Fear finds me, more often than not, crippling my hopes and dialing back my expectations. Whether it creeps up slowly or comings rushing in like a tidal wave, fear quickly becomes all-consuming and alters my actions.
In February, the Bridge started a series called “Brave”, which challenged me. At the same time, it encouraged me greatly. Since then, I’ve run into that theme again and again, in books, at church, through lessons with Bridge Kids, on the radio, and online. It’s been an overwhelming recurrence, and I finally figured out that God was leading me to take brave steps in faith.
Some people have called me brave. Again and again I heard it when I served with the Peace Corps. “Oh you’re so brave…I could never do that!” And in all honesty, it didn’t feel like bravery. Knowing that I was going abroad with God by my side, to do His will, it felt like the natural “next step”, not a huge leap of faith.
[Tweet “Because brave looks different for different people. “]
What has been much more challenging for me has been staying. Brave has been obedient in the unexpected moments. It’s been serving and working in the community I grew up in, one I never wanted to live in as an adult.
Brave might be going. But often enough it’s staying.
This past weekend, at #FMFRetreat, I finally realized how often I say “no” to brave.
The days I choose to embrace comfort, routine, or complaint over embracing God’s dreams for me. The times I downplay what I can do when I compare to what others do. As Trillia Newbell said at #FMFRetreat, to fear is to deny that God is holy.
That His power is all-consuming.
And that He can make anything possible, and raise up the most unlikely of people to make His dreams a reality.
As I gathered with these beautiful ladies this week, and as we journeyed together through our fears, I realized something. I am not alone.
Not only do I have God on my side, but I also have a wonderful, strong, vibrant community of women who cheer me on and call out the lies I allow myself to believe. These women, so full of encouragement, don’t look at me and see all the things I can’t do. Instead, they see all the things God can do.
And so, I can no longer allow myself the convenience of giving into fear. Standing alongside these women, we take the banner of bravery and step forward in faith. And while our “brave” looks different from one another, we can journey together.
I was so blessed to work with Kate Motaung, Holly Barrett, and Mary Geisen on the planning community for the #FMFRetreat, and meeting them in person after months of emailing was such a blessing! And a special thank you to our sponsors and speakers: ViBella Jewelry, Fistbump Media, Trillia Newbell, Ann Kroeker, Charity Singleton Craig, Dan King, and Amy Breitmann. Without you, this weekend wouldn’t have been possible!