Who has not enjoyed an engaging Danielle Steele novel? This American novelist has sold almost 1 billion books worldwide, making her one of the best selling fiction authors of all time.
Her novels revel life lessons that have carried her through heartbreak, the loss of loved ones, the challenges of a career, the demands and joys of motherhood and the importance of family.
In a recent interview for her upcoming memoir, I found her answers to certain questions to be inspiring for us all.
As I read this interview I found myself reflecting on these same questions. I’d challenge you to do the same.
Question: “When do you feel your bravest?” Answer: When I feel loved.
Upon reading this I reflected on the “analysis paralysis” situation I wrestled with deciding if I should leave the convent. On one hand I didn’t want to say “no” to God’s invitation to serve, that would be selfish; on the other hand I did not find the peace and joy of fulfilling my destiny, I despaired.
My dear father gave me that love that Danielle Steele referred to encouraging me to be my bravest. When seeking his opinion if I should leave the convent or stay and serve, he spoke these words that I will never forget:
“If you stay in the convent I would be the proudest father. But if you left the convent, I would be the happiest father in the world.”
With that my dad gave me the unconditional love that I would need to ditch the guilt and burst out of my comfort zone.
We daily encounter people who need to be brave in many various situations, including ourselves. People contend with heartbreak, illness, financial stress, the loss of loved ones, challenges of a career, worry, the demands of a family, etc. (You can fill in the rest…)
So what can we do to encourage bravery in yourself and others? We can love.
We are all familiar with the Bible verse from Corinthians (usually read at weddings). This gives us an insight on how to love and what it looks like:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
With this reminder let’s recommit to love each other to be our bravest, all the way home.