How you can move from coward to courageous

Beth Marshall

I never saw it coming. One minute, I was walking. The next minute I was on the floor. 

How could a freakish fall over a piece of workout equipment result in three fractures in my leg? 

I wish I could say I had just completed 100 reps with the curling bar, but sadly the catastrophe occurred while putting away laundry. Note to self: no more laundry. It’s just not worth it.

The surgeon’s words were terrifying. He casually described how his team would install a titanium rod, pins, and screws into my weary appendage. His plan sounded more like a day at a construction site than something you’d do to a human being. 

I’m not telling you this for your sympathy, but to say you’re not alone if you feel like you’re barely hanging on today. Maybe it was the collapse of a relationship, a financial catastrophe, or the loss of a loved one that left you feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

You’re not alone if you feel like you’re barely hanging on today.

God commanded Joshua, a leader of His people, to be strong and courageous during a time of uncertainty and change — and that applies to us today, too (Joshua 1:9). It goes on to say, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

If I could walk (or hobble) alongside Joshua today, I’d love to observe how he found strength and courage when he wasn’t feeling it.

Here are a few insights I’ve noticed during my unforeseen orthopedic staycation. I hope these help you, too.

3 Ways to Be Strong and Courageous When You’re Not

1. Let somebody love you.  

When someone offers to visit, bring dinner or help with the kids, just say yes. Allowing people into the pain can help you stay strong. even when you’re not feeling it. 

2. Say what you need to say.  

Writing through adversity is incredibly therapeutic. A blank notebook is the perfect place not only to record your unfiltered thoughts, but also to thank God for a breathtaking sunset, an unexpected blessing, or the majesty of His creation

3. Put first things first. 

Spending time with the Lord early each day is the best investment you can make. Matthew 6:33 clearly tells us to seek the things of God first. Check in with Jesus before checking the news, your email, or anything else.

Philippians 4:6 reminds us not to worry, but to pray with thanksgiving and the peace of Christ will come. On a sleepless night, turn this promise into a prayer. I’ve been known to ask the Lord to cover third shift so I can get some rest. He will. 

If your brokenness is a result of losing someone you love, you may want to check out this article about surviving grief without losing your mind.

Finally, don’t forget the promise from Joshua 1:9: “The Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.” He is only a prayer away. One of your most effective weapons when you feel like giving up is to say the name of Jesus — out loud.  

For anyone struggling to hang on, you are not alone! Let somebody know: a friend, counselor, or the Care Team at your campus

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