Today’s post is brought to us by Janet Thompson. Janet is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books. As the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries,  Janet’s passion is to mentor other women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Her newest release is Everyday Brave: Living Courageously As a Woman of Faith.

In Everyday Brave, Janet explores the extraordinary bravery of fifty ordinary women in the Bible. Twenty-eight women of today also give testimonies of realizing their strength and courage through God’s love. As Janet shares the stories of these women, she reminds us that the real heart and substance of bravery comes from unconditionally placing our hope in the only One who can give us the courage to stay the course!

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My new Instant Pot sat in the box for weeks after my husband bought it for me on an Amazon Prime sale day. When I finally took it out to inspect it and read the directions for use, I packed it back into the box rationalizing that my grandkids were coming to visit and I didn’t have time to try this new unfamiliar appliance.

Truth be told, I was afraid of it. I had memories of my grandmother’s old style pressure cooker sizzling on the stove and her cautioning all the grandkids to stay away just in case it decided to explode. Explode?! Wow, Granny was brave and cooking looked really hard and dangerous.

One friend recently told me she has memories of her mother and grandmother canning chicken in a pressure cooker when it did explode. Chicken and glass flew all over the kitchen and parts of the appliance lodged in the ceiling of the kitchen never to be seen again!

I was comforted to know I wasn’t the only woman with trepidations when I joined a Facebook Instant Pot group trying to build up my courage to try this thing. Some women said theirs was still in the box since Christmas and it was now August. But many in the group said what so many had told me, “I love it.” Not just like it, they loved it!

Eventually, I did unbox the “beast” again and this time with my husband reading the directions and wearing his BBQ heat-resistant gloves, I bravely conquered my fear and cooked a delicious Pork Tenderloin in seventeen minutes. It actually wasn’t that hard and I didn’t need the goggles and face protection I had ready to put on . . . just in case.

I know some of you can relate to my experience and others are laughing because to you it was no big deal and you made your first Instant Pot meal with no fear or apprehension. Others might be reconsidering purchasing one or yours is still in the box too. Don’t let me scare you. They really are safe when you follow all the directions. But don’t let anyone pressure you into trying it until you feel ready.

We all deal with fear, but how do we keep our brave on and push through it? Here’s what I’ve come to understand:

Fear is Normal. 

Everyone deals with fear. It’s a natural part of life. Fear is an honest, real emotion. Our heart races. We tremble. There’s a sinking sensation in our stomach. We’re terrified. Frozen. We feel we’re not going to be brave this time.

Sometimes fear of loss or harm motivates a courageous act we wouldn’t otherwise consider.

We’re usually brave and courageous in situations that involve something or someone valuable to us. Risking danger or overcoming our fears reveals what is immensely important to us to protect or accomplish.

Often fear is a healthy reaction to a dangerous situation. Other times, it’s rooted in past or recent trauma or chronic worry.

Overcoming some fears may require the assistance of counselors, therapists, or doctors. Admitting you need help and acquiring it is courageous.

Conquering a fear can offer a world of new opportunities and accomplishments we’ve previously avoided.

My experience with the Instant Pot was about conquering a fear. But no amount of outside pressure from others helps. We need to be ready on the inside.

God knows we live in a world with things that go bump in the night, so he gave us a remedy. This may sound too simple, but “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). You might have to do this repeatedly, but take it from me—it works.

A friend recently shared wise words from Mary Anne Radmacher on a wall hanging in her home: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Like my fear of the Instant Pot, is fear stopping you from doing something? What fear has God helped you overcome?

(Winner must have a USA address, please.)

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