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Courage To Be Brave

Courage To Be Brave
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“When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.”
Psalms 138:3

There is a special prayer that, without fail, my five-year-old son holds me accountable to every night before bed. Once he is tucked snug into his top bunk, holding tight to a toy of choice, we say a prayer together about bad dreams.

“Dear God,” I pray. “Please help Jake to have beautiful dreams tonight. But if he does have a bad dream, I ask that you make him brave and help him to remember that you are always here.”

At first, Jake didn’t like this prayer. He had been struggling with nightmares for a few weeks. Normally they involved fierce meat-eating dinosaurs of some sort, but all ended with him cuddled up beside me by midnight.

“Why can’t you just tell God not to give me bad dreams at all,” he cried one night. “Why are you praying for me to be brave? I don’t want to be brave! I just want to not have bad dreams.”

Now maybe you don’t struggle with nightmares about dinosaurs, but if you are anything like me, you can relate to my son’s frustration. Sometimes I’ll take a hard pass on bravery. I just want God to protect me from the struggle all together. After all, asking for bravery takes courage. Courage, I admit, I don’t always have.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a coward. Really, I am scared of everything! I can go from reality to worst-case scenario in seconds. Bravery isn’t naturally built into my bones. Yet, I have always wanted to live a brave life. This is why I am so thankful to serve a God who shines where I am weak. A God who can turn my fears into courage. A God who promises to make me brave whenever I call on him.

Looking back on my life, I have done a lot of brave things. Moving to Haiti. Giving birth in a third-world country. Adopting my two oldest children against all odds. But that bravery did not inherently come from me. Rather, I had to be strong, remember that God always goes before me, and have the courage to ask him for bravery over fear.

Closing Prayer
God, You make me brave. I call on you, and you are there. You increase my strength. You give me courage. You make me brave! For this, I am so thankful. I surrender my fears to you, Lord. I trust in you. Today, wherever I go, help me to walk in your bravery. Amen.
Song: You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook This song is my personal anthem, truly. If you need to call on God for courage to be brave, sing this song to him!
Question for Reflection

How do you call on God for bravery in your daily life?

Jillian Kittrell
October 11, 2021

On my desk is a framed picture with the words “You Make Me Brave.” I made it during a time when our adoption journey was extremely rocky, and I found myself in a constant state of anxiety and fear. Now, I look at it daily as a reminder of where my bravery comes from. I repeat the words over and over again throughout my day. Call it a mantra if you want, but they are four words that have truly carried me through some pretty hard days and have given me the courage to take some pretty amazing risks! He really can make us brave!

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