I sat on my garage floor and looked through boxes from my parents’ attic. The kind of boxes disintegrating from age, filled with files of my schoolwork since preschool, homemade gifts, school valentines, and stories I wrote.
My parents downsized, so everything my mom saved and couldn’t part with became my responsibility. Part of me wanted to toss them without looking inside. I didn’t know what was in them for the last thirty years, so why did I need to even peek? I put it off for months.
Eventually my husband pointed to the fact that I had put it off for almost a year, and I got the gumption to tackle it.
I read my elementary report cards and was surprised at what I found. I thought I was bad at math, but according to my report cards, I wasn’t. I looked through yearly questionnaires and saw a pattern of always wanting to create and draw and become an artist. I forgot how much I loved to color. I had flashbacks of second grade Thanksgiving feasts with homemade butter and third grade Valentine’s Day parties with young love. I remembered what a wonderful childhood I had and was thankful for the reminder.
I had just been complaining earlier in the week about how I felt I’d been called to be tougher or to persevere or to charge the hill more than other women. Maybe this was only my perception, but it felt real to me. For some reason God endowed me with vision, and that’s not an easy role to have. Usually, prophets are kicked out of town, stoned, or worse, and they’re definitely not listened to.
At our church service that same weekend, during one of the worship songs, I closed my eyes to sing to Jesus. As I did, I could see His face.
I was in the throne room of heaven and face to face with my Savior. I felt the Lord call me to the courage He had already given me, to embrace the role as a bold leader. He told me to quit fighting my place, my responsibility as a leader, out of worry that it might be misunderstood or awkward for others. He told me to quit apologizing for the way He made me and reminded me I had always been a tenderhearted, courageous leader because He had made me that way.
Some of the treasures I saw in my garage earlier proved that. He brought to mind specific instances in my life, like my life flashing before me.
God used those flashbacks to make His case to me and to let the lies I had believed die.
Instead, I believed Him. I opened myself up to who He made me to be — a woman of great courage. I knelt before the throne and Jesus commissioned me, like in a ceremony for knighthood. When I stood up, I held my chest high sword and felt the warmth of His radiant love.
The prayer from the stage ended, and I was brought back to the present dimension. I was so much happier and ready to unashamedly live in the courageous spirit the Lord had entrusted to me, knowing I was to lead for Him, be a tender Word warrior, and bravely follow the Spirit’s leading.
I never thought of courage as a spiritual gift before, but now I see how courage can only be a gift coming from the Holy Spirit when I’m living in Jesus.
What gift has the Holy Spirit given you that you haven’t fully embraced? How is Jesus calling you to use it? Will you let down your concerns and be the Spirit-filled woman Jesus deeply desires for you?
Let's live unashamedly in the courageous spirit the Lord had entrusted to us! - Stephanie Bryant: Click To Tweet