editor’s note :: i’m taking a break this month to work on a new manuscript. some of my closest friends have agreed to fill this space in my absence with their thoughts on bravery and what it means for our faith. you can read the rest of the posts here. today, my sister blanche shares her words. brave: “ready to face and endure danger or pain’
i’d like to think of myself as brave. i’ve done a lot of brave things: hiked a mountain by myself, accepted a manager position at a retail store, walked into an abandoned apartment in hopes of bringing light to darkness, spoke in front of hundreds of people at various events, the list can go on.
sometimes though i think we mistaken stupidity for bravery.
i forgot to tell you this post might be controversial.
i’ll be the first person out on the line, the first person to go regardless of the situation or if it’s deemed safe. – but God has shown me this semester how important it is to only go where you are called; sometimes standing in the midst of the storm takes just as much faith and bravery as going and walking on the water.
we are to never go where we are not called – this is where bravery turns into stupidity.
simple enough, right? … it just gets unclear when you involve other people in the situation. it gets confusing when other people start telling you where you are going isn’t safe, it isn’t wise to go to a place like that – things can happen, you know? when people, with all the good intentions they have, turn bravery into stupidity in their mind, and don’t allow themselves, their family or friends to have a lifestyle of bravery – that’s when it gets complicated. when every brave thing a soul does is looked upon as unwise or foolish, that’s when i get upset.
i forgot to mention i’m in Nigeria; this post will fill you in on my personal battle between being brave and being stupid.
this is my second summer being in this wonderful country. i absolutely love this place; the people are beautiful and have stolen my heart. there has been multiple times where i was walking to class last semester and i caught a wiff of an odor that instantly placed me back in the camps that we stayed in. my heart would drop, realizing i’m thousands of miles apart and i have months till i can return. i was homesick to a place i had never called home before. can that happen? i’m actually writing this the day before i leave, i’m in utter expectation till i can step my foot on that african soil.
can you imagine how i felt when people told me these past few months, “it probably isn”t the best thing for you to go over there.” i actually had dear friends and family choose not to support me because they didn’t agree with me going.
here’s why: if you haven’t read the news recently then you don’t know of the unrest going on in Nigeria. there’s a terrorist group called the Boko Haram which is dominant in the North – the past few years they have increased with bombings on churches and news stations, all in the name of Allah. there name means “western education is evil” – let’s just say they aren’t the friendliest to Christians. the South however, is majority Christian and the only thing they worry about is tribal differences, which isn’t a huge problem really at all. i’m also residing in the South during my 5 weeks over there.
so would you tell me i’m stupid or unwise for going?
my heart aches every time someone tells me of yet another story of a bombing in Northern Nigeria. my heart aches for the family members involved, for all the people that haven’t been able to hear or to know the love of Christ and the hope that He gives, for the unreached in Northern Nigeria. With the only thing keeping people from telling them of the gospel is safety, my heart completely breaks.
if i call myself of follower of Christ and have experienced the love and redemption that he poured over my life, how could i not go?
this brings us to the beginning of realizing the difference between the two: God has called me to go. i can confidently say in this season that Nigeria is where i must go. for where You go, i go; where You stay, i’ll stay.
to be willing to go when He calls is being brave, sitting in the midst of the storm and waiting for you que to get out of the boat is brave, walking on the water with your eyes fixed on Jesus is brave. your lifestyle should be brave, as long as you are following the call of your Lover.
BIO :: Blanche loves capturing moments in time. Whether it be true love or true apathy, she thinks the world needs to see it and learn from it. She goes to A&M University, advocates for the oppressed, loves orphans and hopes to see the end of human trafficking within her lifetime. She knows brokenness and the Truth that Jesus pursues and Jesus redeems.
She blogs at Looking Through a Lens of Hope where she openly writes about His goodness through her own pain and doubt as well as shares pictures from her recent travels – most likely from Africa.