Bravery

I use to think of myself as brave, mostly because that’s what many thought of me. To most bravery is considered doing something that one could not imagine having to do. I was told I was brave for moving out on my own while still a junior in highschool. I was told I was brave for transferring from a college, where I completed nearly 75% of my bachelors degree in business, to follow the call of ministry in bible college. There are a number of other reasons for people’s assumption of my bravery and at the time I might have actually considered myself brave.

However, in the last several years of my life, I think I have better learned the meaning of bravery. When we think of bravery we think of mustering the courage necessary for making a difficult choice. We consider ourselves brave just for facing the decision, regardless of which choice we make. Until now, I had never examined the actual definition of bravery. According to Merriam Webster’s definition, bravery is

“the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.”

According to the definition one must be making a choice in spite of danger, fear, or difficulty.

If I consider my circumstances, I wouldn’t necessarily deem all of my choices as brave as others have viewed them. When I decided to become independent in high school, I truly felt that I had no better choice. Thus, making this decision an easy one. I’ll admit, being financially responsible and independent during a season in life where most people’s parents were still waking them up for school and doing their laundry wasn’t exactly the leisurely option, but it was the easier option. It was logical. It simply made sense.

Now, transferring schools with over half of a completed degree in business is another story. That decision, my friends, took some bravery. Everything I thought I had worked for was just three semesters away. Life was seemingly great. I was as financially stable as a college student could get (Ha!), active in my church, parted ways with the folly of the “extracurricular” activities that often allure young people, and was supported by friends that were more like family. Honestly, I was scared. This would be a new state, new people, a new school – a new LIFE!

I transferred with nothing more than an indisputable beckon and a promise that God would take care of me in the unknown. It was, in my life, the road less traveled. And, God has done more than promised. He has not only taken care of me but overwhelmed my life abundantly with blessings in every faith-filled step I have taken. Today I am married to the sweetest and most handsome man (I may or may not want some new shoes…). We own a home, have good jobs, are part of a great church, and we are blessed with family and friends. If you had asked me what I thought life would look like six years ago, I could map it out for you and it would have been nothing compared to what I have now. Taking this road has made all the difference!

Since then I have been faced with ample opportunities to make decisions. Some major and some minor. Some quite difficult and others simply logical. Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken is often the go-to for anyone who is facing a decision to take the road less traveled or sticking with the status quo. If in the wrestling of your decision-making I could offer any encouragement, it would be simple. Be logical and be brave. God has provided us with wisdom to make decisions (James 1:5) but when the decision is one that has to be made on faith, be brave. Trust God (Proverbs 3:5). His road for your life is far better than the best one we can ever pave (Proverbs 16:9).

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