Brave. I was sitting in a large auditorium listening to a speaker at the Allume conference this past fall when the Lord laid the word on my heart.
Brave? I asked.
Brave was the answer.
I came home from the conference filled in so many ways. Full of friendship from time spent with my dearest friend, Aprille, amazing roommates Jennifer and Wynter, and precious women like Shelly who walked and stumbled and prayed along rocky paths that all led to the same God.
I also came home with questions. Namely, what does brave mean for me?
Because, truthfully, brave wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Calm, loved, whole, healthy, well, yes. But brave?
I didn’t want to be brave. I wanted to be comforted. I wanted to know I would be ok. That my pregnancy and baby would be ok. That my family would be ok.
And I felt like we had been brave enough. We moved 1,000 miles away from home, God! We’ve borne the challenges of autism and severe allergies and chronic illness. We’ve forged through hospitalizations, soaring medical bills, and more therapy sessions than I can count.
Was that not brave enough? I asked.
Am I not enough? I cried.
Time went by and brave sat quietly in a corner of my heart. I worried it was getting dusty, but I also just didn’t know what to do with it. So there it sat.
Then one day, my friend Cari shared her family’s calling to adopt. How excited and scared and filled to the brim she felt all at once. How she heard a call to be brave. To listen and honor the call of the Father to step into uncertain waters, trusting that the One who could calm raging seas would carry her and her precious family to a union with a little lamb in need of a family. To fill a calling to extend love beyond borders.
And in that moment I realized being brave isn’t about being a hero, it’s about listening to the whispers God places in our hearts. It’s about trusting Him when all feels lost or impossible. It’s about living each day as who we are, who He designed us to be.
When I think back on that moment at Allume, surrounded by women who had all answered a call to be present, the word’s meaning is so very clear.
We are all brave when we rest in Him. When we say yes to His call. When we stumble and fall and cry out for help and still plant our feet firmly on the ground each morning to begin anew each day.
That’s what brave is, friends. And you know what? I think brave is in you. I think it rises each time you wash the dishes or fold the laundry or love your babies through tantrums. I think it lives and breathes and weaves from your heart to mine and back again to the Father and binds us all together as one messy, lovely bundle of smiles and tears and prayers.
I think brave is what we are all meant to be and because it is stitched within the very fabric of our beings, I know it lives in you. Whether you are a mama of little ones, a sister of an ailed one, a mother to a baby taken from this world too soon, a friend to those lost in the dark – you’re brave.
Over the coming weeks and months, I am asking you to share your brave. To bring it here to this space to write and share what it means to you. Will you answer the call?
Tomorrow, my dear friend Cari will share her brave, and I think it will speak right to your hearts, friends.