Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brave.

This is a season to be brave. ~God

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Brave [breyv]
          adj. Possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.            
           vb.  To meet or face courageously.

I want to be brave.

I know what many of you are thinking. “Krissy, you are one of the bravest people I know.”  I’ve left everything I know behind and moved across continents and oceans, several times, and most people think that is pretty brave.  But if you look at the definition of brave, it says nothing about moving far away or jumping out of a plane or climbing a mountain or any of the activities many of us think only those really brave people can do.  It says someone who is brave is someone who has courage.  

Being brave means doing that thing; that thing that makes you cringe, that makes your heart beat out of your chest, that scares you to your center.  Doing it, because you need to do it… because God told you, or because it’s the right thing, or whatever the reason is.  That is brave. 
 
And that might be leaving all you have and moving across the world.  But really? That wasn’t brave, for me.  That’s just me being me, God put this wandering heart in me and I was just following that.  It didn’t scare me. 

God put the whisper in my heart this morning - This is a season to be brave. And I had to wonder, Huh? What does that mean for me? For this season? At this time and in this place? 

(I’m about to get really real… prepare yourself)

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What is my brave?  

My brave is knocking on the door of a friend when I am feeling lonely and sad, instead of sitting alone in my bed because I am afraid to bother them or to be too needy or fear they might not want to put up with me any longer.

My brave is speaking up in a medical training planning meeting even though I have no medical background or academic credibility in this field, instead of keeping quiet out of fear that my idea really is stupid.

My brave is hitting the publish button on this blog when it’s finished, instead of just keeping it to myself.

Even just putting those three things down on this word document gets my blood pressure up.

I want to be brave.

~~~

My brave today was hitting send on an email to friends about planning a weekend getaway.  It seems so silly and kind of ridiculous to say it… but I hemmed and hawed and paced and admittedly even got teary with the fear of hitting send.  
What was I so afraid of?  What if they don’t want to come because they really don’t like me and don’t want to spend the weekend with me but won’t tell me that because they are just really nice people and so they are stuck with me for a weekend and they will be miserable and I won’t know it or maybe I will and then I will be miserable and maybe I should just not send it and no one would want to go on a weekend with me anyway so it was just a stupid idea in the first place. Idiot.  
Wow. 
But the whisper. Be brave. You can do it. Regardless of what might happen.  Be brave.  
So I hit send. 
 
~~~

What is your brave?

It might be getting behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar country, knowing you will make mistakes, but doing it anyway.

It might be telling your family or your significant other or a friend a deep dark secret, but on the other side will be joy and freedom.  Be brave.

It might be saying yes to a pay cut to move to a job you really love, even though it will require sacrifices of your family.

It might be asking the waiter to please bring you another beverage because the first one just isn’t right, even though you hate the thought of being needy or demanding in any way, shape, or form.

It might be hitting publish or hitting send or hitting post when it feels like you’ve put your heart out on the line, but know deep down it is right.  Be brave.

It might be leaving your job to stay home and raise the kids.  It might be putting your kids in daycare and going back to work. It might be committing to take that trip you have always dreamed of, or committing to live on a budget, or serving in a local soup kitchen, or deciding to invest in the lives of local college students. 

Your brave looks different from my brave.  But it is still brave.
 
~~~

Here is something really cool about being brave: It encourages others to be brave, too.

I had a friend who sat me down a few weeks ago and told me some things that were difficult to hear.  That was brave.  She didn’t have to do that, she didn’t know what my reaction would be.  She could have just ignored the issues or told someone else to tell me or even sent me an email.  But she didn’t, because she cares enough for me to be brave and step out and trust God in it all.  I needed her to be brave, I needed to hear those words.  I am a better person because she was brave. 

And then she told me some things my heart was desperate to hear.  Really? You want to be my friend? Really???  She was brave and in turn it gave me the courage to be brave too.  I was able to say things I had been so afraid to say before.  And our friendship is stronger because of it.  My prayer is that I would continue to be brave with her and with others, sharing my heart when it seems pretty scary and I am not sure what might happen, but trusting her and trusting God in her. 

Every time I have needed to be brave and hit send or publish, it has blessed someone else.  How do I know? They tell me.  Every time I have broken through the fear and actually knocked on someone’s door or asked someone to come sit with me when I have been upset about something has brought beauty to the heart and the relationship.  Somehow, it’s still scary though, and I don’t do it nearly as often as I should or could.  Maybe this publish will change that.

If I am brave, maybe that will encourage others to be brave. That’s a good enough reason for me.

 

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