Bravery, On the Regular

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be “brave.” In many of the worship songs I’ve been hearing and singing recently, there are three common themes: bravery and trust and the ocean.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior”

*Oceans, Hillsong

You make me brave

You make me brave

You call me out upon the shore into the waves

You make me brave

You make me brave

No fear can hinder now the promises you’ve made”

*You Make Me Brave, Bethel Music

You split the sea so I could walk right through it

You drowned my fears in perfect love

You rescued me so I could stand and sing

I am a child of God”

*No Longer Slaves, Bethel Music

Some of you may remember that I wrote a lot about “Oceans” right before I went to Liberia. That became my theme song for missions. I’ve always thought about bravery and trust and going deep and being overwhelmed as things for the mission field. The highest Christian calling is long-term foreign missions, right?

Yet I resonate so much with these songs. I love singing about bravery. Trust is something I’m asking for more of. Going deep is what I crave. Being overwhelmed is a daily feeling.

But I am in college. My biggest worry right now is getting through finals. My toughest health struggle is sleep deprivation. I am relatively comfortable. I have friends. There are plenty of moments of laughter. And I know that in just a week, I will be home. Then why does life still seem hard? And why do I still relate so much to the themes of bravery and trust?

A few nights ago, as I was lying in bed (where most of my deep thinking happens), I realized something. Living life takes courage.

My roommate is one of the bravest people I know. She’s going to school in a different country, away from her family, her boyfriend, and her close friends. She’s taking on Calculus II and all sorts of complex science classes (that I am terrified of) because she has dreams of being a neuroscientist. She keeps trusting even though her family is moving farther away and her friends will be spread out across the world.

The parents I know who are watching their young son battle cancer are brave. They’re pursuing treatment without any proof of results. They’re trusting God for the funds, and opening up their lives to hundreds of churchgoers and distant friends. They’re trying to provide a normal life for their children in the midst of chaos.

A young couple in my Chi Alpha Bible study is brave. Not knowing where the money will come from next year, she continues to sign up for classes and focus on her pre-med degree. He works a job that he’s not passionate about in order to support his wife and make ends meet.

I’m realizing that maybe bravery isn’t just reserved for the mission field.

Maybe bravery and trust is a common theme because that’s exactly what we need.

Maybe being courageous is another every day choice.


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Courage is leaving a wonderful home and loving family to start a new life on my own.

Courage is going to a school where I’m not the smartest and am challenged every day.

Courage is asking God for the big miracles that seem impossible in the lives of my friends.

Courage is approaching God’s throne for the little things and the every day routine.

Hebrews 4:16 — “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Courage is pressing forward in the wake of suicide.

Courage is choosing to see people as more than statistics.

Courage is loving people even when I know they are going to leave my life soon.

Courage is trusting God to multiply the time I spent opening up my room to friends, instead of doing my history reading.

Courage is sharing my pain with friends when all I want to do is roll into a ball.

Courage is seeking out support when my family isn’t there to hold me.

Psalms 27:14 — “Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”

Courage is being an open Christian on a secular campus.

Courage is studying hard for finals.

Courage is also choosing not to stress and allowing my mind and body to rest.

(And maybe courage is taking a break from studying to write a blog post that God laid on my heart.)

Psalm 62:5 — “Yes, my soul, find rest in God: my hope comes from him.”

Don’t belittle your life and the calling you are living out. Don’t belittle the daily struggles and the small victories. There’s a reason why our worship leaders are singing about bravery, trust, going deeper, and being overwhelmed — Living life takes a good dose of bravery, on the regular.

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