How to be Brave

Don’t we all wish we could be more brave? Whether it means defending ourselves and what we believe in or getting that rush of adrenaline from leaving that dear comfort zone. I think we all desire to make a difference and that starts with being brave. I don’t consider myself as a brave person. In the past few years I’ve become more reserved and shy, probably just because after leaving High School I wasn’t surrounded by the people I’d grown up with anymore so I lost a little bit of my confidence without those friends. So bravery is something I pray for. Sometimes I attempt to be brave but more often than not it leaves me hurt and embarrassed. And I know I’m also not the only one who has lost friends over trying to be brave. Fear is what keeps us from being brave. Fear. Gosh it rules my world sometimes. Most of the time. It rules all of us, doesn’t it?

I’ve always thought that being brave means putting tape over the mouth of that monster I call fear. Constantly trying to find ways to ignore the mess of thoughts that get in my head. I thought being brave meant ignoring the fear and moving on with my life. For a while I thought being brave meant giving in to the fears in my head. This is around the time of year when my depression made it’s first awful appearance. And somehow the changing of seasons brings back a lot of those same thoughts and feelings. Waking up sad and hearing words in my head that tell me how awful I am. And I hate it that it’s all in my head. But a good friend reminded me that even though it’s all in my head doesn’t mean that it’s not real. For the first time in years I decided that I should see a counselor. The only person I was going to tell was my husband because I was afraid to admit to anyone else that I wasn’t ok. But then I decided to tell my accountability group. Three girls who encourage me like no one else. When I told them about my decision the first thing they all said to me was how brave I was. In my head I was caught off guard. How the heck was I brave? I felt weak and defeated-far from brave. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I spoke with them, why they all thought I was brave. Tonight I finally understood when I was praying. Being brave doesn’t mean ignoring your demons and trying to shut them out. Being brave doesn’t mean joining your demons either. Being brave is when you stop running, turn around and look your demon in the eyes, and say “let’s fight.” Then decide that no matter how ugly the battle is, if it leaves you bruised and bloody, decide you will win. Jesus won the battle a long time ago. He chose me, and I chose Him too. So that makes me a winner too.

Stop running away. Stop dancing with the demons even when it’s easy to give in. Be brave, and fight.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:2