A Model of Courage


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Courage is never something we gain easily. It comes at a great cost to the one who gains it because it only comes when an overwhelming fear is faced. And by its very nature, fear urges us to flee when we should stand and fear causes us to doubt when we should hope.


In truth I do not consider myself a courageous person as I look at so many examples of courage. I am always impacted by Medal of Honor ceremonies and the stories of great heroes both past and present. I never tire of the heroes of the faith that are written in Old and New Testaments of the Bible as well.


David killing Goliath with a sling and smooth stone, Daniel facing lions, Joshua, the 52787_slingshot_lgwarrior, marching around Jericho, and many more biblical stories are never tiresome.


Men and women who fight for the rest of us have my deepest respect and honor, but if we look around us we will discover so many other examples to give us impetus to stand when our time comes to do so for whatever reason.


In July 2016 our family got to watch an example up close and personal as one of our three granddaughters (Sydney) faced the painful surgery necessary to place titanium rods on both sides of her spinal column to correct scoliosis. I shared that story in a blog post then as she expressed so much faith in the Lord providing as she entered surgery. There was also the truth of the testing that occurred when the Lord did not prevent or quickly remove the excruciating pain and our granddaughter wondered where the Lord was.


We watched as Sydney fought through this trial with tears and then determinedly fought again to regain her strength, endurance, and as much flexibility as possible in the months following that surgery.


Sydney & big brother, Austin

One of the things she had done just before surgery was to face and pass her yellow belt test in karate. Her instructor believed in her and that facing that challenge would aid her courage for what lay ahead in the surgery and healing process. (He was right.)


Over these two years we have seen glimpses of how Sydney has grown stronger physically and spiritually. Over and over again we have seen the evidences of what she said as a toddler on more than one or two occasions: “Don’t under estimate me!”


You see she was and is the shortest and smallest of her siblings (that will never be what you notice if you spend five minutes with her) and this statement was a reminder of how tall and strong she was and intended to be on the inside. She also diligently worked physically and spiritually to grow into that which she desired to become and she knew it would come through the Lord’s help. I cannot help but wonder if it was He who put that determination in her long before she knew what it would mean and what would be needed to gain that strength and courage.


Sydney’s return to karate was something she was excited about and this week she faced her next belt test to move to green. It was not going to be easy. There were many aspects to the test including fighting for 20 minutes many who were stronger and more advanced than she. It meant facing the pain and fear of those blows (Her instructor made clear to those who would fight her there were to be no kicks or punches to her spine.), as they would strike her body.


Sydney prayed continually before the day arrived for what this would entail and now when the testing came, she prayed more and harder. As the blows came, struck, and green-belthurt, she grew more tired and called on the Lord to sustain her. She reminded herself of the pain she had endured post surgery that had been worse and encouraged herself to stand and keep fighting.


Once more she prevailed and now wears a green belt when she goes to karate practice. It is more than just a belt. It represents so much hard work and a great deal of courage and growth in faith.


Sydney is not the only child or grandchild to progress through belt tests in karate. (It is a serious disciplined sport.) But as we watch her life unfold during her teen years, we see how her approach to life makes all the difference no matter what she faces. She doggedly embraces the truth of who God is and how He moves in our lives and entrusts herself to Him without reservation. She has learned over and over again that the way to defeat fear is to face it. (She even learned that when she feared riding roller coasters and made herself do it repeatedly to conquer that fear.)


Look around you and I am sure you will discover examples of courage in your corner of the world as well.


In the midst of a darkening world and growing fear, we are called to stand, to be light, to find courage.


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

 Joshua 1:9


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28 thoughts on “A Model of Courage

  1. I am so happy to read this story about Sidney! What courage and faith she has. Lord Jesus continue to bless and keep her well. I think trials can either make us bitter or better and it seems like she has chosen the better. Love you, Ellie Cooper

    1. Hi Ellie! I am so glad it blessed you! You have a long view of our family and I am delighted you caught this post. I hope you will be able to get my book as I think you would be blessed by the story. Love and hugs, Pam❤️

  2. Pam, Thank you so much for sharing this precious story of your granddaughter’s faith and courage. Oh how she has glorified God. What a blessing she must be to you!

    I leave your blog feeling greatly encouraged.


    1. You’re welcome! Thanks so much, Karen! I am blessed to know you were encouraged greatly! Hugs to you!💕

  3. What a moving story about your brave and beautiful granddaughter! Kudos to her for persevering through pain and setbacks. Kudos to your family and her instructor for believing in her and supporting her!

    1. Thanks, Laurie! We have a team of support including her aunt and uncle in TN sending therapy dogs to visit her after her surgery.

  4. I had been diagnosed with scoliosis, I don’t recall when. At 24, the dr. told me it pushed my heart forward. I never wanted surgery, I really didn’t think I would survive it. I knew the Lord was my healer. At 30 , I was at a healing service and a prominent minister call out spirits of infirmity. I have had to stand in faith for that healing, I am even taller. I have had attacks of pain but I know He has done a work in me. I applaud Sydney, and I do agree braces are good, and to get a diagnosis. I have also seen the miraculous and even the x rays, i wish I had mine. I’d love to see a comparison. That pain is excruciating, the word is derived from, on the cross. Praying a full Isaiah 53 healing over people with scoliosis. We should command that spirit of infirmity out, the Bible is clear that it was the devil crippling the woman, so we need to stay full of His Spirit, and resist it. I have had people to tell me to get disability, I had rather get healed and stay that way. God bless.

    1. That’s a powerful testimony and I am so happy for you. Our daughter had prayer at a healing service before starting to wear a brace and her faith was great and a word was given her, but the x-rays did not confirm that word and she was disheartened and did need to wear a brace. I have no question God can and does heal, but I also know that is not always the route He takes some on.

      1. Sometimes, it just takes time. and from my own experience, I tell people there is pain involved in healing both mental and physical. Having been taught to resist the devil, I resisted pain but one day it hit me that the devil tried to imitate God, and it was an eye opener, I stop resisting and had major growing pains, I thought children were making that up, I guess not, and it even goes through the legs. He has many ways of healing, I think He will guide us into it.

  5. Pam, I am so glad you shared this story on your blog and with Grace & Truth Christian LInk-Up I love hearing stories of courageous people. It give me the courage to do what God has called me to do. Maree

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this story, Pam. What a beautiful heart and spirit is shown in Sydney! Yes, she is definitely an example of courage. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #porchstories.

  7. Thank you for sharing about Sydney’s courageous heart! My daughter was recently diagnosed with scoliosis, as well. We can learn so much from these young ones! Blessings, Tammy

    1. Thanks! I thought it was a good story to share. Yes, we very much can. My daughter had scoliosis and wore a brace for three years in high school and Sydney’s younger brother is wearing a brace at night that has stopped the curve from developing. It’s good they diagnose it early. My husband’s back issues come in part from scoliosis that was never diagnosed back then. Prayerfully your daughter will get good treatment and help! Hugs, Pam💕

  8. Sydney is a beautiful and courageous young lady. She is an inspiration for many who face obstacles and fear the battle. Thanks for sharing her journey! ❤️

  9. What a hard thing for your family to go through! Hurts my heart thinking about it. Watching our children overcome and grow in their faith as they do hard things, that’s everything! Loved this story!

    1. It was indeed! It was not the first family trial. however. Her younger brother was born with an incomplete right hand and palm and underwent 8 surgeries that gave him a functional hand.

  10. What a beautiful, courageous young lady. When I see in the picture how both the instructor and your granddaughter have their hands in fist, it reminds me how we are always to be prepared to fight the battle of principalities that want to stop what God plans for us!

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