It’s HOT here in North Carolina, friends.
I hope you guys are staying cool and feeling refreshed during the intense heat of Summer.
Let’s pour ourselves a glass of ice tea, prop our feet up, and find refreshment while reading Heather
Bock’s beautiful tribute about the two most courageous women she’s knows.
Heather is a new Texan, a homeschooling, running, party planning, and teaching mother of three with a degree focused on Biblical studies, literature, and French. She wrote a Bible study called Glimpses of Jesus in Genesis, and she writes posts every week on her blog, www.glimpsesofjesus.com.
Who is the most courageous woman you know? As you consider this, remember that courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is facing fears when needed, standing or acting with bravery when you’d rather turn and run. In fact, those with no fears might be less courageous and more naïve (at least that’s what describes me sometimes). As I sought to answer this question, I couldn’t pick just one—I narrowed it down to two.
The first is a friend I’ve known for around thirteen years: Lyndsey Hulen. For a small example of courage, I could point to the fact that she used to drive around four and a half hours regularly, by herself sometimes, with three small children in her minivan just to visit family and/or friends in Ohio. It’s not that her kids were especially angelic in the car—from the tales she told, they were fairly normal—squabbling and crying at times like other kids (I recall her telling about a particularly harrowing ride with much screaming). As far as I could see, she just loved her family that much and was willing to brave the trips for their sake.
For a larger example, I admired how she gave up her fulfilling job, at which she was quite successful, to stay home with her children. I know this isn’t the highest ideal for everyone, but for someone so good at her work, I was impressed with the courage it must have taken to give it up for her kids.
Greater still, Lyndsey and her husband one day felt a call to take in foster children. It wasn’t a call they had heard all their lives—in fact, it was new, surprising, and scary, but after praying about it together, they even considered taking in not one, not two, but three older children around the ages of their own kids. That placement didn’t work out, but they did end up taking in two girls and courageously loved those two with all their hearts. I can’t speak in past tense, though, because although the girls are in another couple’s care now, Lyndsey still loves those girls, even from another state.
I could go on to describe other examples of Lyndsey’s courage—her running for class president in high school, her writing, and her ability to get up through nerves and lead Jazzercise. Her courage is inspiring.
The other most courageous woman I know is one I haven’t known for as long, so I don’t have as many examples of her bravery, but it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Her name is Karla Foreman, and I pray with her and handful of other women on Thursday mornings, so I’ve heard her requests, along with misgivings she sometimes has as she asks for prayer. What impresses me the most about Karla is that although she might be understandably nervous about something she’s about to tackle, none of her fears stop her from doing what she feels God has called her to do.
She has unashamedly shared her love for Jesus with people who didn’t understand that love. With misunderstanding can come rejection or ridicule, but while Karla respectfully listens to others’ points of view, she courageously shares her own.
As a Christian educator, Karla noticed that sometimes Christian schools compete with each other instead of support each other. She knew she could end up in the middle of controversy, but she wanted to do her part to keep schools friendly with each other as Jesus wants us to be, so on her own, she started meeting with Christian educators from a variety of schools in our area to pray. She hoped for a place where they could join in unity. They didn’t continue meeting long, but the fact that she began this endeavor took courage.
Most impressive, though, is the fact that Karla took on the huge, daunting task of starting a classical homeschool academy through the Christian school where she already worked. She was realistic—she knew the work it would take, the difficulties she faced—but she felt God was calling her to do it, so she stepped out despite her fears and began the process of researching, advertising, holding parent meetings, finding a place to meet, gathering curriculum, etc., etc., until she presided over her first school year with the families she gathered—a successful year.
Both of these women have been stellar examples of courage throughout their lives, but their courage isn’t something they drum up inside themselves by their own will. Both find their courage through their faith in Jesus Christ. They know that if God has called them to something, they can trust Him to help them through the difficulties they face in stepping out in that calling. May we all have that kind of courage—a courage stemming from our trust in God.