Courage, Dear Heart

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year!!

So, let me tell you guys a quick story before we dive in with this blog post:

For about a month now, I’ve been trying to write a blog post about having courage. I thought with the new year being just around the corner, that would be a pretty good thing to talk about: facing the new year with courage. So I picked my title, I even got a few quotes together, and I sat down, ready to write! And then, nothing came to me. Nothing.

Finally, one day, my sweet, wonderful sister (who you’ll hear from in a few moments!) texted me and said, “This may seem like a random request, but do you think I could guest write on your blog?”

My immediate response was, “Are you kidding me? That would be fantastic! Just write about whatever you want to, and send it to me!”

About a week later she sends me the rough draft for her post, and the first thing I saw was the title, “Take Courage, Dear Heart.”

You guys, I told her NOTHING about my post. The post that I had been trying to write for a month now, and here she is with almost the exact same title!

Isn’t it amazing to see how God works? Alright, without any further delay, here is Rylee’s first blog post!

Take courage, dear heart!

Hello all!

It is a pleasure to be guest writing for my favorite (and only) sister! If you would like to contact me and get to know more about me, my name is Rylee Portela. I will gladly answer questions, take prayer requests, or simply chat.

But let’s get back to the important stuff. What a leap of faith Katee has done in starting this blog! God has done such a work in my sweet sister, and I’m so proud that she’s doing what she feels called to do. She is truly living out her faith (see what I did there??) and expresses it truthfully and with grace.

What a blessing to be able to express how we feel through words. Matthew 15 tells us,

“But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart”, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing today, friends. My heart has been so overwhelmed. Complicated. Torn. Conflicted. Experiencing so many things in the past year that I feel like I could explode. But I haven’t.

Call it grace or peace or strength, but what it is, is courage.

Yes, you read that correctly.

We don’t really think about necessarily “needing” courage on a day-to-day basis, but friends, we seriously underestimate it.

My favorite definition of courage is described as, “strength in the face of pain or grief”.

I LOVE that.

As some may know, one of my (many) flaws is that I’m a sassy person, and occasionally very spiteful. So saying that having courage is having strength IN THE FACE of pain and grief? I’m all about it. Sign me up.

But what I didn’t realize was that obtaining real, God-given courage, takes practice. Serious practice. Something we’re not to keen on keeping up with all the time.

Do you realize how courage is used?

When someone hurts your feelings and you don’t lash out at them. That takes courage.

When life doesn’t go the way you planned, but it doesn’t destroy you. That takes courage.

When you pray and don’t feel like your getting answers, but trust God anyway. THAT is true courage.

What a mighty God we serve, friends.

He knows the future before we know it’s even possible. That is what I put my trust in. That is where I find my courage for this season of life. He has been so faithful to you and me.

I have found that, most of the time, where you see courage you will also see faith. And sometimes an enormous amount! Having faith in times of needing courage is something that should be valued highly. Pause for a moment. Think about the times you needed courage the most. Didn’t you need faith as well? That’s why they go hand-in-hand! God knew that in this life we would have trouble (John 16) but He also knew what to give us to be able to handle this world.

That’s faith and courage.

Sure, there are so many things that help us along in this life, but for now, faith and courage are the (worn out, beaten, but constant) cornerstones of my walk with Jesus. I’m praying that they can be for you, too!

What I want you to take from all of this is that you are not alone. God has been, and will be, faithful to you. Do NOT give up when this life knocks you down. Be faithful with a little, and He knows you will still be faithful with more (Luke 16). And take courage, dear heart!

All my sincerest love, faith, and courage,

Rylee Portela

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