Brave Women Run In My Family



As I write my post this morning I am savouring a delicious coffee made by my gorgeous barista (who also happens to be my husband). It’s in my new mug that says, “Brave Women run in my Family.” It reminds me of who I am.

I come from a long line of brave and gritty women. They are women who taught me through their lives what hard work, determination, an indomitable spirit and a firm faith in God looked like. Their lives, their stories and their convictions played a huge role in shaping my life and my character. Their example has kicked my butt many times when I was ready to give up. In their own hard times they just kept getting up and doing life hard, but determined. I was convinced and convicted that if they could do it, so could I.

Grit is the ability to keep holding on and keep pushing through in the face of challenges and setbacks. It is seeing the finish line ahead of you. It’s a refusal to relinquish the dream that God has put in your heart when it seems like it will never come to pass. Grit is what keeps you in a stance of faith and keeps you standing long after you have done everything you know to do.

 True grit is pure grace because I am not standing in my own strength, but God’s.

“’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV)

I am in a season that requires grit. There are things in my world right now that I didn’t see coming, things I didn’t expect and I am standing with resolve and tenacity as I look toward God with expectant hope and complete trust. As I wait on Him, I am finding joy in the journey—not a light-hearted mirth, but a deep abiding sense of His beautiful presence and peace, which is such an unexpected gift. I know it is what James was teaching us in James 1:2-4, where it says:

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. (The Voice)

I have been known to say that I am a lot like a pit-bull that won’t let go once its teeth are clamped on to something. The only difference between me and a pit-bull is that I wear lipstick.

Grit is the resolve to stay on the path that God has called you to no matter how many twists, turns and switchbacks there are along the way.

Grit is the conviction to stay at your post no matter how many others have left.

Grit looks a lot like Sarah who in her old age welcomed the child she was promised or like Joseph who received a promise from God and yet endured hardship and persecution as he spent time in a pit and a prison. There is a purpose for grit—it is to get us to the promise we have been given.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36, NLT)

I want to be a “If she can do it, I can do it” kind of woman. I want to be a woman who lives with sheer dependence and trust in God, in the good times and in the times that require gritty faith and determination. Grit after all simply looks like grace under fire. I am keenly aware that my daughters, grandchildren and others look to me. I want them to say that brave women run in their family too.

Helen Burns

Helen Burns

Helen Burns and her husband, John, speak around the world on the topic of relationships. They host the popular TV show “Relate with John and Helen.”
Helen Burns
Helen Burns

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