“The task is daunting.”
It was a simply-spoken truth shared in our weekly meeting last Sunday morning that immediately reminded me of the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. Both the title and the story struck me when I first read the book years ago. I wondered then what it would be like to actually have undaunted courage, and I marvel today to see it lived out everyday all around me on this healing journey we are traveling together at the ACTS House.
We’re all amazed when we hear accounts of the courage required to face incredibly difficult undertakings or physical conditions, and I’m here to tell you that choosing to live life to the fullest by overcoming the fears and obstacles that keep us from our best life is no less daunting, no less courageous. Undaunted means “not afraid to continue doing something or trying to do something even though there are problems, dangers, etc.; courageously resolute especially in the face of danger or difficulty; not discouraged; not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment” (Merriam-Webster). It’s not that we’re “not afraid”… we’re just becoming brave in the midst of our fears.
In her book, I Will Not Live an Unlived Life, Dawna Markova pinpoints one of our greatest fears and one of the steps toward conquering them:
“Through fear of knowing who we really are, we side-step our own destiny, which leaves us hungry in a famine of our own making. When we avoid knowing ourselves, we end up living numb, passionless lives, disconnected from our soul’s purpose. But when you have the courage to shape your life from the essence of who you are, you ignite, becoming truly alive. This requires letting go of everything that is inauthentic.
We all have islands of fear inside us, but we also have continents of wisdom and truth. Questions can… take us right to the edge of what is known and comfortable. They can require tremendous courage to ask. Questions pry our hearts open to both its pain and to our purpose and passion.”
Here are a few of the questions we’re answering for ourselves as part of the commitment we have made to live intentionally and fully: “Why am I here? What’s the purpose? How will being here get me closer to the realization of my purpose and God’s promises in my life? What deep needs are my current circumstances bringing to my attention? What is God wanting to be for me now in the midst of my circumstances? What has been my response to Him? Am I receiving? Why or why not?” The task can feel daunting at times, but we’re also learning to live with undaunted courage in the midst of life’s daunting realities by receiving from God all that He’s promised, all that we need.