I always thought I had to be fearless, not understanding that simply being brave was an option. I
would face circumstances in my life with this attitude that I needed to be without fear and never move forward.
Last year, I lost all hope. I was coming off a year of focusing on grace and discovered that His grace for me was far beyond what I could have imagined. Especially after telling Him off.
But as the new year dawned and the afterglow of the last couple of months still shrouded me I began to understand how difficult relearning how to hope would be.
I now faced a daunting lesson. One that comes so naturally, but when it's lost is one of the more difficult ones. I was learning - quickly - that I was going to need bravery and courage. A bravery I wasn't sure I had. I didn't want to risk getting hurt again.
Fear is a heavy aspect of where I am today. The fear that dreams will not come true, a repeat of those couple months the end of the year. A fear that we are left abandoned, adrift in the middle of the ocean.
Despite knowing the truth, because of what occurred several months ago relearning to hope is requiring me to take these steps of hoping & dreaming in spite of the fear that clothes me some mornings.
Finding my roar, my courage, my bravery sometimes feels like a lesson in futility. I find myself willing to brave the ocean, but living with the expectation of the next few days, months, years leaves me quivering and distrustful. I often feel powerless against the fear and doubt that so heavily weigh upon me.
About this time - weighing the magnitude of what I was learning - I became surrounded by a group of women who stand with a motto of living brave, especially in the fear. Despite our distances, we're learning to be brave together. It helps when you have someone walking beside you while you're both learning.
In each of our lives over the last six months I've seen how we've each needed bravery. From opening ourselves up and being vulnerable, to challenging ourselves not to be daunted by our present circumstances or chronic health issues, or the powerful decision to quit our job and abiding in His faithfulness to provide. And many, many other stories. And each story motivates us all in our bravery.
There is an understanding that 1. we aren't in this alone, and 2. we don't have to be fearless.
Bravery isn't about being without fear.
It's simply speaking, taking up your sword when every fiber of your being is screaming in terror.