Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

When We’re Brave For The Journey

Jessica Van Roekel – God In The New Journey Series

The God In The New Journey series with Jessica Van Roekel

It’s a great joy to be welcoming Jessica from Welcome Grace on the blog today as our second guest in our new series for March! I met Jessica through a book launch last year, and I knew I’d met a words-kindred the minute we got to chatting. Visit her blog and you get open truths and inspiring honesty, not to mention instantly seeing how her words align with His heart, and I’m so stinkin’ pleased to introduce her to you today.
Will you welcome her, and get ready for her fresh insight into this continuing series? Here we go!

Imagine the Israelites as they victoriously left Egypt. They’re dancing. Celebrating. Pinching themselves because reality seems too surreal. Until they stop abruptly at the edge of the Red Sea.

And just as abruptly their rejoicing changes to clamoring. A chorus of complaints rise up instead of hallelujahs. Rather than see the excitement of freedom they see certain death—drowning or by sword.

An option they never considered occurs, a miracle: the splitting of the Red Sea. They bravely stepped into the miracle. They bravely trusted God to hold the wall of water firm. Their new journey began with each faith step forward. 

Their new journey began with each faith step forward. Click To Tweet

What about us? What’s the new thing God is calling us to?

We need bravery to begin a journey, but bravery in the middle of the journey is just as important. It’s tempting to quit when the marriage gets hard. It’s tempting to pull away from the child that pushes every button you didn’t know you had. It’s tempting to declare God’s unfaithfulness in the midst of “faithful” illness.

I can muster bravery when starting on a new journey. I can start out with trust when I realize God has led me to the edge of a desert and is calling me to come through. But when the buzzards start to circle because of my desperation and I can’t see God anywhere in my circumstance—well, this is when my bravery falters.

We face new journeys each time life changes. We celebrate marriages or new babies or a new look. These are the fun and exciting journeys—where hope reigns and laughter abounds. However, it’s a struggle when the change brings sickness, financial difficulties, or emotional distress.

Life is achingly beautiful because it’s sorrow and joy, love and hate, happiness and depression, arguments and agreements.

Life brings daily change and new journeys.

The Israelites faced some serious change. Their lives changed from slaves to freedmen and women. They went from poverty to overflowing with riches. They went from scrounging for day-to-day sustenance to their daily needs met.

Yet they struggled.

Their journey was filled so much promise. They were promised God. They were promised a land flowing with milk and honey. They were the chosen ones. And yet, their mentality prevented them from receiving the best that their new journey had to offer.

The Israelites spent generations as slaves. Generations of feeling forgotten. Generations of forgetting what it’s like to be independent. They kept alive the promise of God’s deliverance but failed to keep his presence alive in their hearts.

Yes, they needed bravery to begin their journey, but their beginning was fueled by awe of the miracles God performed in Egypt rather than in trust.

We can be like the Israelites as well. We can witness God clear a path for us in miraculous ways and we skip down the path with awe fueling our steps.

Yet, if we rely only on awe to fuel our bravery then we will come to a point in our journey where our hallelujah’s become cries of despair.  We will be tempted to give up. We will believe the whispers that tell us we heard wrong—that this must not be the right path. We will beg to return to our old ways, our old selves, our old life believing that all God has done to sustain us is not enough for what we face right now.

Will we be like the Israelites and falter in the new journey God has called us too? Or will we reach for something else? Something like trust?

Trust is the foundation that bravery is built on. Click To Tweet

Will you trust when the dark clouds scuttle across the sky? Will you trust when the way grows rocky? Will you trust when obstacles block your way?

You will be faced with a new journey. Maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe in two weeks, or maybe in two years, but it will come. May your trust grow in God as you cultivate an awareness of his presence in your life so that when the time comes for a new journey, trust is the foundation your bravery is built on and awe is the beautiful expression of that trust.

Step out in faith. Settle your heart to trust. Seek God’s presence and you will be brave!

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Jessica Van Roekel from Welcome Grace... Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this ‘God-life’ with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day.

You can connect with her at www.welcomegrace.com,  and you can follow her on Instagram by clicking HERE.

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Crystal Storms #HeartEncouragement Thursday linkup.
Brenda Bradford Ottinger #ChasingCommunity linkup.

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11 Comments

  1. Christine Duncan

    March 9, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Jessica, I just know your good words today are going to be an instrument for Him in some lives and hearts! Can I tell you how thankful and thrilled I am to have you on the blog and a part of this series? When He put this topic on my heart, I knew He was up to something good! Hugging yer neck through the screen, and saying thank you for all the ways you speak into my life since getting to know you and your blog! xxoo

  2. Surely, this is a word spoken from the deep spirit of God that flows from your heart Jessica. Thanks for sharing what God has laid on your heart about bravely trusting God, not just trusting ourselves. We can’t do it on our own.

  3. yep! bravery in the middle is needed just as much. easy to think we need to be brave to step out! but forgetting I need courage like today again driving to speak 4x to a bunch of ladies I’ve never met before. i’m not afraid – God has provided training/practice in this current role – but still, i want to be brave for all that He brings my way and” lay my head upon His breast and rest my soul on Thee.” (quote from Francine Roberts, not me!) Thanks for your strong writing and obedience to God on a daily basis.

  4. Thanks for the reminder of needing bravery in the middle – well bravery for the entire journey and not becoming comfortable and relying on our strength.

    Stopping by from #chasingcommunity

  5. “…with awe fueling our steps.” Isn’t that so true. It’s easy to get bound up in excitement sometimes that it takes a minute for us to remember the God who called us to it in the first place. Oh thank goodness He’s a patient God. 🙂 I never want to forget the faithfulness of His promises, but I also want to always keep His presence alive. Thank you for the reminder, Jessica; nice to meet you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Jessica with us today, Christine. Appreciate you, friend. ((xoxo))

  6. Thank you, Christine, for introducing Jessica, and thank you, Jessica, for some wonderful thoughts on this story! So many nuggets I’ll be taking with me… God bless!

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