"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,  for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NIV

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

COURAGE AND PATIENCE

 

This month, I chose the two-word prompt Courage/Patience and waited for the Holy Spirit to bring forth thoughts, words or images. Patience has never been a thing I have in abundance and I found the words rattled me, itching within, wanting a fast release. No such quickness came.

With pain as a constant companion, I had been finding it more than difficult to find joy in the midst of it. The physical was infringing upon my mental and spiritual life. I was tired, distracted, and sad, finding myself unable to do much more than make the bed in the morning and prepare food for my husband and myself. I was afraid that my mental health was in jeopardy. Was I perhaps struggling with depression? My biggest apprehension was giving voice to these concerns.

Once spoken they would become real. I would be revealing flaws and weakness.

While I couldn’t control my physical health, shouldn’t I be able to control my own mind? What would people say … or not say? What would happen next?

But…

I know that like Joshua, the Lord has called me to courage.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NIV

As I prayed, I sensed the Lord say:

It will take more courage than you have exercised before to stand strong in what you believe in the days ahead. The enemy of your soul will try to convince you there is too much on the line, but if you are with Me, I Am with you, so none can truly be against you, no matter what life looks like. 

I soaked in those words, allowing them to strengthen me. When I next visited my health practitioner, I took a deep breath and spoke out my concerns. She suggested starting a low dose antidepressant also known for helping with nerve pain.

Exhale. I had done it! Courage.

 

I began the medication. Unlike pain-killers, there is no immediate response to this type of medication, except side effects, which were more extreme than I had hoped. I pressed through and weathered the storm, yet still saw no positive effects.

Patience.

I needed to wait. To be still and know that God would work. I felt as if I was circling the airport in bad weather, waiting to land.

 

BE PATIENT. WAIT. TRUST

 

Little by little, change is coming. And little by little, I trust Him more.

As a creative act, I put together a small collage, three photos of a flower in different stages of blooming: from the first courageous petals unfolding and patiently waiting, to a full and glorious blossom.

 

I also wrote the following poem:

 

I feel like

the color pushing

against the green

anxious for the break-out

curled in tight, hidden

fed by the roots

but thirsty for light

 

there is pain mingled

joy in the waiting

then reaching

the deep

breathing stretch

toward new life

 

Sit with these two words: Courage and Patience.

Let them stir you and spark your own creativity. Plunge in. Paint a picture. Write a story. Sing a song. Dance!

 

Questions For Reflection

  1. What do the words courage and patience mean to you in your current circumstances?
  2. What kind of creative activity do these two words spark in you?
  3. Who can you invite to join you in this prompt?
Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator & Writer

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, hungry for truth, amazed by love, on the Potter's wheel His work in progress. After five years in Africa, Karin and her beloved husband of twenty years, Rick, are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

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