Here lately God has been putting me through the. freaking. wringer. Ya’ll. I’m not even joking, I’ve cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Since Friday. Today is Wednesday. (and yes I just had to sound it out as I spelled it…Like, how in the world am I an adult?!) Mind you, the tears that have ran have been tears of every kind; frustrated tears, joyful tears, defeated tears, angry tears, overwhelmed tears, happy tears…You name it, I’ve cried it, and in less than a week. I guess God is trying to break a Guiness World Record; problem is He didn’t ask me.

There’s a joke in Christiandom that you don’t ask God for something you don’t want tested. Ie. Patience or faith. I’m gonna add another one…better yet two; boldness and bravery.

If your a mother or guardian or someone (like myself) who loves office supplies you’ve seen the pretty pink notebooks or planners with metallic gold dots and the word Brave or the phrase, Be Bold painted across it in an attractive, frilly font. These are the words we want to describe us. When we think of bravery or boldness we hear triumphant music and get goosebumps. We think of headlines to newspaper articles (maybe that’s just me?) and awesome photogs with an attractive hero standing tall, chin and chest poked out victoriously.

But ya’ll..Brave isn’t beautiful.

I had to be brave recently and lemme tell you, it didn’t feel like what those notebooks or photos looked like. It was ugly. It was dark. It was scary. I didn’t feel like standing with my fist on my hips and my chest poking out to take a picture. I didn’t feel shiny and frilly. I felt like I had just clawed my way out of my grave after being buried alive only to reach the surface and realize I had to army crawl through manure underneath barbed wire as bullets flew overhead and grenades exploded all around me.

Being bold isn’t saying the thing that everyone is thinking, but won’t say. It’s saying the thing that no one is thinking. 

Being brave isn’t doing something and knowing someone has your back, it’s doing something even though your alone.

Bravery is doing the scary thing even if there is no one to snap your photo or sing your praises. It’s standing up when the whole world tells you to sit down. It’s running in when everyone else is running out. It’s whispering, “I will”, when everyone else is screaming they won’t. It’s praying when everyone is panicking. It’s singing praises while everyone is shouting for punishment.

When I think of bravery and boldness I don’t picture men parading as women or protesting females.

I think of ashes and rubble, fire and smoke, as first responders run into the flames. I think of men and women, little boys and little girls, singing hymns as they are set afire, lions turned loose, or stoned to death for their faith.

If you want to be brave. If you want to be bold.

Be as Christ.

He knew the consequences of preaching and living The Truth.

And He did it anyways.

For YOU.

Be brave, do the scary things, because He did them first.