The number one thing I think of when I think of bravery, is what courage looks when it comes to following Jesus.
I'm in Peru now, surrounded by thick, green jungle. But on the airplane ride here, I saw something that made me stop. We were flying into Cusco, and when we looked down through the window, tears sprang into my eyes. There were thousands upon thousands of mountains, with clouds touching the tops of them, and valleys fracturing deep into the earth. I was immediately in awe. I'm working on trying to pause when I am in awe of something.
It's good to be in awe while in an airplane, because you don't have any other choice but to sit there and soak it in, a tired and weary traveler soaking in the glory of God.
And I thought, "How could I not follow Jesus? How could I not choose him, day after day after day, when his glory and his finger prints and the manifestation of his love sits below me?"
But bravely following Jesus doesn't just mean getting on an airplane and going to Peru or Africa. I think sometimes it means that, but not always. I think sometimes bravely following Jesus means going, and other times it means you should stay.
More and more, I am learning that bravely following Jesus means accepting and loving who I am, because it's who he created me to be. I am learning that bravely following Jesus means sometimes having a life that looks different than other people my age. I am learning that bravely following Jesus means being bold when it might be uneasy, and being stretched when I want to remain comfortable, and doing things I never imagined I might do.
I think more than anything, bravely following Jesus is choosing to decide that Jesus is worth it. There are so many days where I wake up and ask Jesus, "Is this worth it?" And even when I can't find beauty, even when I'm not in an airplane surrounded by a thousand mountains, I somehow also come to the conclusion that, yes: he's worth it. He always is.
My life would be nothing, shards of oblivion, without him.
There are dozens of things I long to choose brave for. But this, above and beyond everything, is the most significant and sacred to me.