Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free

Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free

by Nicole Unice


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Find the courage to be who you are—not who you wish you were.
Is fear holding you back from becoming your best self? Does it add stress to your day and keep you up at night? What could be different if you let go and started living brave today?

Bravery doesn’t have to mean cliff diving out of your comfort zone. Life is about being brave enough—for yourself, for God, for your tasks, and for your calling—right where He’s placed you. A brave-enough life is one lived fully and confidently, with your shoulders relaxed and free from the weight of responsibility and the burden of trying too hard.

Nicole Unice, author of She’s Got Issues, wants that life to become a reality for you. She challenges you to get real about where you are right now—the places where you feel too scared to change, too tired to endure, or too worried to let go. Through personal stories and practical application, Nicole will lead you on a journey to harness all of your misspent doubts, concerns, and fears—and discover what God is saying about who you can be. Don’t miss the companion Brave Enough DVD Group Experience (UPC 031809201381)!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496401366
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 313,677
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nicole Unice is a counselor, Bible teacher, and author of She’s Got Issues. Her work has appeared in Relevant, Leadership Journal, and Today’s Christian Woman. She is also coauthor of Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus. Nicole serves as ministry director at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, and speaks at retreats and leadership events nationwide. She and her husband, Dave, have three children.

Read an Excerpt

Brave Enough

Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free

By Nicole Unice

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Nicole Unice
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0136-6


Brave Enough

You will never do anything in this world without courage.


* * *

It's ridiculous, really, I told myself. Just do it! I had felt a nudge, a small but holy whisper, to do something I didn't want to do. There had been conflict and I was hurt, and the last thing—the last thing that would even cross my mind as a good idea—was to take another step of reconciliation. I knew that the whisper was from God (because I sure wasn't coming up with it myself ) and that what I needed to do was the right thing. And the right thing, on a cold Thursday morning, was to write a note of apology.

I was fighting with God about writing a note.

Because dear friend, let me say it again, in case you missed it:

I didn't want to.

I bet you've felt this before too—whether you've said it out loud or under your breath or deep in your heart (as if the God who knows all doesn't hear us when we grumble in our hearts!): There are things that life asks of us, good things, hard things—and sometimes we don't want to do them.

When it came to this note, I really didn't want to write it. I didn't want to with all of my heart. I didn't want to risk being hurt, I didn't want to try to see it differently, and I didn't want to work harder at this relationship. I didn't want to make peace; I wanted to turn around and run. As I thought about holding the pen over the paper, I felt my throat constrict, like my very heart was trying to hold on to those words, not let them become real and flow out of me. I had to sneak them out the side door of my soul, through the pen onto the paper and into the hands of the other. So I began to write; faltering, stopping, and starting again. I thought about what really matters, and I willed my mind to choose the truth and not what I wanted to believe, not what was easier to believe.

I still didn't want to write that note. But something was just a bit stronger than my fear, stronger than my pride, stronger than my own self-created stories. And I believe that something is what we all need—whether we are facing one small act or one monumental leap in our lives.

That something is courage.

The definition of courage is "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty." The root of courage, cor, comes from the Latin, meaning "heart." So said another way, courage is a strong heart. Courage is the will to move past fear and get out of our own way, to become the women God has made us to be. Though fear might cause us to cower, courage causes us to grow. Courage is the titanium foundation of our character and the marble-solid pillar of our soul.

Maya Angelou once said, "Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage." Courage is not just a virtue—courage is the virtue, the one that stands above all others. Courage cuts across circumstances. We need courage in good times, when God calls us to live in faith. We need courage in hard times, when God calls us to endure.

And although we often assume bravery isn't all that important except in the dramatic, do-or-die moments of our lives, courage is forged in the countless, seemingly-small-but-difficult challenges that everyday life brings us. We need courage to make the everyday choices that become the compilation of who we are, what we value, and how we love.

Sometimes we need courage to write notes, to get out of bed, to say hard things. And yes, sometimes we need courage for the unexpected, defining moments of life.

* * *

I brought a pint of ice cream and two plastic spoons to the hospital room. Nothing says "Get well soon" better than sneaking in a high-fat dessert. My friend Ellie and I happily passed the pint back and forth as we caught up on life. I had met Ellie when she was in the seventh grade. Even then, she was a compassionate, quiet young woman with a heart for God and for people. Now Ellie was twenty-six years old and twenty-five weeks pregnant, her Young Life T-shirt almost covering her little belly. We were reconnecting—but not over the dilemmas of middle school, like mean notes and hard teachers. Now we talked medical terms—early contractions and steroid shots and stress tests—over the whir of machines. Ellie put on a brave smile, and we prayed together. As I left the hospital room that night, I thought to myself, She's so young.

Tucker was born by emergency C-section later that week. He weighed one pound, ten ounces, and had a gap between his esophagus and stomach.

Her little boy is now a toddler, and Ellie now knows what it means to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. She can teach NICU nurses like a pro. She's performed CPR on her son while dialing 911.

Ellie didn't sign up for this life. But she loves her husband and son with the strength of a fighter. She wouldn't have called herself a courageous woman when we shared ice cream, but she's learned to be brave because she had to. God didn't give her any other choice—and now she knows him in a richer, more meaningful way. Turns out, she had just the right DNA for this fight. Ellie's brave ... enough.

* * *

Sara was working in a call center—a young, single professional planning on a career as a worship leader—when she first heard about human trafficking. She stayed up late one night, scouring the Internet for any information she could get about how organizations were fighting the brutality of human slavery. She was horrified by the videos, so she prayed that night before bed, not expecting God to answer her. But he did. As it turns out, she was part of his plan when it comes to responding to this tragedy.

When I met Sara two years after this defining moment, a lot had changed. One step at a time, Sara had responded to the call. She started a domestic anti-trafficking organization. She eventually quit her job and became a full-time missionary for the organization. She's been awarded grants, has championed legislation, and has begun a prevention curriculum that's being used in high schools around the country. But Sara's job can be lonely and demanding. She's dealt with conflict and confusion and chaos. Yet at every turn, God seems to already be there, fighting her battles and showing her favor.

Sara didn't listen to a podcast on human trafficking with the intent to change the world. But it turns out God had a big plan for a courageous young woman. Sara has learned. She is brave ... enough.

* * *

When Maria tells me the story about the day her world changed forever, she points out the good things first. She says that it was a beautiful morning and that she and John had coffee and prayed together before he left. She explains that John was running around the college campus where he was a professor—just like he loved to do. She mentions he had no ID with him. She tells how it was unusual that during the day John hadn't called or texted that he would be home late, which alerted her to start looking for him. As a result, many family and friends were at her house when she got the phone call.

She is grateful that she could receive the news of John's sudden and absolutely unexpected death from her father-in-law, who identified John at the hospital and first bore the brunt of the shock. John was forty-six years old and had been a part of her life for more than twenty-five years. They had begun dating when they were both fifteen.

When Maria talks about John, you see the love and the peace. But she twists her wedding rings around her finger when she talks, and I wonder how hard it is at night. Nevertheless, Maria's making it. This isn't anywhere near the life she expected. But she's a courageous woman raising four amazing children. Maria's brave ... enough.

Your Daily Brave

I want to suggest to you that your life—your ordinary life—requires courage too. Whether you are facing a life-altering circumstance like Ellie, Sara, and Maria or an everyday challenge like writing a note of apology, courage is the force that propels us to take a step forward—whether that step is a tiny hop or a desperate leap.

This brave-enough grit is not stereotypical superhero bravery. I'm not talking about the kind of courage that the world loves, courage forged through experiences or knowledge, perhaps resiliency we admire from afar—the kind of resiliency that we hope we'll never need.

This is different, a courage that comes from outside of yourself but that changes you inside your soul. This courage releases the vise grip of fear and gives you the energy and strength and heart you need to face whatever life's got for you. Ellie, Sara, and Maria need it because it's these brave-enough steps that have forged their character today. My breakfast buddies, Lisa, Elizabeth, and Ashley, need it because it's the brave-enough grit that's allowed them to be honest. I need it because I've learned that every day presents an opportunity to be brave enough. This kind of courage doesn't come because we are extraordinary in ourselves, but because we have placed our full confidence in an extraordinary God.

No matter what you face today, God offers the same to you. His love—not your own ability or goodness—will be the source of your true bravery and strength. Becoming brave enough to meet the challenges of daily life is where this begins. And when we become brave enough for the small challenges of today, we become brave enough for the big opportunities of tomorrow. Let's explore what this altogether-different courage looks like—what I like to call "Jesus-courage."


What exactly do you know about Christ's love? Like me, you can probably sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know." You may even have warm-fuzzy feelings, like Hallmark Channel–movie love, when you hear this song. "Jesus loves me" makes me think of little Dixie cups of apple juice and feltboard Bible stories. But those warm fuzzies can't even get me to be more patient in traffic, much less sustain my heart in the real storms of life.

Of course it is true that Jesus loves us. His relentless passion and ministry spring from love—love for his Father and love for us. But love, a word that is so carelessly flung around in our culture, doesn't seem to fully capture what Jesus does for us. Yes, Jesus loves you in your weakness, your failure, and your need, but he also loves you in far greater ways. Jesus loves you into a whole new way of being—a whole new person.

When we examine what happens to people when they encounter Jesus in the Bible, we begin to notice some similarities. Sometimes Jesus met their physical needs, but he always left them remarkably changed on the inside. They became bold and confident and courageous. I want to suggest that maybe our needs today are not much different from the needs of the men and women who encountered Jesus in person. Neither are the strength and courage that Jesus offers us. Let's look together at the power behind this transforming love.

Take heart

When Jesus came on the scene in the countryside of Judea, it didn't take more than a hot second for people to realize that he was worth listening to. He didn't just speak words—he taught with authority and with power. Word got around, and soon Jesus couldn't go anywhere without hordes of people following him, asking him for miracles, for teaching, for healing.

Once when Jesus was preparing to teach, he went into a house. I would imagine he was speaking in a crowded room where people jostled one another, elbowing and positioning for the best spot to see him. I bet that the room was hot with breath and sweat and that it smelled of people—all hungry to see Jesus, to know him, half-excited and half-frightened about what he might say. And then came a rustling from above and shouts as men pushed their paralyzed friend through the roof so they could drop him right in front of this fascinating man who had been healing people—really changing them.

Imagine what it would be like to be that friend. Powerless: unable to move of your own accord. Desperate: completely dependent on others. For years, perhaps even all your life, you've been the outcast, never able to do or be anything—to pull your own weight, to work, to live like those around you.

Perhaps your heart has twisted and guarded itself. Perhaps you pretend you don't care about the stares and the whispers. But it doesn't really matter what you think because your friends insisted that you must see this man. When they couldn't find a way to carry you into the room, they lifted you up to the roof and dropped you down in front of Jesus. Now there you are, in the crowded room, looking up at the faces—faces with expressions that say everything you've ever believed about yourself and about this life, about the haves and the have-nots.

And then it grows strangely quiet. You look up and you see him—Jesus. Something in you wells up, something that's foreign and distant. It's been so long since you've felt it that you can't place the feeling immediately. It's ... hope.

Jesus' first words to you are these: "Take heart ... your sins are forgiven" (Matthew 9:2). Before the healing, before you stand up and walk, before Jesus glorifies the power of God in front of this crowd, he addresses a more pressing need than even that. Don't miss this key word in the passage. Our English translation says "take heart," but the original word used here in the Greek is tharseo, which simply means "courage." Take a deep breath and take in what Jesus addresses first, before he meets any other need:

Courage. Your sins are forgiven.

Be encouraged

Another time, Jesus walked along with a powerful man, a ruler who wanted Jesus to come help him. Even then, people were following Jesus, pressing in on him, shouting his name, needing him. And in that crowd was a woman who suffered from an illness that caused chronic, unmanageable bleeding—a woman who had suffered for years.

Imagine what it would be like to be that woman. Hope was lost so long ago that all you can do now is try to eke out the best existence you can, one day at a time. You are a woman who bleeds, so you are unclean, unacceptable, unwanted. You are shamed for your ailment and discarded for your illness, and you have had to remove yourself from community because you are not allowed around other people.

You are isolated. Alone. Hurting. Desperate.

If you were this woman, I wonder if you could find the strength and the grit and the hope to once again believe life could be different. Would you have the desperate strength to do what she does—to reach out for Jesus' cloak and to touch him and to ...

Be healed.

The Bible says that "Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, 'Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.' And the woman was healed at that moment" (Matthew 9:22, NLT).

"Be encouraged" is that same Greek word, tharseo. Before Jesus does anything else, he imparts tharseo—courage!

Courage. Healing is here.

Don't be afraid

The Bible also tells us about the disciples, Jesus' closest friends and followers. From scriptural accounts, you can almost picture what it would be like to experience the amazing things that they did. Imagine the excitement, confusion, worry, and hope they feel as they witness miracles and listen to teaching they've never known. They are like most of us, a mix of faith and doubt, of power and weakness.

One night, after another long day of ministry and healing, Jesus stayed behind and sent the disciples off in a boat. It was dark and stormy, so the boat swayed and tipped. The wind howled and the waves pummeled these disciples, so even these lifelong fishermen were terrified.

That was some storm.

And in the midst of this powerful disturbance, perhaps the storm of a lifetime, Jesus walked out to them. Walked out on the water, defying the law of gravity and every law of nature, providing his disciples a front-row seat to his power and goodness and God-ness. They were terrified. "Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid'" (Matthew 14:27). Here it is again, courage!

Tharseo: Courage.

Jesus is near!

Forgiven sin.

Healed lives.

Powerful presence.

There are only four places in the Gospels where this Greek word tharseo is used. Each time, it is spoken by Jesus himself. In John 16:33, Jesus says it for the fourth time; "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart [tharseo]! I have overcome the world." Jesus gives us a promise with power. Jesus-courage comes with forgiven sin, with healing, with presence, and with the ability to overcome. Yes, Jesus love us: he loves us into a completely different experience. He loves us into a new way of living.


Excerpted from Brave Enough by Nicole Unice. Copyright © 2015 Nicole Unice. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 Brave Enough 1

2 Brave-Enough Women Get in the Race 15

3 Brave-Enough Women Embrace Spiritual Survival Skills 29

4 Brave-Enough Women Love Grace 55

5 Brave-Enough Women Give Grace 77

6 Brave-Enough Women Don't Fear a Fight 101

7 Brave-Enough Women Explore Their Territory 129

8 Brave-Enough Women Know Their Limits 155

9 Our Daily Brave 187

Appendix: The Word on Courage 199

Acknowledgments 213

Endnotes 217

About the Author 221

What People are Saying About This

Jo Saxton

Life—in all its joy, pain, and complexity—is not for the fainthearted. Raw and real, Nicole shares stories, wisdom, and practical tools that empower us to live in freedom and hold tightly to courage for the days ahead.

Elisa Morgan

Nicole gives us a kick in the pants (gentle, but still a kick!) to step up our courage and live the lives we’ve been called to live. And then she offers practical steps to take our giftings further and further!

Sara Pomeroy

Nicole’s book helps us see that the life God is calling us to goes far beyond what feels safe. She reveals that what God calls us to do requires bravery. The good news, however, is that Jesus requires us only to be brave enough: brave enough to take that step of faith into the unknown, the messy, the scary, the downright ugliness of loving hurting people, the place where we risk failure, and the place that requires vulnerability. Nicole then shows how he comes to meet us there and gives us what we need to live out what he has for us.

Jenni Catron

Nicole Unice is one of those souls who becomes an instant friend the moment you meet her. Kind, smart, funny . . . all around likable. She has you belly laughing one moment and in deep, soul-searching conversation the next. Nicole’s new book, Brave Enough, is Nicole doing what she does best—encouraging, challenging, and motivating us to live boldly and freely the life God has for us.

Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Brave Enough is a call to abandon ourselves—our fears, flaws, and failures—for a called-out life, a life that stands the tests of time and pressures of the crowd. As followers of Christ, we are called out to live bold and free. Christ’s grace makes us brave enough. Nicole offers this gift to the church with a challenge to live graciously and courageously. I also love the prayer prompts, journaling, and exercises available throughout the book, as I have found these foundational disciplines instrumental for mentoring and discipleship.

Ebony Halliburton

Brave Enough is an eye-opening, soul-embracing, spirit-filled book with wisdom on living in the freedom God has called us all to. Nicole challenges women to truly engage their hurts and hang-ups with insight into the daily journey that God wants with us. Through her practical engagement, you will be given invaluable tools to truly get your brave on each and every day. She reminds us that as women, at our core, we are all brave enough!

Laura C. Robb

Brave Enough is one of those books that stays with you. As I read, I felt as if Nicole was writing directly to me, opening my broken areas and pouring the truth of God’s love and power back into those very spaces. Her words are gracious, understanding, challenging, and life-giving, and you will find more freedom and more courage by the time you reach the last page.

Heather Zempel

In Brave Enough, Nicole gives us permission to be courageous. She challenges us to be confident and dares us to step into the purpose, passion, and potential that God designed us to embrace. It all begins with a daily, authentic encounter with Jesus. With real-life wisdom and authenticity, she invites us into a new adventure of being, living, and exploring the grace and growth of life in Christ.

Christine Caine

Every woman I know needs more courage—to make the hard choices that lead to the best decisions. In Brave Enough, Nicole invites us to a deeper understanding of Jesus-courage that empowers and transforms our lives. You need this book!

Carolyn Custis James

A lack of courage holds us back from doing those things—uncomfortable, risky, costly things—that God is calling us to. Nicole Unice reminds us that the One who calls is also the Source of the courage we need. A timely, welcome message at a time when we have Kingdom work to do!

David Dwight

As a pastor, husband, and father of a grown daughter, I found that Brave Enough speaks to the heart of the real stuff. Life’s hard experiences require us to be brave, but some of the more ordinary things require us to be brave too. And while this book is beneficial not just for women, it uniquely speaks to them and offers freedom from many of the fears that put chains on life. It gives them permission to not be Christian superwomen or the people that “the voices” say they should be. Instead, Brave Enough offers each reader the freedom to be the person God has made her to be. The insights and encouragements in this book are needed, and they offer us help for living in a culture filled with insecurity by comparison.

Mary Ann Ruff

Brave Enough offers wise, practical teaching for anyone who wants to uncover truth from God’s Word. Nicole Unice has lived and learned what it means to be brave enough in the midst of a busy life as a counselor, ministry leader, and mom. She is an articulate Bible teacher who has the unique ability to make scriptural principles understandable. Her stories, examples, and advice will inspire you to apply godly insight in your own circumstances. If you are brave enough to open the pages of this book, I believe it will change your life.

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Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Tyndale Publishers.] "Here's a not-so-hidden secret: We are all a little scared." When I read those words on the back cover of this relatively thin devotional book (which cover, by the by, is gorgeous), I thought, Ooh. This should be good. And it was! I normally wouldn't request a nonfiction book to review, but I'm glad I requested this one. While it is written for adult women, and thus I couldn't relate to, say, things to do with motherhood, I found it pretty durned relatable otherwise. This book sort of reminded me of "Anne of Green Gables," My Daughter, & Me, as well as Perfectly Unique, in terms of writing style. It was funny at times, touching at times, and it was powerful. I can definitely see myself re-reading this many times (and annotating). I'd also like to recommend it to my mother! :) It talks about being "brave enough" to truly trust God, to be ourselves, and to be the best version of ourselves, that God wants us to be. It ranged from trust to forgiveness to personal limits to conflict, and was very insightful. Here are some particularly good bits: "One particular Sunday night [at youth group] started off no differently than any other. The students streamed in the front door in all their dyed-hair, ball-cap-backward, short-skirt, selfie-taking glory." "We put limits on ourselves, fueled by self-doubt, all the time...We see mountains where God sees speed bumps. We see oceans where God sees puddles. But if He's calling you to climb that mountain or cross that ocean, He will sustain you for the task." "You are part of His plan A for bringing His love to the world, for working His plan of rescue, for restoring dignity and worth to all human beings." "Perhaps God has given us two great gifts--great capacity and great fragility...God, in His great love for us, invites us to live as the people we are, not the people we want to be. He invites us to know both the power of the treasure we hold within us as the dwelling place of Christ and the fragility of the jar of clay in which the treasure rests. He invites us to run free within our boundaries while honoring our limits." "Am I finding joy, wonder, and whimsy in my days? Nothing shows more trust in God's plan than the ability to laugh during the day, find wonder in the small things, and celebrate the silly and whimsical in the world." One quote towards the end of the book, I even made into a little poster to put on the back of my door. Overall, I highly recommend this book!
LivingaFitandFulllife More than 1 year ago
Brave Enough by Nicole Unice is an amazing book! Living brave isn't an easy thing to do but being able to do so is so amazing. Fear holds you back from becoming your best self but this book will take you through a journey to harness all of your misspent doubts, concerns, and fears and discover what God is saying about who you can be. If you're ready to become who God wants you to become then this book is for you. Chapter by chapter you will learn to become braver in your day to life. I absolutely love how much this book has helped me! Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.
JViola79 More than 1 year ago
I am not sure the word “Brave” is one which would ever be applied to me. Truth be known … I scare easily and am a little scared – all the time. Getting out of my comfort zone does not come easily. Not ever. And it probably would not take much to convince me to live in a bunker {{just kidding, lest my kids think I’m serious}}. But here’s the thing – I don’t want to live in this manner. I want to have courage and move through my days bravely. “Here’s a not-so-hidden secret: We are all a little scared.” (Nicole Unice) These words bring the largest sigh of relief. A freedom, which permits me to relax in my lack of bravery, fills me as I let these words settle in my soul. There is no need to struggle and strive, trying to do more, be more, and change into someone I am not. In her book book, Brave Enough, Nicole Unice explains: “The courage to change doesn’t have to mean cliff-diving out of your comfort zone. This courage is about being brave enough – for yourself, for God, and for your calling – right where you are. A brave-enough life is one lived fully and confidently, free from the weight of worry and the burden of trying too hard.” Brave Enough is a call to become brave by fully embracing who God has created each of us to be. She challenges us to be courageous to journey with God on the unique path He has set for each of us. “Grace teaches us that Christ, who is in us, is stronger than our deficiencies, and together with him, we will prevail. True grace means we are not who we once were, and will continue to be different tomorrow.” (page 73) Grace, it is extended to us each and every day. God’s grace, poured out on our lives, will have an impact. God’s grace changes us. God’s grace breaks us out from those thoughts and habits which would hinder us. It is His grace which makes us brave. Fear keeps us stuck; grace whispers freedom. Fear makes us suspicious; grace makes us generous. Fear shouts doubt; grace sings peace. Fear murmurs, Look out for yourself; grace whispers, You are not alone. Fear shouts, You’ll never make it; grace replies, You already have. Fear screams, God is against you; grace laughs because love always wins.” (page 75) “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) His grace will change you. It will make you Brave Enough. This is a book of learned and gained wisdom, stories, and practical helps which will infuse women with courage to live in such a way to impact others. Brave Enough will help every reader to realize they are, indeed, brave enough. ***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am disclosing this as required by Federal Trade Commission.
lmbartelt More than 1 year ago
"Brave" is not a word I use to describe myself. I'm more of the timid and anxious variety. "Brave" makes me think of warriors and pioneers and go-getters who tackle every challenge that comes their way. So, I was interested in this book by Nicole Unice, Brave Enough, because of the implication that I might have this bravery thing all wrong. I trust Nicole as a writer. She gently guided me through all my issues a few years ago in her first book, She's Got Issues, and she speaks as someone who knows what she's talking about because she's just like the rest of us. No high horse, here. Nicole shares stories of imperfection and weakness, and for this, I am grateful. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.) Brave Enough calls us to "get over our fears, flaws and failures to live BOLD and FREE." Who wouldn't want that? And from page one, she inspires us to imagine what that kind of life would look like. "What if, starting today, starting right now, you weren't scared anymore? What if that worried energy were gone? .... What would you do? Who would you be? How would you live bigger?" (p. xiii) When I started reading this book, I was in the midst of a situation that had me very worried. And I was weeks away from a 10-day mission trip to Kenya. The words of this book were as applicable on that adventure as I've found them in my daily life since then. I need the challenge to live courageously in my day-to-day activities. Nicole breaks the book down into characteristics or actions of brave-enough women. And each chapter ends with questions for reflection and a prayer related to the chapter's theme. Most are the kind of questions I need to take more time with. (And definitely grab a notebook before you start this book. Lots of opportunity to journal and reflect.) There's also a section at the end for further contemplation about the Scriptures she used throughout the book and a space to think about what section might be the most applicable in this season. (A DVD curriculum is also available if you're looking for a group study.) Bottom line: Nicole understands the issues and challenges women face because she faces them too! And her heart for leading women beyond those issues and challenges is evident in her writing. I highly recommend both of her books for spiritual growth.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
I loved Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free by Nicole Unice! When perfectionism becomes a dictator in everyday life, when failure rears its ugly head, when going with the flow is easiest, Nicole Unice calls women to be brave and make some movement. I appreciate an author who isn’t afraid to quote others and one who uses real life examples. There are so many great quotes from this book but I can’t list them all so here’s just a few: “Some would paraphrase the philosopher Plato as defining courage as the ability to persevere though all emotions.” (Loc 86) “Maya Angelou once said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” (Loc 134) “This is different, a courage that comes from outside of yourself but that changes you from inside your soul. This courage releases the vise grip of fear and gives you the energy and strength and heart you need to face whatever life’s got for you.” (Loc 177) Ms. Unice talks about how being brave is an option. Adversity is going to happen to everyone at some point it’s what we do with our adversity that makes the difference. Choosing to allow God to take the adversity we face and let those journeying steps help us to be brave. I thoroughly enjoyed Brave Enough. It’s like having a personal counselor walk you through the process and then become your cheerleader. It’s a great book for women of all ages with practical insight and advice. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Edelweiss and Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.