A couple weeks ago I was invited to attend the Belong Tour in Denver with a dear friend from high school. It was such a sweet time of connecting, being encouraged, and hearing from some amazing speakers, including my most favorite author and speaker Shauna Niequist.
While there were a couple little nuggets to take away and chew on, one that continues to resonate with me was from singer and songwriter Sharon Irving. At one point Sharon was asked about her journey through “America’s Got Talent” and what advice she would give to any dreamers who aspire to make a difference and use their gifts but don’t know where to begin. Her response?
“Do it afraid.”
She spoke of bravery and showing up, even when fear grips us and we don’t know if we can do it.
This has been on my mind and resonating with me so much lately, especially in moving to Colorado. Everything is new. New doctor. New grocery store. New mountains and directions. New elevation. New license plates and DMV appointments. New people, friends, and small groups. New church. New sports teams and state loyalties. New schedule. New routine.
There has been so much newness and it’s tempting to shrink back. It’s easy to want to cancel plans, stay home, and hide. And there have certainly been times I have wanted to do that and times I have needed to do that, because I believe rest and nurturing is equally important.
Bravery has been my chant lately (so much so that I just ordered this awesome t-shirt and can’t wait for it to arrive!) and “just show up”has been my default self-talk. Because isn’t showing up half the battle? It seems easier to stay home and communicate via Facebook or Instagram as opposed to attending a brand new Bible study. It seems easier to binge watch Netflix all day instead of picking up the phone and calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. It seems easier to cancel the doctor appointment because what if it’s bad or awkward?
It’s hard to battle the doubts, difficult to act despite the fear.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
And yet, and yet.
Scripture commands us to stand strong, to be brave. But the thing I love is that it isn’t bravery for our own account or finding strength by our own willpower. We can be bold and brave not by trying harder or working more. We can be bold and brave because of God, because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside each one of us (Romans 8:11).
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31 – 32
If God has called you to something, to someplace, to a new adventure (and I truly believe he has something for everyone), then all he asks of you is to show up. The results of your work is not up to you, the success or out come is not yours to fight for – that’s up to God. But he simply asks us to be faithful, to be obedient, to show up.
And so, as we wrap up this week and look towards a new month, can I encourage you to be brave? Be brave as you decide to finally have that hard conversation, to make that counseling appointment, to seek out that new opportunity. Be brave as you open your heart, as you seek reconciliation, as you respond to the call God keeps giving you. Be brave as you decide to rest, as you ignore the negative comments and remind yourself of your true identity, as you work hard to care for your health and family. Be brave as you fight, as you struggle, as you show up. Be brave as you rest, as you Sabbath, as you nurture your home.
Be brave today, my friends, and leave the results to God.
// What are you choosing to be brave in today?