I guess I should talk about the proverbial elephant in the room. If you’ve been reading around here for a while, you may know that I lived in South Africa for two in a half years as a member of the Peace Corps.
So while I’ve been talking about living brave and how often I’m not brave, I feel like I need to talk to about the whole “agree to move to Africa thing”. Because most people would argue that this was the bravest decision I’ve ever made.
I disagree, but we’ll explore that more this month.
Back to the whole “moving to Africa” thing (which you can read ALL about from my 31 Days series last year: 31 Days of Moments in Africa). During my senior year of college, I lived in Washington, DC for a semester, and I worked next door to the Peace Corps. My roommate and one of my close friends interned there, and I literally passed the front doors of Peace Corps’ headquarters each day.
And slowly, slowly, I started to realize that maybe, just maybe God wanted me in the Peace Corps. I fought it a little, but I also remembered a vague high-school era memory of momentarily considering the Peace Corps, but quickly dismissing it because “I couldn’t possible do that!”
This time, I couldn’t dismiss it.
I couldn’t avoid this unwanted dream of moving abroad for two years. But the more I encountered it, the more I realized I could do this…because, God. And suddenly a dream that seemed impossible and formidable turned into something I pondered as entirely possible.
But I wasn’t full-in yet. I was afraid of what my friends and family would think. I was nervous about learning a new language and culture. I was uncertain about being qualified to help anyone do anything.
And so I prayed and researched and thought on it. Until one morning when I sat on the bus, heading to my internship. I was listening to my iPod, as I normally did, unsettled. I finally prayed about it, asking God to show me whether He really meant for me to join the Peace Corps.
And then “Two Weeks in Africa” popped up on my playlist, and I was filled with peace about this decision. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew it was a God thing.
And knowing that? The decision to go didn’t seem brave at all. I knew God had my back. I knew this was His plan. And while I didn’t fully understand why or how this fit into my life plans, but I knew God wanted me to make this decision. And I dove in head-first.
Months later, I packed my life into a few bags and boarded a plane to Africa.
This decision may have seemed crazy-brave, but it wasn’t. My brave isn’t your brave. Maybe your brave really is committing to move to Africa. Maybe mine is staying. Brave looks different for everyone, and the brave decision God is calling you to could be radically different than the one He is calling me to.
And that’s okay.
Too many of us try to make someone else’s brave our own reality, when in actuality, God is calling each of us to something different. So what is YOUR brave decision?
[bctt tweet=”Cling to courage. Embrace bravery. Trust in His plan. “]
And make YOUR brave decision.
For me, now? That decision is to stay. In my known-since-birth, small-town-midwest hometown. It’s taken as much bravery to stay here as it took to leave…maybe more. Maybe people think that’s crazy, that moving to Africa was easier than returning home.
Just remember, brave looks different for everyone.
What is your brave decision?
This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.