At some point in life, we all go through tough times that stretch our abilities and seem impossible to navigate.   To get through these often unpredictable times requires strength, perseverance and hope to name a few. A fundamental trait that creates a good foundation for all other traits is courage.

Courage is often confused with bravery; while they’re similar concepts, there is a slight difference. The brave have guts and strength; there’s usually a level of calculation and confrontation with a great risk or feat. Bravery is typically short-lived, like rescuing someone in a burning building or tackling a criminal; there is a surge of emotion and energy to take immediate action. Courage on the other hand is more of a commitment, a state of mind and less to do with what is happening in the moment.

Courage is what you have left when your bravery and strength are finished.

To physically leave an abusive relationship, the act of leaving requires bravery and strength. To continue life after that takes courage; it’s a trait we call on for a difficult journey.

Often it is not known exactly how the journey will unfold and yet the courageous press on; somehow they are willing to take just one more step when it might appear hopeless to others. There’s a relentless quality as they understand that the only way is forward, even if it means crawling or retreating within for a while.

There’s a realization that tears and hardship are a part of the journey; that it was never meant to be easy.  Courageous people crave the end result so badly and no matter how hard it gets, they believe that somehow, it will work out. There’s a quiet knowing that a power higher than their own is at work, trust in God increases and they press on.