From Cowering to Courageous {#RelentlessStudy}

IMG_6656She refused to saddle the carousel horse, and demanded I hold her as we spun around. She ran as fast as she could in the opposite direction when her big sister boarded the baby roller coaster. The rides were not for her two-year-old self, or so she thought.

When I see my little girl’s hesitation, I don’t feel angry at her for being afraid. I don’t force her to do the things that frighten her, wrestling her down and buckling her in for a ride her little emotions can’t handle. I get down on her level and see how large and looming everything looks from there. Then, I comfort her and counsel her. I tell her how the ride is slow enough for her, that she’s safe, that this will be fun, that she can look at her brother, sister, mom, and dad, for assurance.

With a lot of love and patience (and trying not to let her hear me chuckle at what a scaredy-cat she is), I finally convinced her to sit in my lap on a really slooooow ride. Later, even with fear in her eyes, she agreed to try the swings if her big brother would sit in the one in front of her. When she survived that, she tried driving the baby cars with a toddler friend next to her. She got a little rattled from the downhill acceleration, but still managed to shake it off.

By the end of the day, Gracia actually ASKED me to take her to the little beetle bug ride pictured above. She arched her back a bit as she noticed the riders before her whipping around the corners and screaming out. Yet she trusted me to put her in the seat when it came time for her turn, a huge change from earlier in the day. Each time she rounded a corner and felt the centrifugal motion swinging her out, she held on tight and looked up to find me watching and waving. Her eyes would bug out with worry at each turn, but she held on and came through it. At one point, she even took her hand off the bar to give me a thumbs up.

In Judges 6, we see how the Lord knows Gideon’s personality, his disappointments and hurts, his doubts about himself and God. God steps down, gently leading Gideon, calling him brave, giving him a mission, and patiently responding to question after question and request after request in order to help Gideon grow into his identity. We see many repeats of this theme throughout Scripture, including when Jesus Himself allowed Thomas to touch His wounded side for evidence. The kindness of God leads to repentance…and to courage.

The reckless love of roller coasters I had as a teenager has faded after years away from amusement parks. Plus, the force does something different to my bones these twenty years later. But yesterday afternoon, my son convinced me to follow him onto a roller coaster he had conquered with his daddy earlier in the day. As the ride whipped us around, I screamed my head off and wondered out loud if I’d make it. I can’t imagine the g-force of a rocket launch being much more intense than this jolting ride. The kids in front of me chuckled as they turned their limber necks to look back at me. My poor boy didn’t know that his drama queen mama really wasn’t doing as badly as it sounded, that I’m just a noisy rider. There in the middle of the rush, he put his hand on my arm, patted me, and shouted out that I’d be fine. I pushed against the force of the movement to put my hand into the air, holding onto his. Here was my brand new rider bringing me back to my old love of roller coasters.

Gideon too becomes a leader to those above him. When Gideon believes God and gets assurance of God’s direction, he goes out under cover of darkness and tears down the family altar dedicated to the false gods Baal and Asheroth. Next, we see Gideon’s own idol-worshipping father take courage and speak out against the false gods. Despite Gideon’s age and insecurity, his act of courage births courage in his parent. And soon, with God’s Spirit clothing him, he goes beyond quiet obedience and does something bold and loud, sounding a trumpet to call others to join in battle.

During a really hard stretch in my college days, a mentor assured me that God was big enough for my questions. In recent times, I’ve had old questions surface again. But Gideon’s story, as well as souvenirs from my own past victories with the Lord, remind me that the best thing I can do is lay out my questions before God, like a fleece waiting for dew. God can handle our doubts and insecurities. He welcomes them, knowing that when we experience His presence, our vantage point shifts. When we look from His angle, we become confident that nothing is a match for Him. And when we’re clinging to Him, nothing is a match for us.

{When have you gone from cowering to courageous? What helped you see God’s view of you and your circumstances? What has the Lord called you to as a person of valor? Tell me your story in the comments.}

 

RelentlessGeneralPromothumbWe’re in week 3 of #RelentlessStudy with HelloMornings right now. Get your copy of Relentless here and join hundreds of women across the country and around the world who are walking through the book of Judges together this season. For those of you who are local to me, a friend and I will be leading Relentless IN PERSON on Wednesday mornings at 9:15 starting September 16. We’d love for you to join us!

 

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5 thoughts on “From Cowering to Courageous {#RelentlessStudy}

  1. This encouraged me so much, today, and brought me to tears and softened my heart towards the Lord a bit after a week of feeling very hard toward him–like a little hedgehog curled up in a ball of self-protection. The Lord was encouraging me through the blog of Nancy Backues which led me to your blog. How wonderful to think that he is not disappointed or angry at me for my fear, weakness, and small faith. Thank you Darcy. Thank you, Jesus.

    • I continue to be amazed at how understanding and full of empathy and lovingkindness He is, even when we repeat the same offenses or bad habits again and again. So glad these reflections are ministering to you too.

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