Faith · Five Minute Friday

A Community of Brave {#FMFRetreat}

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.

DSC_0411

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.

#FMFRetreat

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. “]

#FMFRetreat

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.

Mollie and Trillia
Mollie and Trillia

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.

These are my people.
These are my people.

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.

#FMFRetreat 2015
#FMFRetreat 2015

-Jen


 

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!

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12 thoughts on “A Community of Brave {#FMFRetreat}

  1. Love these words and you! We are so blessed that God brought us together last weekend to learn, love and just be present. We were brave because we allowed God to lead our conversations and join our hearts. Thank you for being brave and giving me the pleasure of meeting you in person. Hugs and I miss you!!! 🙂

  2. That His power is all-consuming. <—These words resonate with me. He is an all-consuming power that we feel and see when we gather with others. We are brave and sometimes others are more brave…but in reality…we are brothers and sisters who are walking together. So blessed to have met you in real life. Praying for you as you build your tiny home, teach, and write in Iowa! <3, Jenn

  3. You did a wonderful job, Jen, with this post and with all your hard work on the retreat. I have to say that when I saw your caption under our photo (“These are my people.”) I almost cried. What a blessing your friendship has been. There are no words for what working with you guys has meant to me. You are my people!! xoxo

  4. “brave looks different for different people”. Truth! God calls each of us to our own brave and then equips us for the journey. Love your words on brave. Thank you for all your hard work to make the weekend a blessing for us all!

  5. It is so much fun to read all about the retreat. I wish it would have worked for me to be there. I am so glad we were able to meet though. You are my people too. And yes “brave does indeed look different for different people.” I need to remember that since “brave” is my one word for this year.

  6. “Brave might be going. But often enough it’s staying.” This is the part that really struck home with me. You did a fabulous job this weekend, and I really appreciate all the hard work you and everyone else put into the retreat. Thank you for being brave.

    Hugs,
    Melinda

  7. I love being part of this community where we aren’t allowed to believe the lie that we are alone. Too many times as women, we allow that fear to cripple us and we do miss out on blessings. I am thankful for those of you who share and encourage and love. Missing you!

  8. oh my goodness Jen. there is so much in this that i just wanted to print out and underline. thank you so much for these thoughts and reflections.

  9. Jen, i love how Gkd is working on you and speaks through you! This resonates with me so much! Thank you for your words! Love the idea that brave looks different for everyone! So true.

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