As I mentioned in my previous post I am currently immersed in the “Divergent” series. While there are many components of the story line that have lured me in, one of the most appealing is the Dauntless faction.
The Divergent story takes place in a city that is divided up by factions. Each faction consists of a group of people who represent a certain personality trait and the Dauntless faction represents bravery. Every decision the Dauntless make is in an attempt to prove their bravery, even if they are risking (or losing) their lives in the process.
I’ve heard it said that courage is not necessarily the absence of fear, but is actually acting in spite of fear. Fear has been a worthy opponent for me since childhood. I was afraid of the other kids who bullied me. I was afraid of dark, spiritual forces. And recently, I’ve been afraid to be alone. I became dependent which led to idolatry. Once the idol was removed, I responded in fear, clutching the very nearest object that I could idolize. My hands gripped tightly and did not want to let go. Every time I laid the idol down, fear of experiencing the pain that I had been trying to escape would overtake me. I would quickly pick the idol back up, trying to push back the pain with my escapism; it was a typical response rooted in fear.
When Adam and Even were tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit, they sinned out of fear. They feared that God was holding out on them and they feared that if they did not take matters into their own hands, they would not receive all that they were entitled to. Sadly, they had already received the fullness of God…there was nothing for them to fear.
Fear made me do crazy things. So did sin. Finally God’s mercy and grace overcame me and He whispered in my ear “Nicole, I want you to stop running out of fear. I want you to be brave”. I couldn’t help but think of the Dauntless. They are always brave even when they feel fear; their goal is to overcome their fear through their acts of bravery. So with God’s help, I was brave. I let the idol go. I laid it down, turned, walked away, and did not look back. I was brave.
Sometimes bravery is accepting the ordinary and submitting to the day-to-day responsibilities of life that do not hold the adventure I once imagined my life would entail as an early 20-something. Sometimes it means to stop running from the pain that was gripping my heart like nobody’s business, and finally yielding it and trusting it to Holy Spirit.
Sometimes bravery means walking out each day, step by step, with no idea of what is to come, but knowing that this is God’s will for me and I can trust Him. I can be brave with Him.
I can be anything with Him.