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Courageous Violet
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It was a cold, icy day in my home state of Alaska. Everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. I was upset, heartsick and discouraged.

I pulled on my jacket and boots, and headed out into the snow to wander and let the wind blow away the anxiousness that gripped my heart. Fears for the rest of that seemingly endless week choked out my joy. I was looking for something, anything, to remind me that it would all turn out okay.

I’d only gotten as far as the garden fence when I saw it. Tucked in by ice and snow, exactly where it shouldn’t have been on a day like this, was a little violet face smiling up at me. It didn’t seem bothered by the wind, or the cold. It just courageously lifted up its tiny face to catch what rays of sunshine it could, and bloomed right where it found itself—right in the middle of the impossible weather of an Alaskan March.

My weight of hurts and fears began to melt away as I sat there in the snow beside that violet. I stayed as long as I could in the cold, and tried to soak in the lessons that were planted there for me that day.

Feel Insignificant and Small

When I feel insignificant and too small, I need to remember that God doesn’t give me courage until I need it. Brave isn’t always fighting big battles and facing great odds. Sometimes it is the smallest ones that take the most depth of courage to face.

Courage can be a smile, on a day when everything is going wrong.
Courage can be reaching out, and touching a life when it isn’t comfortable.
Courage can be learning to love again, at the risk of being broken (again).
Courage can be getting up after life makes more bumps than you ever thought possible.
Courage can be forgiving, even when it hurts too much to speak a word.
Courage can be choosing to trust, just trust, in the middle of a season that makes no sense.
Courage isn’t something we are born to. It is something we become in the moment when we forget who we are and what we’re afraid of and just do what needs to be done.

It was when I realized that God had put me here for such a time as this, that the fears began to fall away and I found the strength to go forward, in spite of how small I felt.
Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about that little violet that God planted in the snow. I think of it whenever I am faced with obstacles and setbacks that make me feel insignificant and afraid. I think of it blooming in the cold and the wind more than a month before its time. And the courage that I didn’t think I had comes back somehow.

The Bible says, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” (Isaiah 40:29).

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By Chantel Brankshire. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION ©.

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