Apr 4, 2014

Be Courageous . . . Holley Gerth

by Marsha Ward

Recently I read a quote by someone I'd never heard of before, but immediately wanted to know better. The quote goes like this:

Be courageous and write in a way that scares you a little. ~Holley Gerth
Intrigued and encouraged, I went to the Internet to learn about this Holley Gerth person. According to Baker Publishing Group,
Holley Gerth is a bestselling writer, certified life coach, and speaker. She loves connecting with the hearts of women through her popular blog and books like You're Already Amazing, You're Made for a God-Sized Dream, and Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream. She's also cofounder of (in)courage and a partner with DaySpring. Holley lives with her husband, Mark, in the South. Hang out with her at www.holleygerth.com.
Photo Credit: © Brooke Robinson
I don't particularly think Holley is talking here about writing in the horror genre. What I take from her advice is that we can and should stretch ourselves beyond the ordinary in our writing, even reach beyond what we think we can accomplish. Her call to be courageous leads us away from the fear that often paralyzes writers. If we are courageous, we cast off fear and go in strength. Our work can reflect strength and courage in an awesome way, which really can be a little scary.

I want to write from the standpoint of courage, of strength, instead of cowering in fear, because I know who brings fear into my mind.

In fact, as I read Holley's quote and pondered it, the words reminded me of a powerful scripture that has always been a favorite of mine. It comes from the Old Testament, the first chapter of the Book of Joshua. The Lord speaks to Joshua, the Israelite leader following the death of Moses, giving him certain commandments about the future actions of the Israelite people and Joshua's role as their leader.

In verses six and seven, the Lord tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, and in verse nine, he makes the point again, saying:

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Doesn't the echo between Holley's advice and the scripture raise the hair on the back of your neck? I can sense the thunder Joshua must have heard in that first phrase. Had he doubted the Lord? Was he still encased in fear?

Again, the commandment: Be strong and of a good courage. Then the clincher: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This is the blessed assurance I want to feel when I write, even if the output becomes a little scary in awesomeness.

How about you?


  1. Thank you for sharing that quote...and my favorite scripture, Marsha. I needed this reminder today! hugs~


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