For when you are feeling less than brave

I'm excited to invite my friend Hannah to the blog! Hannah has been a huge encouragement to me, and I'm a big, fat fan of her gorgeous writing. She is funny and kind, and has displayed fearlessness to me. She has also shown me Jesus. So glad to welcome Hannah here today... line1line1

by Hannah Van Dyk

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hey you,

This is for when you are feeling less than brave.

This is for when you are petrified, absolutely petrified, of the next steps.

This is for when your concept of brave is scattered all over the place & you have no idea how you could possibly ever be brave or what that would even look like in your life.

This is for when Jesus calls you to step out of the boat & walk on the water to Him, & you walk out on the water & you sink because you lost your bravery. Or for when Jesus calls you to be brave, without demonstrating to you what’s next on the road map of your life.

This is for when you are clinging and gripping - and I am talking the kind of gripping that accompanies a large drop on a roller coaster, the kind that makes you feel as though you’ll fall out of your seat at any given moment, that kind of gripping - to your ideas of the future, instead of listening to the constant nudge of Jesus, asking you to be brave & be made uncomfortable (because unfortunately, uncomfortable & brave seem to go hand in hand.)

This is for when you just want to numb: when watching Netflix is easier than facing your fears or the thoughts that are swirling in your head. For when you want to run away and keep busy and make to do lists, but never cross anything off of them. This is for when you want to pretend all the unknowns don’t exist.

This is a list of reminders for all the times when you’re having a hard time choosing brave.

You aren’t alone. I spent most days in a weird combination of the above statements, but the nice thing about choosing brave is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are a myriad of people who want to cheerlead you - please let them in, especially when you’re feeling less than brave.

You are capable of doing hard things & I know that choosing brave can be hard. It’s not always fun. I know it is easier & more fun to choose Netflix or meetings over sitting down with yourself & saying, “Yo. We’re going to face this thing.” But I wholeheartedly believe you can do it.

If you’ve got a negative running commentary in your head & your heart, it’s wrong. You know, the commentary that undermines what you believe about yourself, the one that is filled with negatives and untruths about who you are - is wrong. You are strong & wild & beautiful & brave (& if you need someone to believe all of that for a little bit because you can’t, let me believe that for you & remind you of that.)

Jesus doesn’t call you to be brave without equipping you. One of my favourite verses says, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Even when you’re feeling less than brave, even when you have no idea what you’ll be doing six months from now & just don’t know what the future will hold, Jesus is making you strong.

 Choosing brave looks different in everyone’s life. Maybe being brave is embracing change in baby steps, or maybe it is long strides. Maybe bravery is whispered prayers or mountaintop shouting. Maybe being brave is watching seasons change & breathing out a prayer that you’re ready for it. And maybe being brave is exhaling, sitting in your bed, arms crossed, saying, “I don’t want a new season, I’m not ready, please don’t move me, I’m not ready for what could possibly be next. But move me.” I don’t know. But you know what being brave looks like in each season for you - now you just have to choose it.

& may you always come back to this: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, & smarter than you think. Trust Winnie the Pooh & me on this one.

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 This is day twenty-nine of the series 31 days of choosing brave. You can click here if you'd like a list of all the posts in these series, updated each day this October.

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