It is... it's time! I'm in my 40s now and I have felt a stirring... an awakening... a gathering of courage and strength from deep down inside for some time now. I have written about it, prayed about it, and tried to live it out loud and I am so excited because I feel a movement coming of so many of us standing up taller into who we are and leaning in to Him, leaning on each other, and walking boldly, bravely, into all He has for us!
Here's the thing...
When we talk about being Brave, we so often jump to the idea that we have to say Yes. Whatever it is... say yes.
But some of the bravest things I have ever done have been to say no.
No to good things, to ministry, to opportunities, ...no to things that I really wanted, no to staying, and no to leaving. No to easy things and to hard things, to good things and to bad things... sometimes saying no was glorious and easy (said the Introvert) but sometimes saying no was heart-wrenching and heart-breaking... lonely and isolated.
So there are times when we are called to say Yes - of course. Lean in, follow His lead and His call and say Yes... close your eyes and jump, if you have to - but say yes with a faith that is backed by action.
But know that we are times when you will be called to say No instead. And both may require a bit of Brave.
Here's the other thing about Brave...
It requires risk.
It requires putting action to your faith and oh how I can kick against the goads here, ya'll! I mean, I am not a risk taker... I am a risk calculator... I learn from other peoples' mistakes and seriously - the people who make mistakes are usually those who take risks.
But here's the OTHER other thing...
God is a rewarder of Risk Takers!
He is. He loves it when we are willing to step out in faith and just go... He rewards the successes of course, but He rewards the failures too because in order to fail it means you had to have tried something, right? (And He loves that! He loves it when we try new stuff! It's all part of that whole "Life Abundantly" deal He offers us!)
Bravery takes Risk and Risk takes Practice and why is it that we don't want to try and we tend to shrink back from learning how, in front of people? It's like we don't want to swing if we think we can't hit a home run right off the bat? (Ya see what I did there?) Maybe it's because I just finished reading Annie F. Downs' book, Let's All Be Brave, but I am realizing that we must show up for practice... we must be willing to take risks, to learn timing and how to bat... because we won't always clear the bases but sometimes, even in practice, we can hit it out of the park! *You can thank Annie for the baseball analogies.
Annie is ever Real... You read her words, -her life, really- and you are making a friend. She speaks the truth... in laughter and in love and sometimes it's easy and full of life, and sometimes it is hard and uncomfortable (and still full of life). She challenges us to live out loud and to lean in to hear His voice and then boldly, bravely follow through. She is honest with us though... she shares how often times, she is not brave - but oh the times that she has been will stir you up and push you to want to live like that, too!
She offers us a deal... if we'll be brave, she'll be brave too and if we all agree - oh my goodness, ya'll.
Just IMAGINE the things that we could do!
On Sunday, while sitting in church... this is what the Lord so clearly spoke to me. I believe this is what He is speaking to all of us:
"It's already IN you..."
We ask for Him to rain down,
but He asks for us to spill out!
If we want more,
we need to give more -
to make more room...
It's in you...
HE is in you...
How About We All Agree to Let Him Out?