‘Cause it’s been fear that ties me down to everything, but it’s been love, your love that cuts the strings. So long status quo, I think I just let go, you make me want to be brave. The way it always was, is no longer good enough, you make me want to be brave.
So goes the lyrics from one of my favorite songs by Nichole Nordeman. At one time, it matched so perfectly to what I was going through in my situation in life, that it became a prized possession. Have you ever had that happen? Heard a song or a story that ministered to you in such a deep way to your spirit that it almost became a part of you? Certain songs in certain situations can do that to you, and this one resonated a deep soul chord within me.
I had come to the realization that fear was running my life. Everything I wanted to do, everything I dreamt about and wanted to reach for, fear kept me from doing. As the song says, I just felt tied down by fear. I wanted to soar! I wanted to let go and live my life! But fear chained me down from chasing my dreams and living the fun, abundant life God had promised me. One day I decided enough was enough. God was calling me to greater things, and I wanted to live my life for Him! I wanted to do great things for Him, living life unshackled by empty threats of fear from the devil. I didn’t care about the whispers of doubt that came from his black lips. In a word, learning more about God’s power and love made me want to be brave.
And as the song says later:
I am small and I speak when I’m spoken to, but I am willing to risk it all. I say your name, just your name, and I’m ready to jump, even ready to fall.
I was falling head over heels in love with God and learning so much about His character as I drew closer to Him, that I wanted to do whatever He asked of me. I was learning that He could take care of me, and I knew that with Him by my side I could do anything. For nothing is impossible with God! (Luke 1:37.) I felt ready to jump for him without knowing what the consequences would be when I landed. Would I land on solid ground? Would it be safe? I didn’t care! Just even the sound of His name filled me with courage, because I knew the God behind the name.
In a moment I’ll share a portion of what I wrote in my journal during that time, but first let me give you some background on the entry. It was my junior year of high school and the world with all its choices was looming ahead of me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, where I was going to go, or who I wanted to be. Suddenly, I wondered: would I ever become anyone? What if I was the defect who’d never make it in the assembly line of life, but found her way to the trash instead? I cried out in fear to God, and He answered swiftly. He covered me in His love and peace, and let me know that He would not let me go to waste. I was not a product of some factory-I was His masterpiece. He placed His calling on my life and told me He’d take me somewhere. He put a vision into my heart of being an inspirational speaker and writer, and telling others about Him. And I believed Him. I didn’t believe in any qualities I possessed, but boy, I believed Him. If He wanted me to be a speaker, I’d jump for Him!
Here’s that entry to give you a little more insight:
December 7, 2008:
” …If that was Your promise, then I believe it. You don’t break your promises. Even though I have no idea how you’ll do it through shy, scared, sinful, and awkward me, still I know that if you promised it, it’ll happen. Do you really have things to say through me? If so, then oh Lord, how you have blessed me! Just to be given the privilege to speak your name… Lord, that is why I will not be afraid. If this is Your plan and this is what I’ll end up doing, then here’s the reason I will do it: for You. Not for me-but just to speak Your name and to give glory to it. To hear the name of Jesus resound and reverberate off the walls… that sweet and powerful name, the only one under which we can be saved. That is why I will be bold and unafraid… because it will be for you, and not for me. Because it will be you and not me. As it says in your Word, Lord God, what you have whispered in my ear I will proclaim from the rooftops. That is why I will not be afraid, because what You have whispered to me is too good and too important to miss, and others need to hear about it. No matter how inexperienced and unqualified I may be, I’m not the point-you are. I will not laugh as Sarah did Lord God, if this is your promise. Though it all seems so impossible to me, I know that what is impossible with man is possible with You.”
I miss the bravery this entry reflects… I miss the intimacy I once had with God. You can hear the melody all throughout this entry… the love song of a daughter playing back the love song of her Father. But life happens and trust and faith like this sometimes dissolve. God and I still have a relationship, as we always will. I still love Him, and I know He still loves me. But my song has become more of a dirge of late. I can never be enough, I’m too scared, it will never happen, how could God use me?
That is dangerous thinking, my friends. I want to be jealous once more for God! I want to draw close again. I want the dying embers in my heart to stir again into a blazing fire! I want to speak for Him again. Really, I want to be brave for Him again!
A few final thoughts from Nichole Nordeman:
I’ve never known a fire that didn’t begin with a flame, and every storm will start with just a drop of rain. But if you believe in me, that changes everything.
Believe in God, and it will change everything.
How about it? Does God and His Word make you want to be brave? It should. If not, like me, you may have forgotten who God is. For when you are truly in His presence, He can inspire only fire, passion, bravery, and courage. I close with the earnest prayer that we will all learn how to be brave for the God who made us. Remember: the desire to be brave can be like a spark. One flame can set the whole forest ablaze.