Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More On Bravery

I've mentioned a couple times that bravery has seemed to be a theme in my life these past few weeks. People keep telling me and encouraging me to step outside of myself and go on an adventure. I'm hearing it in conversations, I'm reading it in books and blogs, I'm seeing it in pictures. I'm trying hard to not sound flaky, but it was a little uncanny how many times I heard the words "brave" and "adventure" in such a short amount of time and I wondered what it meant. I certainly don't feel brave. I was talking with Natalie on the way home from small group about this one night. She looked at me with a quizzical look and said:
"You are brave. This year has been marked with bravery for you. You are forcing yourself to do things that scare you."
Uhhhh, what?
This comment made me think. Brave is different for each person. Brave depends on what you are scared of. And, I realized that I was brave in my own way and realizing that felt pretty darn good.

I am brave.
I was brave when I stood outside of church all alone and firmly decided that I needed to change.
I was brave when I said the words out loud, "I think I might go to small group with you tonight, Nat."
I was brave when, even with stomach churning and hands shaking, I followed through and went.
I was brave when, in spite of the fear, chose to go again and again and again.

Bravery is the backbone to every good thing we do...even the seemingly small things. I read somewhere that it takes guts to be kind. Yes. In this brutal world where gossip and bitching and backstabbing are rampant, joining in the hate is often the easiest and safest thing to do. I know. I used to join in, and since then I have said no and chosen kindness and love over hurting and it's hard but it's good and it takes courage.

For me bravery is stepping out and showing up and believing that I am worth it. Bravery is being kind and loving in an often cut throat world. Brave is being myself when "myself" isn't the norm. It was bravery that made me admit that I am broken and a little screwed up and that it's okay because I am human. Whats not okay is allowing yourself to remain in a state of brokenness. Bravery is what made me decide to change and commit to growing and bettering myself every single day. Bravery is being me at my best.

So, maybe I won't move out of state or go to school just yet. That time may come. But, for now I'm building the foundation of courage and strength. I'm being brave in the everyday and maybe it will grow and maybe someday I will do great and scary things. But, one thing I am sure of: Everyday I will take one more small step out of my comfort zone and see where that takes me. I've come a long way so far. And that is encouraging.

Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and I promise something great will come of it.

My  moment was when I said, "Natalie, I'm going to home group with you tonight." And that insanely courageous moment spiraled out and into something beautiful. I am happy and realizing that I am strong.

"Be Brave." That is my mantra.

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