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We have all heard the word “brave.” But what does it really mean?

When I hear the word I generally associate it with the heroes that I grew up reading about in stories or watching in movies. While we all love the Disney movies filled with heroes, what makes these people heroic to us? They are an image of bravery. These heroes have faced some type of great danger or obstacle that tested everything they are. And even though they were scared (and whether they said it or not – they were most definitely scared!), they did it anyway.

We all have fears and obstacles that make us cower and want to shy away but that deep down inside we truly want to conquer. So, it helps to have someone who has done what we long to do – someone to look up to.

I used to think that if I was scared that meant I wasn’t brave. But I had it all wrong. I think that fear makes us brave.

Being brave is not the absence of fear – it’s being scared to death but doing it anyway.

If we feared nothing, then how could we bravely overcome it? Now that we’ve established that we need fear to be able to be brave, lets stop pretending that we are fearless. God knows us and uses our different fears and struggles to help us grow and make us
who we are.

Fear is a tricky little devil. Has your fear ever felt so great and overwhelming that it nearly paralyzed you? Fear can suffocate you, confine you and make you feel like you are trapped and alone. Believe me when I say we have all been there one way or another. It can frustrate you and confuse you, leaving you feeling discouraged. This is the part where fear tricks you: it makes you wonder why God would let such things happen to you. We beg Him to take away the thing that scares us, and that’s where we miss
the whole point of fear.

God uses our fears to help us realize that we can’t do it alone, but with Him we can face anything.

It’s in those moments of great fear and anguish, when we have reached our end, that we run to God. We need God, and He knows it. But we are sometimes blinded by our pride and think that we can do it with out God. God loves us too much to take away our fears; instead, God uses them to help us be reminded of how small we are and how big He is. So, fear is not the opposite of bravery. We learn to be brave by conquering our fears. God has designed each and every one of us differently and we each have different fears. Yet, we all have this inner desire to want to be brave.

Brave means being ready to face danger or pain and showing courage, which is the ability to do something that frightens you. And because each person faces different dragons, being brave looks different for each of us. For some, brave is facing a terminal illness or injury. For others, it’s facing a hard family upbringing.

Sometimes brave isn’t some ferocious yell but, rather, a quiet whisper telling you to keep going and try again.

Brave can also be learning to be happy in our own skin and having this thing called self-respect, while not succumbing to what the world tells us to be. Brave can look like a single mom trying to play both parents, and on days when she doesn’t feel like she has the strength to continue, she keeps pushing through. When it comes to being a Christian, being brave is denying our naturally selfish spirit and choosing to pick up our cross daily and follow God, which may involve loving the unlovable, forgiving someone who has wronged you, and doing what is right even though it is not “popular.”

So instead of asking what brave looks like, we should ask what God wants our brave to look like.

What fear is God begging you to give to him? What would you do with your life if you weren’t afraid? What is my brave?

My brave is giving up control of my life, which scares me to death. It’s completely relying on God during my journey through this frighteningly uncertain thing called my future. In those moments when I am drowned by questions of What are you doing with your life? What grad school are you going to? Are you ever going to get married or have a real job?, that instead of succumbing to my anxiety and letting my fear of uncertainty kick in, I choose to let go and give those fears over to God.

Instead of questioning God, I sit back and trust where He is leading me even if it’s not where I planned to go. It’s me fully relinquishing my pride and telling God that I cannot do this alone. It’s being honest with myself and admitting that I fear my future but that I will trust God and let Him guide me through it anyway. That is what my brave looks like.

So now I ask you, what is your brave?


(Photo Cred: FPme Stylist Zoe Lazerson )

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