Awakening Courage in Community

Whether it’s feelings of inadequacy, parenting anxieties, or panic over the latest terrorist tactics in the news, the challenge to face down our fears and to move forward into new, healthful, and bold behaviors is a common thread for January writing and thinking.  The problem, however, with this seasonal booster is that the need for courage doesn’t expire on February 1.

Fear Fighting is a year-round calling and Kelly Balarie is a natural born cheerleader, committed to awakening courage in her readers.  She has earned some pretty impressive credentials as a fear fighter in her battles with an eating disorder, depression, financial stresses, and family tragedies.  She has learned, first hand, that transformation is an act of God that takes place in the present tense.  With a raised fist, she trumpets the invitation to be a modern-day Deborah, the fiery woman from the time of the Old Testament Judges who dared to ask questions, listened for God’s answers, ejected the enemy’s lies, timed her move, and then acted in confident belief without fear — because she knew where she was going.

Since no one is completely fearless, everyone can fear less, and learning to live as a fear fighter is best accomplished in community.  Kelly has flung the doors open wide, inviting readers into her story and into a network of like-minded warriors through her website and her blog. (Click to visit!)

Fear fighting is a process and growth happens one step at a time.  The question that comes to my mind is this:  What would you do to a friend who lied to you as often as your fears have?  This helpful filter (p. 64) is a tool for identifying the voice inside your head:

  1.  If it woos with the voice of love, it is God.
  2. If it calls you closer to God, it is God.
  3. If it speaks truth, it is God.
  4. If it wants to beat you, tie you, and throw you out back for always being despicable, it is not God.  

“Anything not founded in love does not equal God.”

It is no surprise to me that thousands of years ago, Isaiah the prophet also expressed the invitation to become a fear fighter:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,”  Isaiah 41:10.

In these early days of 2017, it’s a great time to admit to the reality of fears that whisper words of condemnation and failure and to accept the help of others, to learn from their stories, and, most crucially, to enter into the transforming Truth of God’s Word.

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This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group,  in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

captureJoin me here on Thursday for week one of a book discussion group on C.S. Lewis’s novel, Till We Have Faces.

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

17 thoughts on “Awakening Courage in Community”

  1. Great review, Michele! Fear is an enemy that comes in many disguises, but the goal is always the same…to paralyze us and keep us from forward movement. How we handle it’s attack with valor determines the path ahead and speaks to how we grow in our trust of the One who can defeat it best! Blessings to you as always!

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  2. Michele, what a beautiful post. I’ve followed Kelly’s blog for awhile now, and I always glean from her real sharings of life and God. I’m guessing her book is just like that. Sounds like one I need to check out.

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  3. Michele, this is such a wonderful review. This book is on my list to read. I love this statement as it is so true ….”Since no one is completely fearless, everyone can fear less….” This statement went so well with my one word, audacious. Hoping to fear less in 2017.

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  4. Wow … this is a great question, Michele: “What would you do to a friend who lied to you as often as your fears have?” That certainly puts the whole fear discussion in a different light, doesn’t it? (Or, as my girls like to say, “That just escalated in a big hurry!”) I’ve read a lot about Kelly’s book … hope to read it soon. 🙂

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  5. Wise words for the start of the year. The question of if fear was a friend stuck with me too. It helps making “taking captive” fearful thoughts a little more straightforward for me. Those little sidebars for things like identifying God’s voice were also so helpful in outlining cut and dry the truth from the lies. Glad you were blessed by Kelly’s book too, Michele!

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