Sunday, May 05, 2013


I've never considered myself a brave person. I was the kid who couldn't go near water after seeing Jaws (Okay, I admit it, I still spot imaginary fins once in a while and catch myself wanting to run for dry land.) or sleep without the hall light on. I avoid confrontation as if it were the equivalent of skydiving without a parachute, and I am terrified of air travel. People think I'm gutsy because I am not only willing to speak, sing, or perform in front of an audience but will be the first to raise my hand for solo auditions. But when it comes to the scary life stuff, I would much rather play it safe. At least that is how it has been until lately.

Without delving into all the drama, the last few years have been filled with moments when I had no choice but to face the unavoidable head on and make choices that required huge risks. Cowering and avoiding simply weren't options. At the time, it seemed like I was only doing what I had to do. I was scared out of my mind 99% of the time, so I didn't consider my actions all that courageous. When friends started telling me, "You are one of the strongest women I know," or responding to my stories with, "That took a lot courage," it took a while for me to realize that they were right. That's when I recognized that perhaps I was braver than I gave myself credit for, but that I couldn't take the credit. Maybe I had brave all wrong. Is it possible that God's wants us to be a bit fearful so we will cry out to Him when life crashes down, and give Him the glory when we get to the end of a crisis and realize that we just faced something that should have sent us running in the opposite direction? 

Now, I see that being brave is about more than sleeping in the dark, swimming with sharks, and skydiving; it's about standing strong when life seems to be crumbling and making the tough decisions knowing God is with me. I have learned through all this that, like grace and strength, courage is something that God given when we need it, and that the more we see Him take us through, the more we are able to say, "I am scared to death, but I'm going to try this anyway."

How brave are you when you really think about it? What are you afraid of? What have you done lately that required a lot of guts?

Now that I'm feeling so strong, perhaps I'll try swimming in the ocean. On second thought, I'm not quite that brave.



Firenza said...

God has been teaching me that being (figuratively) flat on my face at his feet is the Place To Be. It is there that we are truly humbled and that His power and love and goodness and provision are allowed to shine. He has been keeping me there to teach me to depend on Him alone for all things, and my faith has grown so much. I am grateful that His provision extends to ALL areas of my life. We serve an AWESOME God!

Jeanette Hanscome said...

We truly do. Thank you so much for sharing this, Firenza!

Grace Gidman said...

So true! And I agree about the sharks, I am no where near ready to get into that frightening thing they call "the ocean" anytime soon.

Jeanette Hanscome said...

Oh, I know! Surfers can have it!

emii said...

I think I have to print this out and hang it on my wall beside my bed, that's really all I have to say. Because I don't want to be afraid of doing hard things, like I have been.

And the way you wrote this post, it's exactly the words I've been trying to figure out in my head and tried to convey onto my english paper.

Anyway, thanks. I need these words.

Jeanette Hanscome said...

Hi Emii,

I'm so glad you found this post helpful! Be encouraged. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, so I know God will do great things in you too :).