Courage, Dear Heart
I am very blessed to be married to a man whose parents just happen to live in Fiji! Yes, the beautiful, tropical island, where the water is crystal clear, the sand is white, and the temperature is always warm! Before packing our bags and moving to South Africa, we decided to stop by for a little holiday; to spend some time with my in-laws, see their life over there and just have some much-deserved rest and relaxation.
One particular day my husband Greg and I decided that we would go exploring and spend the day on a little island- it was AMAZING. There were maybe 10 people in total on this island. We got to snorkel with the beautiful tropical fish, fall asleep in a hammock while the breeze just gently pushed us, and the sun baked down. Seriously, it was a dream. The challenge of the day was on our way from the main island of Fiji out to this little gem… I wish I could say that I am exaggerating or making this story up, but alas, it is all real!
The two us got on to the boat that would be transporting us, and my first observation was that the “boat” was a lot smaller than what I had imagined. I was not going to let this damper my day though, so with a big smile we waved good-bye to my in laws (who stayed behind) and we were on our way.
Just 2 minutes into our 20-minute trip I felt a little drip on my face… not just a cute splash from the water unfortunately, but a rain drop! HOW COULD THIS BE?! The sun was shining a moment before! I looked up and a few clouds had begun to move in. Immediately I started to pray that the clouds would pass, and the sun would come out, however, within a minute we were in the middle of a torrential storm; the waves were crashing around us, the boat was being tossed about by the wind, the rain was fierce and unrelenting. I couldn’t see the main island and I couldn’t see our destination. I couldn’t even hear my husband talking over the noise of the boat’s engines and the wind and rain but I kept yelling to him- “We are going over!” I genuinely felt a connection to Jesus’ disciples in that moment because truly, I was looking out to the sea half expecting Jesus to come walking on the water to rescue me!
The irony is that as soon as we made it to our little island paradise, the rain stopped. The sun shone so bright. It was as if though nothing had happened and we had the best day ever! (Until it was time to go back and I had to psych myself up to get back into the boat).
The title of this blog is a beautiful quote from C.S Lewis’ book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Without going into too much detail, the main female character, Lucy, is in a similar situation that I found myself in. On a voyage, with so much uncertainty and fear, blackened skies that hid the way forward, and a lingering doubt about whether she was going in the right direction. Aslan, who in this story represents Jesus, whispers into her heart “Courage, dear heart.” In that moment, everything changed for Lucy. The sky did not immediately clear up, neither did her fear immediately subside, but she had a word from the One who sent her that brought with it a reassurance and a great peace.
Isn’t this so true of life’s difficult and trying seasons? While we are traveling through them, they seem unrelenting, never ending, and seem to have the power to completely take us out. Yet in a minute, all can be calm again. Never as though nothing happened, because the trials and valley seasons of life will always carry us out stronger than we were before and hopefully even better than we were before. Yet with one whisper or a gentle word, the turmoil, anxiety, and unrest can be quieted, peace restored, and the determination to keep going reinstated.
For anyone who is walking through a tough season right now, DO NOT GIVE UP. TAKE HEART. The storm will pass. The waves crashing around you will subside. The wind will die down. The sun will come up.
In these seasons of life, it is so important for us to protect our hearts.
WHO are we allowing to speak into our lives?
WHAT are we allowing them to say?
Words truly have the power of life and death so surround yourself with life-speakers; those beautiful and precious friends who will always be positive, gently challenge and consistently love.
More importantly than that, acquaint yourself and get familiar with the voice of the One who created you, because He, more than anyone, loves you and wants the very best for you.
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3.17 (ESV)