Hands shaking, mouth dry, heart beating wildly, unable to breathe — that’s how my 14 year old friend felt when she told the police about the Very Bad Thing he did to her.
Actually, she didn’t tell the police first. She told the social worker. Before that, she told the counselor at school. Before that, her mom. And before that, she told me. Never did it get easier for her to talk about the Very Bad Thing.
But tell she did! Even though her hands were shaking, her mouth was dry and her heart was beating wildly. She dug deep and she found the courage she needed to protect herself (and others) from more Very Bad Things.
Also, earlier that day — the same day she talked to the social worker and the police — she was in a talent contest at her school. A talent contest! She performed a spoken word poem about sexual abuse that she herself wrote. She won third prize!
Before she went on stage, she threw up. She didn’t think she could stand on stage in front of her peers, teachers, and friends and speak the truth. But speak she did! And she won third place with a poem about the ugliest, scariest, most violent thing a brother can do to a sister.
And Blossoming she is. It’s still overwhelming, scary, painful, and devastating on a million different levels…but, ultimately, it is good. Because of God.
Now it’s your turn. For if she can do those things, you can do your thing. Right?
7 Ways to Be More Courageous Today
- Find your “why.” Isn’t it time you started acting, instead of wishing or whining?
- Figure out the littlest first, second, and third steps you can take today.
- Get specific. For example, your first step could be to tell a friend what you’re struggling with and what you need to do. Your second step is to actually make the phone call, fill out the application, send the resume, have the difficult conversation, put the house up for sale, buy the camper van (my dream is a “Mini Winnie” or small Winnebago), sell the crap, get out of Dodge.
- Feel your hands shake, your mouth dry up, your heart beat wildly. Throw up if you need to. Better out than in, is what I always say.
- Take a deep spiritual breath. Do not fear, worry, or be anxious (for those are signs of lack of faith). Take a step forward.
- Celebrate the fact that you were more courageous today than you were yesterday! Don’t concern yourself with the consequences, for you cannot control where you land or whether Bad Guys go to jail or what the emotional outfall of your actions…but you can control your own choices. And that, my friend, is worth celebrating.
- Fill in the blank. What is holding you back, and how will you deal with it?
Do the thing you think you cannot do. For if a 14 year old girl can tell the police, social workers, guidance counselor, mom, and me about the Very Bad Thing…surely you can do the thing God created you — and only you! — to do.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10.
In peace and passion,
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