I wrote this blog a year ago as a submission for an online community. Before I could get all the kinks worked out, the website stopped pubkishing. A couple nights ago, I couldn’t sleep so I was perusing through my email and found this tucked into the sent folder.
It’s still true today.
Apparently I’m brave. I don’t really get it.I’ve been thinking about the word brave so much these days because the word has been used by others to describe the changes and life moves I’ve made specifically over the last 4 years.
But what I’ve come to realize is we cannot measure someone else’s brave.
You can only measure your own.
To be brave is to be vulnerable. To put yourself out there in a way that causes you to give something or even lose something.
It could be physically putting yourself in a situation where you know that you could get hurt. That’s why we call firefighters and policemen brave. But would they consider themselves brave? To them I bet it’s the job, it’s what they do. It’s who they are. They wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t. Some people call missionaries to somewhat dangerous places brave, because they are inserting themselves into a potentially life threatening arena. But to them, it’s just what was inside. It’s not a complete stretch.
Over the last four years I have quit a steady job, gone on a mission trip around the world living out of a backpack, I’ve gone to an intense discipleship program in the south of Spain and then moved to a city I’d never been too, in a new state, into a house I didn’t see before I signed a lease.
So because of all of those things people call me brave.
I can look at that list and pick one, the discipleship program, that was brave. There were instances around the world I deemed brave, but for the most part none of it hit my brave meter. None of those things were outside of who I have found myself to be. To me, it was just my life, it was jumping to the next cliff, already knowing it was there.
Brave is jumping blind, because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are supposed to jump.
At the end of February 2009 I did what I deem potentially the bravest thing I have done to date: I stepped into therapy for the first time.
I was in the midst of a season of depression, loss, hurt and I just didn’t know what to do with my hands. So, after a lot of hemming and hawing I made an appointment.
I was absolutely terrified and emotionally wrecked before even stepping into the office.
Going to therapy was not fitting with who I was at the time, it was asking for help, it was claiming I was not the glue, it was putting myself in a place where I’d be symbolically stripped naked.
And I chose to do it.
The same with going to Spain in 2014, it was brave for me. It was something outside of what I felt capable of doing but I got on the plane anyway
I have my own barometer of what is brave. I know who I am, and what I can do, what I can’t do and what I should do but don’t want too and for me that last place is where my brave lies.
Sitting down with a father figure of mine for the first time was brave and sweat inducing, while standing up in front of 100 kids playing a bad guy was super easy.
We can’t define brave for someone else.
I know my brave and I want to challenge you to know yours and not be afraid to claim it as brave.
Feel no shame in calling yourself brave because it’s something beneath the surface.
What I am saying is that I want us be our own brave.
So, what’s yours?