- The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
- That quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart; valor; boldness; resolution.
- A quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear
- Obsolete. The heart as the source of emotion.
- Idiom – have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.
ORIGIN: 1250-1300; ME corage OF, equiv. to cuer heart (cor; see HEART) + -age
Usage: See Heroism. -- Courage, Bravery, Fortitude, Intrepidity, Gallantry, Valor. Courage is that firmness of spirit and swell of soul which meets danger without fear. Bravery is daring and impetuous courage, like that of one who has the reward continually in view, and displays his courage in daring acts. Fortitude has often been styled "passive courage," and consist in the habit of encountering danger and enduring pain with a steadfast and unbroken spirit. Valor is courage exhibited in war, and can not be applied to single combats; it is never used figuratively. Intrepidity is firm, unshaken courage. Gallantry is adventurous courage, which courts danger with a high and cheerful spirit. A man may show courage, fortitude, or intrepidity in the common pursuits of life, as well as in war. Valor, bravery, and gallantry are displayed in the contest of arms. Valor belongs only to battle; bravery may be shown in single combat; gallantry may be manifested either in attack or defense; but in the latter ease, the defense is usually turned into an attack.
"My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh, and this soft courage makes your followers faint." --Shakespeare
Yesterday was a blue day, I'll have to admit, and it wasn't even a Monday. I really needed to share with everyone how I felt – I guess that's why I'm writing. When I started this journey last month, Doug & I read in a book about dealing with cancer that writing is good therapy. I feel a sense of release in sharing my thoughts and I guess it gives people a way to help carry this burden with me. For isn't that what we are called to do? "Carry one another's burdens?" I can feel people carrying it with me – thank you. God bless you. He is showing me His love through you – through your encouragement, your loving touch, your prayers, your presence, your gifts. I have never felt so loved in my life.
After blogging (30 years ago, this word never even existed) yesterday, the OT director stopped by for a coffee. I poured out my thoughts like a flood, accompanied with more tears. Yes, I need to praise God for this time in my life – easy to say in the good times, harder to do when you're in the midst of a crisis. We have to LEARN how to do this – we have PRACTICE praise until it comes easy in the hard times. Doug had called me earlier that morning and said, "Deb, I've been praying, and you need to sing The Lord is My Shepherd (Keith Green) on your piano. I love you." This was my song while going into surgery – "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me…" I sat down at the piano and played and sang to the Lord. He IS my refuge and strength. He IS my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He IS sovereign over this crisis in my life; over ALL trials He is sovereign.
The OT Director and I knelt by the Christmas tree; she prayed for me and asked me to pray for her. She gave me the next assignment – a strange one, but we both know it is from God. I began today. Stay tuned, I will tell you more later.
Back to courage – I must gain courage from the only One who can give me courage. The other day, I wrote that W.M. sent me a courage angel and a card that said I was "the most courageous gal" she knows. Yesterday's event is similar to The Tale of Two Believes. Read on….
Janet White #1 stopped by after supper for a visit, bearing much fruit for our table. We chatted about our the difficulty seeing our children go back out west, dealing with sickness, cancer and death – Janet is well acquainted with grief – her daughter died a few years ago at the age of 15 in an accident, and her husband died of cancer a year ago. He was a good friend; he still is a good friend. Janet is a person of great faith and I admire her greatly. I want to be like her – strong, resilient, compassionate, loving. She is also one of my cousins; we're closer than we thought.
Q called to comfort me (you can see her pic at the bottom of the blog). She also prayed a mighty prayer of comfort for me and said she'd call me in the morning. Q lives on the rock, but she's not far away.
At 9 o'clock, the doorbell rang. Who could that be? Doug went to check. Enter, stage right: Doug's best man, Reg, and one of my bridesmaids, Lin. We have a thirty-two year history with these friends. They were spontaneous – they came over unannounced; we're so proud of them. And to visit at such a random time. We hung out with them before we were married (they were married before we were), sped around in Reg's Gremlin, carefree and so in love, we all were. Many memories. We raised our children together, and Natalie & Becky are still best of friends. We hung out again tonight, and had many laughs. They had read the blog that afternoon, and God sent them here, we know.
L. gave me a letter that she composed that afternoon, in case we were not home. I'm glad she put it in writing, so I won't forget. Lin has an amazing gift of 'encouragement writing.' She gave me the first gift – a tube of Crest whitening toothpaste, for "those days when the whitestrips are just too much of a pain to put on." Funny; yes, for my beauty improvement program; it's going well – I'm a ravishing beauty right now.
The next gift: Lin had purchased a WillowTree Angel of Courage last week, but wasn't able to come over last week to give it to me. This would have been about the same time that W. would have mailed her Angel of Courage to me. When I opened the gift, I gasped – an angel of courage again! God must be showing me something, pay attention, Deb. I said, "I think it's a different size than the one W. sent me." Reg retrieved it from the kitchen, and lo and behold, they are different sizes. One big courage, one little courage; one brunette, the other a bit blondish (remember me thinking my hair might come in blonde?).
I sat the angels on the table together – their arms lifted high in praise, in victory, in courage. Facing danger with bravery. Little courage, big courage. I have little courage now – it will grow to big courage, Cheryl said to me on the phone this morning. Yes! I believe. Little courage, big courage.
Lin said in her letter: "And so, I come back to Courage. Even though you already have one Angel of Courage, here is another – for both of you. May both of them be placed in your home where you will see them frequently as a constant reminder that our courage comes from God to walk these difficult paths . . . . God promises you strength for each day, Deb; He promises you courage, too, the kind of courage His Son had in His darkest hours. I know you will ask Him for it, as will I on your behalf. I know you will reach for it just as this Angel does. God will reach out to you and place Courage in your heart. I know you will tighten your grip around Courage and hold firmly to God. His grip on you, Deb, is even stronger. Nothing can snatch you from His grip. God will nudge the pray-ers throughout this journey into prayers for you which will strengthen your grip. These prayers will occur at any time of day or night. Lean into them as we come to the Father on your behalf."
Thanks, Lin. Thanks for coming to see us and being obedient to bring the second angel of courage. I WILL reach out for His courage. I WILL tighten my grip around Courage. Now nudge the pray-ers, Lord, so my grip will be strengthened.
I must go dance now.
Be of good courage and let us behave ourselves courageously for our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight. (1 Chron 19:13).
"The ornaments of a house are the friends who frequent it." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)