Girls with Swords Chapter 3

You Might Be a Hero

I’m an 80s girl…I read the title of this chapter and I’m thinking Footloose…”I Need a Hero!” Interesting because this chapter is not about us, women, needing heroes. It’s about US being the heroes. Total shift in thinking, isn’t it?

Maybe the hardest thing in this chapter is the notion that we need to “scrap our plans” and give God permission to insert us into His plan. I’m a planner…sometimes even a bit controlling, so scrapping MY plans? Oh my!

Yet…I know Lisa is exactly right. Submitting to God, surrendering to His plans, His ways, His paths…that’s really what I want at my core, so I’m glad she said this right off the bat so I can go into this chapter with the right frame of mind!

The good news is we don’t have to be “somebody” to be a hero. God can make a hero out of anyone who is willing! She uses Abraham as an example. He wasn’t someone special when God called him…at least not by the world’s standards. His faith…and his actions based on his faith…is what made him special!

Question #2 on page 35 of her Fencing Manual says, “Our heavenly Father specializes in the impossible and the improbable. He called Abraham the ‘father of many’ long before he became one. What is it that God calls you that you are yet trying to be or achieve in your own strength?”

Some responses in our group were “bold in witness,” or “unconditional with my love.” I went more direct with things like “writer” or “speaker,” or even “without fear!”  How about you?

Lisa asks us to read Hebrews 11. I’ve heard this chapter called the Hall of Faith…all these great biblical heroes who “by faith” did so much! Read this chapter…what does it awaken in you?

We’re reminded by these heroes that faith means ACTION…so these heroes are action heroes! “Believing means doing.” Look over the list of faith actions on pages 38-39 in the book. Which one(s) jump out at you? What can you attach action to?

I’m drawn to the “eyes on the eternal” in this season of my life. I think it’s two-fold. One, I have this deep longing for the eternal, heavenly, kingdom-centered. And two, I know I have a tendency to over focus on the tasks at hand, which prevents my eyes, heart, and spirit from connecting with the spiritual, the eternal!  So it’s a desire and a challenge.

So we need to surrender to God’s plans, be ready to take action, and Lisa teaches we need to seize the moment.  Anyone thinking “carpe diem?” A little Dead Poet’s Society? (Too many movie references, I know).

Here’s the crux: “So many battles you win by remaining constant.” (FM p. 38). It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to turn the other way. It’s easy to look to someone else to do it for us. In her video lesson, Lisa said something about prayer…that too often we lean on others to do our praying for us, when really we’re equipped and called to launch into our own praying.

Now, that’s not her saying never call on friends to pray with and for you…she’s just saying, don’t make it a habit of never picking up the sword and fighting your own battles! Amen!

So fight your battles. But have at least one person you can call on when the going gets tough, or in her analogy, the smoke is thick. Do you have that person? If not, maybe that’s one prayer to start with. God is so faithful. He will provide.

She shifts just a little into the idea that we’re connected into a legacy that has gone before us. I think of my great-grandparents who were Methodist missionaries in India. What a road they paved. I can only imagine the prayers they lifted up and the paths they forged for the kingdom. They had no idea the generational impact their battles would have, but they were faithful to fight the fight they were given. And I’m so grateful. I really think they paved a way for me, my kids, and their kids. I want to do the same.

Have you ever thought that way? Have you ever pictured that “great cloud of witnesses” cheering you on?

On page 40 of the Fencing Manual, Lisa says this, ” …we are part of the final act of this story. All of their heroic acts are waiting to be completed when they are joined together with ours.” Wow! We join with our forefathers and mothers and continue to carry the torch. We might even be the ones to run the last leg of the race and light the big torch (images of the Olympics are big here!).

So, Heroes are Brave! And brave doesn’t mean never afraid. Think on that! “You don’t have to feel brave to be brave. You just have to choose to do what is brave.” (FM p. 43) Don’t know about you but in my experience this is true. I recall with clarity one of my first acts of bravery as a believer was to walk up to the altar to be with a new friend who needed someone to come alongside her in her grief and sorrow. I had no idea what to do or say, but I KNEW I was supposed to go there with her, so I said a prayer, swallowed my fear, and headed up there. The beautiful thing was God provided this amazing army of prayer warriors who surrounded us and prayed, but it seems I was called to get it going. I am so glad I didn’t miss that opportunity. I know my friend was blessed…but so was I!

Lisa talks about reacting. She says that if we allow fear to rule us, we tend to react with fear. But as we mature…”as we become more skillful with the sword” … we have more control over choosing our response. We can respond to God, His kingdom, His purposes rather than protecting ourselves!

She ends this chapter with two thoughts. One, she asks a tough question: “When was the last time you championed something that didn’t actually benefit you?” (FM p. 44) You see, “heroes do things because they’re right, not because they want to be seen.” Whoa…

And secondly, she asks us to read ALOUD Ephesians 6:10-18. I highly recommend this! This chapter of the Bible changed my prayer life, my way of looking at the world and myself. It’s so empowering and challenging. As you read it, think about what God is giving you for this battle, and think of yourself as the hero God is calling you to be!

Then pick up your sword and enter the battle!

Sword in hand,

Shelley Johnson

Published by Shelley Linn Johnson

Lover of The Word. And words. Cultivator of curiosity about all things Christ. Lifelong learner who likes inviting others along for the journey. Recovering perfectionist who has only recently realized that rhythms are so much better than stress-inducing must-do's.

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