Real Courage

When looking back through history, we tend to impose super-human status to those who stood up for their beliefs in a revolutionary way.

For some of them, the decision to act was conscious defiance to the status quo. For others, they were simply in the right place at the wrong time, and found themselves acting on behalf of others lacking the courage to speak out.

We should rightly remember these people. But we should also remember that they were (or are) ordinary human beings, who made a choice. Some of them called on God for supernatural strength to bring about change.

Who are the modern day courageous heroes? There is a different breed of people who are living courageously in this era. I am referring to the ones who choose to stay married to the same person for a life time, the ones who stand up against the school bully, the people who start and run a business with integrity even when it costs them, the young lady who saves herself for her husband on her wedding night, the pastor who not only preaches truth but he lives it too. These are ordinary people who are living with courage.

It’s time for God’s people to awaken to the every day battles that going on around us. It takes courage to face the real issues of life.

Recently I went through a nightmare experience with one of my teenage daughters. She decided to put her herself in a very vulnerable place. I will never forget the moment I turned her over to God. I was sitting in my truck at her place of employment at 10:30pm. She was about to get off of work. Her unapproved boyfriend sat in his truck across the parking lot. The moment her shift was over I knew she was about to get into that boy’s truck.

I had two forces at work inside of me. I came from a good redneck upbringing. So I knew how to settle this matter with my bare hands. I could easily pull behind her and make matters worse with an ugly confrontation. But I had another force at work in my heart. I heard this powerful voice say, “Let her go.” I knew that it was not my voice because that was the last thing on my mind. I decided in that moment to obey the voice of God. I turned her over to the Lord.

Several weeks later when the dust settled and her relationship with the boy blew up I was ready to begin the restoration process. It took supernatural courage to allow that process to take place. I wanted to control my daughter and prevent her from self-destruction but she had to learn this lesson the hard way.

I know that I am not alone. Many parents face decisions like this every day. I want you to know that you are not alone. God gave me a strategy during this time. I am learning how to employ this strategy every day in my parenting and in other areas of my life.

It’s real simple but it works.

  • Face it: I could not afford to run from the problem or ignore it. I had to face it. I had to talk about it and deal with the real issue. Some of my daughter’s rebellion was my stuff manifesting through her life. Both my wife and I faced our responsibility in the situation. We took responsibility for our stuff and apologized and made course corrections.
  • Feel it: I had to allow myself to feel angry and to feel afraid not push those feelings down or project them at other people. I would get up in the middle of the night to pray and to process my feelings. I wrote them on paper and released them to God. I found safe people to talk to help me work out my feelings. I refused to go to bed with the negative feelings controlling me.
  • Forgive it: I had to use forgiveness many times during the day. I forgave myself, my wife, my daughter, the boy, his parents, her friends and anyone else that contributed to the prodigal journey. Forgiveness is not a one-time thing. It is perpetual.
  • You can respond to real challenges with courage. Learn to FACE IT, FEEL IT AND FORGIVE IT. Every day we have the opportunity to choose to engage in creating a better world. We can be revolutionary every day by changing how we handle life’s problems.