3. I am grateful for courage.
One of the scariest things in the world is opening up about our fears, dark thoughts, or personal struggles with someone else. We keep our guards up and put on a strong face so no one has to worry about us or consider us weak. We’re afraid of judgement; worrying what others might think if we really let them know who we are and what we’re going through. Giving that personal information to someone else is scary because it makes us vulnerable.
But I’m grateful for courage. That tiny nudge that says “spit it out” and forces you to blurt out the words that have been churning in your stomach for days. Courage gives us the push we need to open up, bear our souls, and trust others to help us carry our burdens so we don’t have to do it alone. We’re designed for community and relationships, and keeping things inside isolates us, hinders meaningful connections from growing, and makes us feel more alone and depressed.
For a long time in my life I hid my mistakes from people out of fear that I would be rejected and judged. But the first time I really opened up to a group of people, it changed my life. I was shook with terror at the time, my voice literally shook as I spoke, but courage kept the words coming out. I still carried fear with me after that incident, worrying that my personal stories would be used against me or change the way people saw me. That I’d never live it down. But the complete opposite happened: I gained the most meaningful and loyal friendships I’ve ever had in my life. I made new companions, solidified old friendships, and gained a core group of people who would pray and care for me anytime I needed it.
Sharing made it easier to handle my emotional lows, as terrifying as it was, and it started with someone else sharing their own struggles first. Their courage had a ripple effect on me, and now I try my best to be as transparent as possible so if someone is struggling with something similar, they can feel confident to share their challenges with me and we can work together towards healing. But all of that takes courage, so I’m grateful for it.