There are two kinds of music I like to listen to in the mornings when I spend time with Jesus. The first is the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. I will never get over that gorgeous piano music. The second is the various Lord of the Rings soundtracks: specifically, the soundtracks to The Hobbit. I know you're all currently mocking me for my nerd status, but that's okay. This music is awesome. Not only is it beautiful, but it fills my heart with something. If you're reading this, you know of my indelible longing for adventure. This music fills me with an adventurous spirit. When I hear it, it's like mountains under a sunrise are calling to my heart, beckoning to me to come leap on their heights. I was going to write more, but I don't know if any description is better than that for what it feels like. I just want to go: go climb a mountain, ford a river, travel the world, wander under a sunrise, dance under stars. It makes me want to breath crisp, cool air and never go inside again.

Yesterday in church I had this thought. I've had it several times, in lesser ways, but it hit me with a fuller force yesterday. I hope it continues to bludgeon me over the head. Anyway, it's this:

I am created to be a woman of valor. I am created courageous, bold, and full of grace. This isn't just something I aspire to. Because of Christ, I already have all of this within me. Because of Christ, I can dance on mountaintops and breath the crisp, cool air that is grace and abundant life. I am a warrior princess in the truest sense: valiant and gracious. About 95% of the time I don't feel this way, but that doesn't make it not so.

I realize that this may sound a little corny to some, but I'm not here to apologize for the adventure-joy in my heart. You're created this way too, you know. You're created valiant. You're created courageous and full of boldness. If you're living in fear, I get it. Life is scary. There's so much around corners that we can't predict or see -- or if we can, it's totally unpleasant and fills our hearts with dark fear. But you are not called to live in fear. You were created valiant. You don't have to be afraid.

Being, you know, me, I looked up the definition of "valor" in the dictionary. Y'all, I'm even more in love with this word now. "Valor" means "the strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness." Isn't this amazing? We have no strength on our own, but God has given us strength of mind and spirit so we can deal with danger firmly. It doesn't mean we'll never be freaked out by things. It means we have the strength -- His strength -- not just to face the fearful things, but to deal with them. To strike them down. To defeat them.

So go and dance under the stars and breathe the cold air and climb a mountain and live abundantly. Fear can't touch you -- Christ deals with it. You were created valiant.

So be valorous.

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