CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Brave 6/24/2019

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by Ruth O’Neil

Putting on a brave face. Now there’s something I’m good at. I have a habit of not asking people to pray for me in difficult times. Why? Shouldn’t I crave the knowledge that close friends are interceding to God on my behalf? Sure. But then there’s the friends who remember and ask me how I’m doing. That’s the bad part for me. I can put on a brave face until someone speaks to me. That’s when I fall apart and become a hot mess. 

A little over a year ago I asked friends to pray for a situation I was facing. I happened to see one of those friends a couple of hours later and she had the gall to ask me how I was doing. I couldn’t say a word, only cry. The next day I purposely avoided another one of those friends, but she caught up with me anyway. She teasingly said, “Am I not good enough for you today?” Yep, you guessed it. Hot mess right there in front of dozens of people. 

At another time another situation came up, and I again asked the same group of friends to pray not giving any details about the situation. I was wiser this time and told them I would be ignoring them so I could function. As long as no one spoke to me with sympathy in their eyes, I could go through the motions of each day – put on my brave face. A couple of weeks later the situation had not changed. I at least was not constantly on the verge of tears. One friend saw me, asked how I was doing, and hugged me when I began to choke up (but only a little). Another friend saw me and gave me a hug without saying a word. Another friend found me simply to give me something I needed. Another came to the door of the room I was in and just stood there a waiting my attention. Fortunately I saw her in my peripheral vision and purposely ignored her by appearing to be busy talking to someone else. Later that day I sent her a message letting her know I saw her and that her presence was enough. Her kind words and hug would have been too much for me to bear. That brave face would’ve been completely gone. 

This world often throws things at us that make it hard to be brave. We’d rather close our bedroom door, turn off all the lights, hide under the covers, and pretend we don’t exist. Putting on a brave face doesn’t mean we can’t share personal prayer request with friends. It doesn’t mean we can’t break down in front of them either. We are human beings, and sometimes the hurt we have to deal with can be overwhelming. 

There is One we don’t have to pretend to be brave for, and that is Jesus Christ. He already know what you’re going through. He already knows exactly how we feel. We can open up to Him and bear our is, souls, as ugly and messy as that may look. It is God who gives me strength when I am weak. It is God who helps us get up each morning and face each day. 

If you are in the middle of the battle right now, it doesn’t matter whether it’s physical, spiritual, or mental, stop pretending you have to be brave. Reach out to godly friends. More importantly, reach out to God.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot) or her website at ruthoneil (dot)

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