“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God wants us to be brave, not timid. 2 Timothy 1:7 has become a favorite verse since sudden changes in my life occurred eighteen months ago.
On June 16th, I posted on Instagram a picture of Annie F. Downs’ book, 100 Days to Brave. And so it began. I was four days into it when I shared my recent favorite books and Bible studies. I wanted so much to tell you about this book at that time. But I’d barely begun.
Still only a fourth of the way through, I want to share the impact it has. The impact it can have for you, as well. The reviews on Amazon were mostly glaringly good with only a few who did not like it at all. One said Annie talks too much about herself in this book. I don’t agree. She shares enough for us to see she’s a real person dealing with real life – just like the rest of us. She then prompts the reader to look inward and examine themselves and question different aspects of their own bravery. And, she always begins with a specific Bible verse. I like that, don’t you?
Here are my notes for days 1 through 4. I hope it inspires you in some way to think of your own journey with God to bravery.
Day 1: I just posted on Instagram the start of my new journey to a new level of bravery. God has blessed me with the ability to face each day as it has come. Some of those days the past year and a half were extremely scary, but the Lord was with me and got me through. The other side of fear reveals that it isn’t as bad once the hard thing, the scary thing, is over.
Fear of the thing is often worse than the thing itself.
Day 2: It was no accident that, after beginning yesterday’s first day to brave, a pain in a new area got my attention, one that I’d felt before but was suddenly much stronger. I realized it needs “looking into”. As is typical for cancer patients, fear of a new cancer threat gripped my mind throughout the day. But, I moved forward through Father’s Day without letting fear stop me.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
To God be the glory in all things – even the scary things!
Lesson for today’s reading: I must be brave so others will follow with bravery – into their hard season, their scary thing ahead. They will see in me that it turns out OK. They will see God faithfully work it out for me and know He will work it out for them, too.
Day 3: Annie says we all have brave moments when we don’t necessarily see ourselves as brave in that moment. People often comment that, in the illness journey, I’ve been a good example for them and others. I don’t see it that way and don’t even really know what they mean. I’ve done nothing heroic, just taking each step as it comes.
Day 4: For today’s reading, Annie says to look for brave. See it in others, the mirror(!), in life, in movies, etc. I’m surrounded by bravery and didn’t even know it. Even in the mirror, I now see that my day to day life facing illness obstacles is bravery. God spoke to me through yesterday’s pondering. I now see what others call a good example.
You probably know this first-hand: when in a hard season, doing the day to day is brave.
I often lament and cry with God about feeling no purpose. I don’t have ways to help others in these days of mine. I’m the needy one, and I don’t like it. I spent a week with our two “adulting kids” recently while my husband had a business trip out of town. I wasn’t much help to them and felt like such a burden! I expected that to happen when I’m 80, but I’m not even 60 yet. Far too early. I feel so out of my control and useless.
God showed me on Day 4 of 100 Days to Brave that He is allowing good in my life through no effort of my own. Just by moving forward day by day and not giving up is showing others the example of brave. Thank You, Jesus. Praise Him!
If you’d like to join the 100 Days to Brave journey with me, Amazon* can send you the book within a few days. Mine came quickly. And now I can hardly put it down. Sometimes I do more than a day’s reading because I can’t wait. With Bible reading each morning and two other books I read snippets from each day, this one also offers golden nuggets to ponder throughout the day.
I look forward to Annie’s question each day as I recognize and learn about embracing more bravery.
What brave thing have you been doing without even noticing?
Because He lives~
*Affiliate link. See disclosure here.