The Brave Choice

He looks up at me and says it again, the thing that he has said to me a thousand times.

“Just tell me if it is too much. Tell me if something needs to change. You are my first ministry.”

He’s says it so plainly and I envy his ability to be direct. I’m the girl who chases words down. I hunt them and find that they are all too often elusive in my daily life and relationships.

The words spin out of control in my head and never seem to make it out of my mouth the same way they come out of my pen.

I swallow the fear and push down the words.

I want to tell him that it is all too much. I want to tell him that I want a nice neat life where everything is known and controlled and where he stays put.

I used to be the girl that wanted to see the world and then I got scared of everything, of the way a plane banks and steals my sense of control.

But he still hangs hard onto his wandering heart and that has taken him to North Korea and all over the African continent to fill empty cups with water and hope. I’ve done my fair share of adventuring, but I stay home more often than not these days with a toddler and a fort to hold down.

I don’t tell him “no” and he keeps going and pushing and watching God bless the work of our hands and the job we’ve committed too.

You see, I don’t not pour out the fear because I’m afraid. No, I don’t pour it out because Jesus poured out His blood and calls me to more.

I’m not saying that we should bury feelings or suppress the truth. I’m saying that sometimes we have to choose to step forward into big things without excuses. We can’t look behind us and plow the ground in front of us. If some else’s grass is greener then we are only left to assume that they let God tend and grow it.

When our husbands are called to something brave we have a few choices.

We can block them at every turn and live small fearful lives.

When you quench the Spirit your husband’s spirit will be squelched. Don’t think that you can live in the sin of fear (and it IS sin sister, it IS) and see your life and those you love flourish. It won’t happen. It will choke you and everyone you love and it is the rock hard ground that illogically breeds the hearty seed of resentment.

We can say “yes” but live the “no”.

You can look into your husbands eyes and sob out “yes” and then you can wake up every morning and live the “no” in ways that prevent him from stepping out boldly. You can withhold prayers, your support, your self all while speaking empty words of solidarity. We have to carry our cross without carrying a chip on our shoulders.


We can tell the truth, that it scares us pale and breathless, but instead of living “no” we can cling to Jesus and live the “yes”. Even if you are scared say “yes” and live “yes”.

When we hit our knees fear hits a wall.

That wall is Jesus and He is the perfect love that perfects us and kicks fear to the curb. If we’re scared of our calling then maybe we don’t know the sound of the Saviors voice that beckons us forward.

He looks at my eyes and he can see the fear that swims in their green depths and he knows that it can damn near drown me at times. He knows that his calling, OUR calling, tests my faith on every front and he isn’t insensitive to the thorn in my side.

But sister, if you married him and you believe that God has called you to whatever it is… a job change, a business idea, a crazy God-sized dream…well, then God called you too. He called you both and that might look different on any given day, but you are both called to the same obedience.

When he looks at you and asks if you are with him say “yes” and live the “yes”.

Find your place in your husband’s calling and live it full and fearless. Believe you have a place in his calling.

My husband is the bravest man I know. He’s walked away more than once from the security of normalcy. He has done the uncomfortable, the uncertain, the unpredictable. I’ve watched. I’ve lived all of the choices and the one I come back to is the “yes” and “yes”.

If you want a marriage that thrives say “yes” and live the “yes”.

My husband has made me more brave and with every “yes” fear dies a bit and we live our calling, together, just a little bit more.

How’s it going with saying “yes” and living “yes?”

Photo Credit: Claudio.Ar via Compfight


  1. Debbie January 22, 2014

    You write: Find your place in your husband’s calling and live it full and fearless. Believe you have a place in his calling. 

    This is so true. If it is to come alongside and go or stay and hold the fort down that is the place God has given us in his calling.

  2. Jennifer January 22, 2014

    Saying Yes…. and Living Yes… speaks to us all. As does the quote in the picture which leads your article. We really cannot look behind us and at the same time plow the ground in front of us, do what we are called to do in the here and the now. This speaks to of simply living yes for today, for this hour. Not worrying about the ways I have not lived yes, in the past, or focusing on whether I feel like I can live yes, simply do what God calls me to do, tomorrow, or anytime in the future.  I can only live for today, today.

    1. Jessica Hoover January 22, 2014

      Jennifer, I’ve really been thinking about that concept of the “yes” in the now. Not dwelling on the failures of the past or trying to get ahead of yourself, but living in the now and saying “yes” now.

  3. Tami January 22, 2014

    Hi!  I’m new here (hit a link from (in)courage!)!  Thanks for writing this.  For several years when my husband was away from home a lot, while I had 3 little ones, and we’d overstayed our residency after he was blacklisted locally,  I kept repeating to myself a quote from Jill Briscoe in Renewal on the Run.  Actually, she was quoting an elderly worker lady that was a guest in her home.  I am still tearing up, thinking of it…”Somebody has to do the hard jobs.”  Sometimes that is us, and sometimes it might be our husbands, but if it is for the Kingdom, and truly for us to do, then I want us to be fully Yes, as well!  Bon courage, ladies!


    1. Jessica Hoover January 22, 2014

      Tami, first, welcome! Second, that quote is so beautiful and perfect for this. It can be so hard to see in the moment, but nonetheless true.  So glad you came to share that!

  4. Becky Faubion January 22, 2014

    This really resonnates with me, “Say the yes, live the no.”  During our many years in Vietnam, I would battle with this.  Sometimes I’d ask God, “Will we stay here forever?  How much longer?”  Other times I would knew that I  could make everyday and every situation count.  If we were going to ‘give up’ so much then I shouldn’t waste the opportunity.  If I was here then I needed to make the time count so I would focus myself to that aim.  But everytime I got weak and asked, “How many more years?” God would say, “Choose Joy,”.  I knew I needed to be content no matter the country, the situation, the circumstances.  It was hard sometimes.  But other times it came without effort.

    1. Jessica Hoover January 22, 2014

      Becky, I think you hit on something that is so true. This isn’t a one time battle. Particularly if you are serving long term. There will be seasons and times when this is harder and easier. Living on the field really taught me to live in the now. Similar to what Jennifer said. You can’t look back and dwell on failures or regrets and getting to far ahead of yourself is dangerous. You can miss tremendous opportunities. I think it is one of those self checks that we have to do when we talk to God and ask Him if we are living the “yes” in that very moment. Thanks for chiming in and sharing. Would love to hear more about your years in Vietnam.

  5. Amy Young January 22, 2014

    Teehee, I commented this afternoon … but it turns out that I wasn’t actually on line. So, here goes take two :). I agree that both are call. And at times it can get a bit complex when either spouse is thriving and the other is wilting. I had a few other “pearls” to offer, but that’s the gist of it 🙂

  6. Karin Madden January 23, 2014

    Hi my dear friend! I followed you here from your blog today. I love to read what is going on in your life. And, your baby is a toddler! Time – just too fast, isn’t it? Every word you write here rings true. “He called you both… you are both called to the same obedience.” Yes. I needed to read this today. My husband is a pilot in the military and I follow him wherever God takes us. Many lonely, tough, and scary times. But, yes, God calls me, too. I love your heart and I love to read your beautiful words. Hugs to you, sweet friend!

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