"Everybody's been there,
Everybody's been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing...
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is."
~Lyrics from the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles.
That song has a way of getting caught inside my head whenever I hear it. Who doesn't need somebody encouraging them to be brave?
Nicole Unice has written this book to point us towards the best kind of bravery: Jesus-Courage, she calls it. See, apparently there was a word for it in the Greek New Testament, "tharseo," and it means to have courage or cheer in your heart, or strengthen or comfort your heart with courage. And apparently, that's the word that Jesus used rather often: "Take heart, for I have overcome the world.... for your faith has made you well... do not be afraid, it is I."
Nicole suggests that this Jesus-courage can saturate our souls to the point that we are brave enough to face life with His courage even in our fear.
In each chapter, Nicole adds another aspect of life that we can be Brave Enough for.
Brave Enough to get in the race, to say to Jesus "Teach me who you are, and show me how to carry on and find the goodness you've given me."
Brave Enough to love grace- because despite the pretty name it has, grace is frightening. It's everything for the child of God, but trusting grace is like falling into an invisible safety net. Sure, you tell me it's there, but I won't know until I fall down and find it there.
Brave Enough to explore your territory- to find your gifts (whether they appear to be big or small) and dare to accept them. She has a wonderful image for a woman who's found her gifts: She's a prism, and now the light can stream through her and make a rainbow. That picture will stick with me. What makes you feel like you're casting a rainbow?
Brave Enough to know your own limits, and to leave space in your days for your soul to breathe.
Brave Enough to fight *for* what matters, especially in relationships. We can learn how to move away from the win/lose and guilt/innocence narratives, because those only lead to an attack/shame posture. We can learn to face conflict with an eye for reconciliation and renewed hope.
After all, as Nicole points out, what does it mean to take up your cross each day, unless it means we must operate out of our daily brave?
I thank Tyndale House for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my opinion.