So yesterday we looked at our first reason to be brave - standing up for our beliefs. Here are my next couple of thoughts...
2. Be brave as you face your demons...
Oh this is a good one. I have so many demons, problems and struggles that I need to be brave to face. And in this next one I'm talking about me - preaching to myself - because is something I need so much. I struggle with greed and gluttony, a lack of self-discipline, a lazy streak a mile long and an attitude that makes me think I deserve everything. You may read down that list and think it's not too bad compared to such and such... But it is - even if I was to compare - which I don't, because everyone has their own battles to win.
My problem has always been pretending that I'm doing something about these issues, or blaming my problems on someone else, instead of being brave enough to take a long hard look at what each problem is, where it stems from and thinking about how I fight it. Because it is a battle. A hard, long one with many casualties. But I am blessed to have so many brave examples around me of women who have fought their demons and won - like we all should because Christ has already won the war and set us free.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm
against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against
flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities
of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world,
and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT
Oh I think I'll be coming back to this one later in the year for sure!! But for now - be brave, we've already have the victory.
3. Be brave as you learn to love yourself...
I don't know about you but I find it very hard to love myself. I know all the head stuff - I'm created in God's image and He doesn't make mistakes, etc.... but I still find it very hard to love me. When I fight daily battles against my demons and struggles (see above), find myself stuffing chocolate bars into me like they were the last ones on earth, get into bed for yet another quick nap (which realistically just drains me more) or have an argument where I think I'm right and so won't apologise ever... I find myself not liking the person that I am.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Psalms 139:13 NLT
Now I know that I'm a work in progress - thankfully I can say with assurance that God hasn't finished with me yet!! He has taken me from where I was, but I've still a good bit to go - But I still have big self-confidence issues and still lack the self-assurance that should come with being a child of God. I struggle to understand why anyone would want to stick around me. I struggle when I do things - am I doing them right? - or when I'm talking to people - did I just sound really stupid? The list goes on.
This is a big part of my journey this year - to finally see myself as God sees me, and to finally be happy and content in my own skin...
Which leads ever so nicely onto number 4...
4. Be brave becoming the best version of you...
This is where we need to be really brave. In order to be the best version of ourselves we need to stand up for what we believe, identify, fight and conquer our demons and struggles, learn to love ourselves and see ourselves the way God sees us, and remember that we are daughters of the King.
There is a wee picture floating around the web - I'm sorry I don't know where it's from so I can't give credit - but I simply love it.
We all have days like that - where our demons are out in force, where our struggles seem to overwhelm us and where we feel like we're failing everything and everybody... But remember one thing - we are daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are royalty. And we have the victory.
So now, when I start to fret or get annoyed by the lies the devil puts into my head, when I start to wallow in self-pity or get my 'entitled' attitude on, or when I think everything's just going wrong - I pull myself together, give praise to my King and straighten up my crown.
Calling all of His daughters - lets those crowns straightened and be brave for Him!
Keep shining xx