I learned courage was not the absence of of fear, but the triumph over it. -Nelson Mandela
I will be honest – I thought penning some words on courage would be easy. It has proved to be one of the most difficult words on which to write. Pages of words flowed, from beautiful quotes by Brene Brown – “Courage is a heart word,” to inspirational thoughts on the roots of this word (heart). The words were true – but too big! I needed to remember that courage is an everyday word.
Courage is taking a deep breath and stepping outside of comfort and familiar and safe. Being courageous is following a path that has been directed by your heart, while your mind is shouting NO NO NO! It is not foolish or fearless, although other voices would say so. Courage is about doing the right thing when the right thing is risky!
Sometimes courage is demonstrated on a grand scale. But sometimes the greatest feats of courage are enacted by ordinary people in everyday lives who respond to a heart whisper that calls them to ACT. Courageous people move in a direction that does not guarantee success or even comfort – they move in spite of this. They respond to a heart cry or a God whisper that says “this is the path.” Voices of reason and voices of the crowd will doubt and declare otherwise, but courage is the voice that embraces the fear and willingly steps into the unknown.
Sometimes no one will know how courageous you have been. Sometimes no one will acknowledge how much fear you have fought. Others will not understand what mountains you have faced or the paralyzing terror you have conquered on your journey. Sometimes other voices will be dismissive or belittling of your courageous action because they do not know YOUR HEART.
That is okay. It takes courage to leave behind the fearful and the naysayers. It takes courage to follow the call of your heart and listen to the words God whispers to your precious heart. Be true to THAT call. Follow with courage!