Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Courage

Don’t Be Afraid

A devotional by Dr. Jessica B. Turner

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
—Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Throughout my faith journey, I’ve realized that there are Bible verses that commonly serve as anchors to many. These words can be held onto when life gets a little rocky or brought out when you need an extra dose of courage to take the next step.

Deuteronomy 31:6 is one of those scriptures for me.

When I was preparing for my girls to start kindergarten, I chose these words as a reminder that not only is God always with me and there is nothing to be afraid of, but He is always with my children. This truth allowed me to walk in peace despite my rising anxiety surrounding this new chapter of uncertainty. It also allowed me to teach my girls of the power of God’s promises. While they may be scared about starting school, their God would always be by their side.

For years, I associated the commands of Deuteronomy 31:6 with big, scary action, whether that action was voluntary or not. Some of these actions for me included: Starting a podcast when I knew nothing about the process. Moving forward with having another child when the pain of loss was still fresh. These are just a few of the times where I revisited the promise of God’s presence providing the courage I needed to move forward.

But what if I was missing a piece of the picture because I always saw courage as this loud, adventurous move? What if courage was sometimes quiet? What if it could be associated with inaction?

Early on in December 2022, God revealed to me this alternate view of courage. I was meditating on the words I had read so many times: “Be strong and courageous.” During this quiet time with God, I began to see that “courage” can look very different depending on the season of life you are in. And in that moment, courage took on the shape of a quiet surrender instead of a flashy leap of faith. It meant pausing to sit with the Lord while holding on to His promises—both in His word and in my arms as I held my sweet baby boy.

Courage was an invitation to trust God with my provision, my influence, my talents…my everything!

In closing, I’m asking you the same question that God asked me while I was reading my journaling devotional: What might courage look like for you today?

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for being a constant source of support and companionship in my life! I can always count on You to be by my side no matter what I am facing. Lord, reveal to me what courage looks like to You in the season I am in. Is it to take the first step towards a dream You have placed inside me? Or is it to pause and simply be with You? Help me to trust in You for everything including desires that are simply paused for a season. I love You and I trust You. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Trust In You” (song) by Lauren Daigle. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Dr. Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine. 

After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.

Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward in past trauma that she had suppressed for decades. Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other.

God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting form of storytelling.

Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.

Connect with Jessica:

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