I’ve been ruminating over a mantra my friend Bethany told me over one of our ‘catch-up-on-life’ phone calls.
Not that the phone conversation was the first time I heard of the idea to be brave, but that day it struck me in a new way. She phrased bravery in a way where bravery isn’t “being,” but simply to live out our lives as brave people. Instead of bravery being the action — bravery is what describes us as human beings.
The opposite of bravery is fear.
These days I am constantly reminding myself to keep fighting. To press on. To live bravely. To let the act of overcoming and victory rule my life and not fear and inaction. Some days I lose, and some days I hold steadfast.
Being part of the current young adult generation, there seems to be all this outward and inward societal pressure for us to succeed, overcome, be movers and shakers, history makers and the like. I have found myself wrestling with whether my desires to “live up to the expectations of my generation” equates bravery. It seems like there is all this unnecessary emphasis on changing the world, whatever that may mean that we have forgotten to teach our children how to be brave and fight for the spaces and people that are within reach. There are slow shifts — but I find that I have been spending the past two+ years re-learning what it means to fight, to exude bravery, to make choices that may not make much sense, but to trust that there is hope and a purpose. The greatest lesson I have learned is change does not need to be in tens, hundreds, or thousands of people that I affect, but being able to affect just one person’s life is enough. If I can empower another person who is a brave person that does scary things …. that is power & change.
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear …”
If brave people stand up against fear, could that mean brave people also love fiercely? It is risky to love. It is risky to live a life where bravery conducts the course of our actions and not fear. Fear is comfortable and easy. But in bravery there can be an endless path to opportunity and life.