Moving Forward When Life Falls Apart
By Monica Switzer
When Word Alive Press contacted me to let me know that I was a finalist in the Women’s Journey of Faith Publishing contest, I was in the middle of one of the most difficult challenges I had ever faced.
After a lengthy time away from our kids and a lot of money spent, we had just gone through a very traumatic adoption loss. My husband and I were freezing in the arctic in the middle of August, missing our kids terribly and aching deeply for the baby girl we had in our care for thirty hours. We had so many questions. Why would God lead us so clearly to go ahead with this adoption if it was all going to fall through and break us deeply?
To make things more complicated, that book I had written was all about saying a “brave yes” to God when he asks you do something. And a “brave yes” had just broken my heart.
I didn’t think I could go forward with publishing my book since I didn’t know if I would ever recover from the pain reverberating inside my heart.
After we arrived back home to our three children, it was several weeks before I could look at my manuscript again. When I finally picked it up, I cried all the way through it as my own story from a previous season reminded me that I don’t own the results of a “brave yes”. I only own my obedience to the voice of God. It’s up to him to do the rest, and he is writing a beautiful story that I may never understand on this side of eternity.
What is a “brave yes”?
This phrase is what God impressed on my heart during the start-up phase of our clothing store. We were taking a big step up of faith by opening up a shop with the purpose of meeting needs locally and supplying products that support global initiatives, like orphanages and clean water supply.
We started out thinking quite small, but the Lord kept laying one step in front of the other and simply asked us if we would say a “brave yes”, right in the middle of our fear.
To put it simply, a “brave yes” is a predetermined commitment to say yes to God, no matter what he asks of you.
It is a decision you make before you are in a situation that would cause you to shrink back in fear. It is a bold and audacious choice to say like David:
“I have determined in my heart to obey whatever you say,
fully and forever!” (Psalm 119:112 TPT)
It means you have counted the cost of following Jesus, and you acknowledge it could require your life, and you are ready to answer yes, with every ounce of courage in your heart, trusting the anointing of the Holy Spirit to empower you.
A “brave yes” removes excuses and echoes the words of Isaiah: “Here am I God, send me.”
A “brave yes” echoes the words of Mary, who facing the angel who had just given a shocking decree that she would supernaturally conceive a son and instantly realizing this could cost her everything, she makes this declaration: “May everything happen as you have said.”
A “brave yes” holds Jesus at his word when he said that those who lay down their life for him will find it.
A “brave yes” is a conviction that only at the point of surrendered obedience will we find the rest and joy our souls have been seeking.
“The lovers of God who chase after righteousness
will find all their dreams come true:
an abundant life drenched with favor
and a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.” (Proverbs 21:21 TPT)
A “brave yes” chooses to honour God above all else and seek a life of radical obedience.
Our family is in the middle of a number of “brave yeses”, the biggest being a cross-country move, away from all of our family, to say yes to the next season of ministry. As I type, the boxes are piling up and the days left in the home I love, can be counted on one hand. There are so many unknowns that I cannot control in this transition, but I am at peace knowing we have done our part and simply obeyed.
In the middle of walking out any “brave yes” to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I find it important to have a weapon against fear. For me that is Hebrews 10:39 from the Passion Translation.
“But we are certainly not those who are held back by fear and perish; we are among those who have faith and experience true life.”
I am responsible to fight fear when it tries to deter me from following down the path that God has illuminated for me. No one else can combat fear for me. Others can stand with us in prayer, but at the end of the day we have to stand up and declare that come what may, we will serve the Lord.
When I am afraid I remind myself that I am not one who is held back by fear and that my choice to follow Christ and live by faith is going to bring me true life.
May God bless your “brave yes”!
About this Contributor:
Monica Switzer is passionate about seeing the body of Christ live a brave life with Jesus. She attended the Master’s Commission discipleship school at Regina Apostolic Church and went on to co-lead pastor with her husband, Andrew. Together they became ordained ministers. When Monica is not homeschooling their three beautiful children or writing, you can find her at the hockey rink, drinking tea, or baking cookies in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada.