I am excited to introduce you to a series that begins today and continues for the next eight weeks with three of my favorite friends. Together we will share insight, challenges, and our faith through our journeys of perseverance. Please join myself, Holly Barrett, Debbie Kitterman and Patricia Krank as we learn from each other and share encouragement with our own stories of perseverance.
I stood at the bottom looking up, shading my eyes to see the top. “You got this”, I said to myself. The rest of the group congregated nearby to hear the directions from the leaders. I look again to where my destination lies and vaguely hear, “it’s about a mile and a half to the top.” A thought crosses my mind. “I walk farther than that daily. No problem”!
Confidence and smiles grace the faces of those around me. I plaster a smile on my face and begin the trek up the side of the volcano. After a few minutes my courage and confidence turns to fear. Will I make it to the top? Do I want to climb to the top and will I make it before the sun sets? The perseverance I embraced minutes ago now looks impossible and what seemed easy became challenging.
My journey through life often emanates a fear of the unknown. As a lover of details and knowing what’s next, I find when I have no control over any of it, I suffer from fear. Any brave I feel during other moments of clarity is lost during these times. Instead of desiring to persevere through the unknown, I tend to shut down and close myself off.
One of my favorite stories of bravely overcoming fear comes from the Book of Nehemiah. He receives word that the wall of Jerusalem has been destroyed and his people are in great trouble. Nehemiah immediately weeps and begins to pray to God that He would hear him and his plea for the Israelites. As cupbearer to the king, Nehemiah needed favor to approach the king to ask to travel to Jerusalem to check on his people. Nehemiah steps out in brave faith and the king bestows favor on him. Without knowing the details, Nehemiah perseveres toward rebuilding the wall believing Jesus was enough.
When Nehemiah met opposition for rebuilding the wall, he still pushed through believing God would provide everything needed to complete the task. He tells those mocking him:
I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it. Nehemiah 2:20
Nehemiah met success and defeated fear brick by brick as he and his fellow people rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. I also found success one hot, sunny day in Nicaragua as I defeated my fear and climbed to the top of the volcano. But bravery comes with lessons of overcoming and persevering.
[Tweet “Overcoming fear involves baby steps of brave faith leading to God.”]
Climbing a volcano requires the help of other people.
About halfway up the side, I hit the proverbial wall and one more step forward seemed impossible. The kindness of those around me kept me going. As they cheered me on, I gained strength and I was then able to do the same for those behind me.
Resting along the way is not only okay but it is necessary.
As we face our fears, God calls us to walk forward bravely step by step. Sometimes it looks like hard work and other times He asks us to be still and wait for what’s next.
Overcoming fear and walking bravely involves looking forward, not behind.
Looking behind on the climb only reminded me that I had not made it to the top. By fixing my eyes forward on Jesus, made the destination manageable.
Persevering resembles praying “I can’t, but you can” over and over.
The strength of God pushed me to the top that day. By stepping out in brave faith, God provided the perseverance I needed to conquer my fear.
At times during the climb, I literally could not see the top, but Jesus cleared the way when I trusted Him with the Way. Persevering in brave faith allows your fears to subside. Jesus replaces fear with His strength, courage and endurance.
As I stood on the top of the volcano and watched the sunset, I heard a whisper saying “Well done, my daughter.” I treasure those words each day as I seek brave faith.
[Tweet “Come join @MyOldThingsNew, @HollySBarrett, @Dare2Hear and me for a series on perseverance.”]
How does God push you beyond your fears to brave faith in your own life?
To learn more about my journey to brave faith and to start your own walk to brave faith, click below to find the details for Brave Faith: A 31 Day Devotional Journey.
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Thank you for kicking off this series with such a wonderful piece Mary. I see your bravery played out before my very eyes as I come to know you more. You are not only brave but you are a leader of those who want to be brave.
God bless you in all your endeavors. Excited for you,
I’m late to the party here, and hoping to get caught up on all the reading I missed over vacation. So glad that you fun people are collaborating on this series, and I identify completely with your words here today. And Nehemiah’s life is such a shining example of allowing fear of God (the right kind of fear) to override all lesser fears in our life!
Blessings to you, Mary!
Love this truth, Mary: “By stepping out in brave faith, God provided the perseverance I needed to conquer my fear.” God meets us with each brave step! Thank you for sharing your story of His faithfulness.
God is in our every step and we just need to trust Him with the unknown. I love how God is teaching me that brave is saying “yes” and then moving out of the way for Him to do the rest. I am so glad you stopped by here today. I hope you will join us for the rest of the series.
We have so much to learn from Nehemiah’s story. I never get tired of learning more and reading more insights of his faith walk. I just recently wrote about bravery too! God is sure working here among us, shaping and molding us, and reminding us He is always with us each step of the way, even in rest.
Bravery is near and dear to my heart. God has been taking me on such a journey especially in the last few years. I love that you write about bravery too. God has us on similar pathways in our writing. I pray God continues to work in and through us and we know that our courage and strength is always found in Him.
Perseverance has the sweetest fruits. And it takes to do that. 😀
Perseverance is very sweet. I love how it gets us to where we need to be and it is blessed by God. Thank you for stopping by.
Mary — Not seeing what was next used to wreak havoc on me. I am a master planner. Oh my goodness, I have a plan in place for the planning.
Then life hit and I was no longer able to stick to a plan, and I learned how to persevere through the unknown. I learned what trust in God is all about.
Great job on making it to the top. Thank you for sharing the tips that helped you persevere.
Thank you for sharing a piece of your own journey. I know what it is like to have a plan for the planning. Ugh! I’m not sure why I think that’s okay. God has worked hard on me the last few years to show me that I need only Him and He will take care of the details just like when I was worried about making it to the top of the volcano. Thank you for joining me here. I hope you follow along for the series.
Good for you, Mary. You inspire me how you step out in brave faith, trusting God can get you through. Not only in climbing that volcano, but also in other situations. I’m looking forward to this series on perseverance. I need it so much. I tend to shut down easily and withdraw. I actually read this post yesterday, but I didn’t have time to comment. It stayed with me how Nehemiah persevered brick by brick against all opposition. I have always loved that story, so I started reading that book this morning. Thank you, my friend! Love and hugs!
I’m humbled that I inspire you. God has big things planned for all of us and He promises to provide what we need. I am only brave because I have God. You are also brave because of God. I’m glad you are reading Nehemiah. It is one of my favorite stories and I love how much it teaches us about perseverance and courage. I pray this series blesses you and provides a new sense of perseverance in you.
Hi Mary! We often don’t think we’ll make it, but you knew you could do it! I’m so glad that you were with people who could cheer you on, and encourage you to go on too. So important to every part of life, don’t you think?
If a cup-bearer can rebuild the temple, than a writer can climb that mountain!
I truly would not have made it to the top without a little help from my friends! It is reassuring to know that we don’t have to be brave on our own. I love the image of one cup bearer taking on the building of a wall. It is just like God to teach us in this way. Thank you for joining me here today.
I’m sure this walk to the top wasn’t a mere mile and a half to the top, since the altitude was something you weren’t used to, Mary. I’m so glad that you persevered through that difficult climb because it truly is a metaphor for life and all that we face on a daily basis. We must seek God’s help and power when we are climbing those high and difficult hills in our lives. Great thoughts and I’m excited to hear from the rest of the team on this topic going forward, my friend!
To me the climb seemed to be many miles. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but the view of the sunset at the top was a reward all in itself. We all have difficult hills to climb and God is the one who is faithful through it all. I can’t wait to see where our series takes us. Glad to have you along for the journey.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not brave. Will love this series, I’m sure!
Thank you sweet friend! With you by my side, I will be braver! Glad to have you here Susan!
Mary – I love that you started off our series with your journey to brave faith with the volcano! Also, just so you know, I think you are one of the bravest people I know, I completely agree with Holly on that one. I am so excited for all the things we are going to learn from each other through this journey!
I love how my friends always rally around me. Sometimes I need the affirmation of those who know me well to help me in my brave journey. I am also excited for all we are going to learn and what God wants to teach us.
Wow, what an experience, Mary! I love how you describe the challenge and the way God showed up. So encouraging! Several years ago my life took a drastic 180 turn. There was a lot of fear involved. But by standing on the promises of God, and staying in His word Jesus replaced the fear with faith and trust. He is so good to us! Looking forward to this series, friend!
Standing on the promises of God always replaces the fear. I love how God is the constant when our lives are turned upside down or we try climbing a volcano. He is s good and amazing. I love having you along for the journey and look forward to having you share your own experiences with perseverance.
ThIS: “The strength of God pushed me to the top that day. By stepping out in brave faith, God provided the perseverance I needed to conquer my fear.” Good for you for persevering. I’m going to remember,her this post when I’m trying to climb a mountain in the Rockies this summer!
“Persevering resembles praying “I can’t, but you can” over and over.” — Love that!
I am excited to be reading more of your series here! And what a beautiful application that you made, with your climb up the volcano. Wow that was amazing! And it is so amazing when we can look and see how God has helped us to persevere spiritually as well. Thank you for your encouragement here!
Thank you Bettie! I have some amazing ladies who are joining me on this journey. The climb up the volcano was metaphorically and physically beautiful. God took me on quite the journey and taught me so much in the process. I am excited to see how this series unfolds. Blessed to have you along for the journey.
Mary- so much of this resonated with me. I waver between perseverance and then fear. It’s amazing how quick these feelings change.
This line impacted me the most, “Nehemiah met success and defeated fear brick by brick as he and his fellow people rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem.”
Slowly brick by brick I’m overcoming my challenges…I have to remember this!
Blessings to you! Thank you for sharing!
So glad to have you here today, Julie! I also waver between fear and bravery. But God says hold on and I will get you where you need to go. If we say “yes” and then reach out to God, even if it makes us fearful, He will always take care of us. I guess sometimes it involves climbing a volcano to learn that lesson.
Great story and great points on perseverance. I’m happy you made it to the top!
Just out of curiosity, did you have to stay the night at the top? That, in itself, seems scary to me.
I did not stay at the top and I agree that would have been scary. I learned a lot about myself during that climb. Most important was how God showed me that all the times I thought I wasn’t brave, I really was all along. Thank you for stopping by!
Mary, what a beautiful post. I love all of your points about brave perseverance, but I think the one that stood out the most to me was the reminder that we’re not in this life alone. There are others walking alongside us, cheering us on, encouraging us and helping us. I am one who needs to remember it’s not all up to me to get to the top of the mountain. Leaning on others is good. 🙂
It has taken me many years to understand and embrace the importance of community. I tend to believe I can do things alone or that it will get done quicker if I just do it. God has been working in me especially in retirement and has taught me over and over how community and relationships are the desire of my heart. Everything I have been striving toward involves community and digging deeper into life with them. I pray you have a sense of that kind of community around you too. Love having you hear as always!
So glad you made it to the top, Mary. Perseverance and courage are two traits that don’t always come naturally to some of us (me included!). So I appreciate your encouragement towards both.
I wonder if anyone naturally has courage and perseverance?? Just thinking out loud. We wouldn’t be honest with ourselves if we said we didn’t ever have any fear or challenges that we needed help to overcome. I pray you believe you are brave because you have God and He is bigger than your fear!
Well done, Mary! That volcano never stood a chance.
I learned early that the unknown is just waiting out there, and all I can do is face it and take the next logical step, in which faith has to be implicit.
It serves me well today.
Thank you for your vote of confidence! I love how you say that all you can do is face it but faith has to be implicit. I have found that I do best when I say yes and just go for it. God always provides exactly what I need.
So good to be reading you here this am. “God, I can’t but you can.” I need for this to become my motto. No, in my own power, I am like you, stifled by fear of the unknown. If I can’t control it, my default is to fear it. Thank you for pointing out, so beautifully, another way – to trust God through it. Going forward with God does not mean I’m free of fear…it just means I take the next step anyway knowing that He is enough for me even in my fear.
Blessings sweet friend,
You clarified my words so beautifully. I think many of us believe that we can’t be brave until we have no fear at all. God doesn’t operate like that. He calls us and wants us to say “yes” and trust Him that He will take care of the rest. I know I can let my fear get the better of me but I am learning that God is bigger than my fear. I sure love having you here Bev. You always add such great insight.
Yes so often I find Him leading me out of my comfort zone. I once heard a speaker say something to the extent of following God and doing what He leads us to even if we have to do it afraid because as we step out He meets us right where we are. I know often that I have had to do that – when He was leading me to start my own business I was so fearful, and then when writing a book, and yet when I just followed His leading and took the next step even in the midst of fears He delivered me and strengthened me! Thanks for sharing. Blessings
I know that speaker is right in saying step out and God will provide all you need. The times I said “yes” without hesitation were the times I felt fear but at the same time God gave me the courage I needed. There is a strengthening when we let go and let God do what He does best. I pray that your writing journey continues to stretch you and bless your reader. Blessed to have you stop by today.
I love the idea of this series, Mary. So glad to see your pretty picture at Holly’s place today. I especially like your practical reassurance about persevering at the end. About resting. I tend to think perseverance means full steam ahead 100% of the time, but we need to step back and rest too, to keep going over the long haul. I forget that. 🙂
I hope you’ll follow along. I know having my other three friends by my side for this journey will be such an amazing learning experience. And as for resting… I find that perseverance has the most endurance when I rest in between. I hope your Easter was wonderful.
Well done for conquering your fear. I relate to the struggle at times when I can’t see what’s next and don’t feel in control. I love this: “Persevering resembles praying “I can’t, but you can” over and over.” I”ve had this experience in a situation recently and it’s amazing how if we kerp going one step at a time we can do more than we’d ever have felt capable of by trusting in God and his strength.
Not seeing what’s next is what trips me up most often. And yes I do pray that prayer over and over. It started with one of my sons saying it to me and we encourage each other often with it. I pray that when you allow God to lead you step by step you find the courage you may need in any situation.