what they have to do!
We tend to categorize brave women
as those who go on the mission field or into the military, willing to
lay down their life for a cause they believe in, or we only attribute
bravery to men.
Courage might be a better word than brave. We
can all identify with applying verses to our life, such as “Wait
patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous” (Psalm 27:14).
Psalm 31:24: “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in
the Lord!” Although we have waited patiently for God to answer a prayer
request, how many of us have considered that brave or courageous?
Here are a few areas where women are braver than they think or give themselves credit.
were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved
you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own
lives, too” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).
When my daughter gave birth
to her first child, she looked at every mother with new respect and
thought: Wow, you did that, too! Sitting next to her in church recently,
she gave her husband a knowing look when the pastor spoke of his wife
giving birth and said, “She did something I couldn’t believe!”
moms are trying to make ends meet; their responsibilities not only
consist of staying up at night with a sick child, but also protecting
and providing for their family single-handedly.
Most moms put their children’s needs before their own and would lay down their life for them.
Moms are braver than they know.
2. Defending Your Faith
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
bold about my Christian faith in social media, speaking, and writing,
in spite of opposition from today’s culture. I’ll admit that when
someone calls me brave, I’m surprised. Isn’t that what every Christian
is called to do? In Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our
Culture Has Forgotten, I challenge all Christians to be brave:
you imagine the revival if Christians actively influenced the culture
to remember God? My challenge to you is together let’s start a bold and
brave movement to create a God-centered culture that remembers the
magnificent goodness of our great God in our homes, communities, and
Where has God been nudging you to be brave and bold
about your faith? It will require getting out of your comfort zone, but
comfortable isn’t God’s way. You won’t be “politically correct,” but
that wasn’t Jesus’ way.”
If you evangelize and challenge the cultural norm, you’re braver than you know.
3. Facing Fears
do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I
will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Fears are a natural part of life. We
all have them. Each of us must face our fears to move ahead in life.
Maybe it’s leaving home for the first time, moving to a new area, flying
or heights, a job interview, or starting a new job…. Fill in the
blank with your fear. My fear is dogs. I live in a rural area and like
to walk. Heading out for a walk, I pray the Armor of God (Ephesians
6:10-18), and in a particular area, I recite the 23rd Psalm. I refuse to
let my fear stop me from enjoying a walk. My grandkids now have a cute
little dog, and bravely I’m getting to know him.
When you overcome a fear, you’re braver than you know.
4. Confronting Addictions
temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God
is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Admitting you have an
addiction and need help requires courage and bravery. No one wants to
confront issues that make us uncomfortable or put us in an unfavorable
light. But addictions control your life. God wants you to experience
freedom regardless of how embarrassing, humiliating, or hard it is to
If you’ve sought help for addictions, you’re braver than you know.
5. Making Changes
“Be brave, determined! And do it!” (1 Chronicles 28:10).
women attending Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry Orientation Coffees
are apprehensive. It’s a big step to be a mentor or find a mentor and be
matched with someone they don’t know. But these women want a spiritual
change in their life, and they know that mentoring helps. In Mentoring
for All Seasons, I describe Melanie, who called and asked me to mentor
her: “You might be the ‘Melanie’ brave enough to make the phone call or
approach the woman you want to mentor you.”
Making a change is braver than you know.
“I try to make the best of it, try to brave it out” (Job 10:16).
a three-time breast cancer survivor and I know how hard it is to be
brave with devastating diagnoses and treatments. There are times you
don’t feel brave and need to have a good cry. Having a down day doesn’t
make you any less brave. Only prayer and God got me through and helped
I’m braver than I know.
[written by Janet Thompson]