Can I Borrow some Courage from You?

The road of healing can seem impossible at times, but with some borrowed courage you will never feel alone. Courage fosters progress.  

Simple words make all the difference when spoken from a heart of genuine knowing.

‘I believe you can make it’ gave me the courage to go on.

They were the right words at the right time. The anonymous writer on the internet somehow knew my heart. I borrowed their courage.

Take heart

The word ‘courage’ has an interesting background. The Latin word ‘cor’ literally means ‘heart’. So to have courage means to have heart. 

When we encourage we give others heart.

When you are frightened, uncertain, full of despair then they most powerful thing you can do is have someone offer a gift of courage.

You don’t want to be fixed, advised, saved or straightened out. What you want is to know that the heart of someone else is beating in unison with your own.

Being alone was never part of the plan.

Abandonment and rejection

Probably two of our deepest core fears are that of being abandoned and being rejected.

  • Abandoned – left behind, ignored, alone.
  • Rejected – a conscious decision to separate, to push away.

It’s to those horrifying places of disconnection that Christ goes to and offers us ‘Cou’ – heart.

Just before his own experience of complete abandonment and rejection, he talks to his followers.

You’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me.

But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me.

I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world. John 16:31-33 The Message

Jesus knew that he would be rejected and abandoned, yet he drew strength to go through this hurtful time because there was something ‘unshakable and assured’ within him.

He was ‘deeply at peace’.

He offered courage to his followers to borrow for the time when they would have feelings of rejection and abandonment.

Borrowed Courage

Once I was talking with someone about them going to see a Doctor.

They were suicidal and were frightened about what might or might not happen.

‘Do you have any questions about going to see the doctor’ I asked.

They had a few and then I offered myself. 

‘Would you like me to come with you? I might be able to explain some of the things you have felt difficult to share with me’

‘I’m not going to leave you alone to face this by yourself’

‘I believe in you and that together we can make it through’

They borrowed some courage from me and we moved forward.

Real encouragement occurs when words are spoken
from a heart of love to
another’s recognized fear.
Larry Crabb

It doesn’t take much 

I’m often surprised how a such a small amount of borrowed courage can be the tipping point to change.

It’s like you give permission for them to try and even fail. And that even if there is a failure the relationship won’t fail.

It’s a reassurance that they are not alone in the struggle. That others have been this way too, in fact, it’s a well-worn path of borrowed and shared courage.

Paying it forward

Who have you borrowed courage from?

They probably don’t want it back but most likely they want you to pay it forward. To gift courage into someone else.

Perhaps it’s in words such as these.

  • I believe in you
  • I believe you can make this journey
  • I know that some good is being done in your heart by the struggle you are facing
  • I’m going to walk beside you and breath life into when you feel like your drowning
  • Shadows will come but I will be with you in those dark places

The road of healing can seem impossible at times, but with some borrowed courage from a knowing friend, you will never feel alone. Courage will foster progress, unexpected.

Quotes to consider

  • Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread. D.T Niles
  • Opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, dreams… that is being naked.  Rob Bell
  • ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he [Bilbo] used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ . . .”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring 

Questions to answer

  1. When have you borrowed courage from someone?
  2. Why is it that we need others on the journey?
  3. Who can you ‘pay forward’ the courage that you have received from others?

Further Reading

Please. No Fixing, Advising, Saving or Straightening Out

I’ll Get Strong With A Little Help From My Friends

Does a Beggar Walk by your Side and Protect your Soul?

Barry Pearman

Image cc: Linus Sandvide