Tuesday, June 19, 2012

on being brave

For years I have wanted to author a blog. For years I have wanted to be heard. For years I have wanted to be known. Don't we all? Don’t we all want to be known, heard? Don’t we all have a story to tell? How do you tell your story?
 I know people that really don't like being in the spotlight, and go out of their way to stay away from it, they work, they serve, they do the job well, but rarely do we see them. Yet, even those people are known for something. They are the one who work quietly and lovingly and then stand behind the curtain. We don't see them but we know they are there, that is what they are known for. The spotlight is actually still on them, just in a different way, and we love them all the more because of their bravery, love and humility.

I know other people that love the spotlight, or at least seem to not mind it so much, because there they are, even if uncomfortable and a little self-conscious, they stand, and we all see them. They work hard and lovingly and step into the spotlight, which is what they are known for. We love them too because they are brave, loving and beautiful.

No matter what category you fit into, in the end there is always some sort of expectation set upon you. No matter how you do it, you are at work, doing your best and we are all watching, waiting for your next move. There are expectations to be met, like it or not.

How do you handle what you do? Do you hide? Do you step out? Are you brave in what you do?

I want to be brave.

What I find myself doing most of the time is both... and then... neither. I love the spotlight, but do I really? The safest place to be is in doing nothing at all.

Survival is hard enough as it is so when I go above and beyond just surviving, expectations begin to set in (whether from others or from myself) and they are so scary that it is just easier to step back and do nothing more. The spotlight is great, too great, it might blind me, and I don't know that I could handle it. If I hide in this cave no one will see me, no one will find me, no one will expect anything from me, no one will notice me, no one will care. The thought of being brave and stepping out is just too scary. I not only risk not meeting the expectations that I or others will begin to put on me, but even worse, I am risking not being seen at all. What if I do step out and still no one sees me, no one finds me, no one bothers with any expectations? What if I’m invisible? I could perhaps risk disappointment, ridicule and failure, but risk not being known or heard? That is what stops me dead in my tracks.

As it turns out though, this cave where I hide, although it can be cozy and safe is actually mostly quite lonely and unfulfilling. It's dark and boring. And God, the maker of heaven and earth and of you and me, doesn't really want us to hide. No matter where we hide he will find us, he will notice, he will care. He knows us, he hears us, and he loves us. So much so, that he is relentless and unapologetic in pursuing us, and he wants us to shine. Whether in the spotlight or out of it, we were made to shine, not hide. The Psalmist understood this well.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand
will hold me fast.

When we hide he reaches, he touches, he changes, he transforms.
I try to hide, I try to escape, but he finds me. Every. Single. Time.

The previous verses found in Psalm 139: 7-10 are followed by a reminder of how wonderfully God himself creates us. I wonder if perhaps the Psalmist had been hiding for the same reasons that I hide. Did he think that he didn't have much to offer, that he was so unworthy that he didn't think he could even be in the presence of God? Was there a spotlight or perceived expectations that he didn't think he could handle? Was he thinking "I'm sorry, but I just cant do it?"

Today I want to remind myself and remind you, just as David reminded himself and us, that we are God's beautiful creation, and although I was made in a secret place I was not made to stay there.

Paul also reminds us in Philippians 1:6

…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

What a relief to know that whatever good work I am is what he created (not who I try to create), I am a beautiful piece of work in progress that is his responsibility, not mine. He creates, he begins a good work, he completes it. Once I step out of this cave it is not up to me to meet anyone’s expectations; it is not up to me to do anything to be noticed or heard. It is all up to him. I step out and I look at him, I love him, I adore him, I listen to him.

I am ready to be known, I am ready to be heard, I am ready to tell my story. I am ready to be brave.
Are you ready to be brave? Come on with me, let's leave this cave!

Next time we meet I will tell you the story of my favorite hero. He was called out of hiding too. He is part of my story, and perhaps a part of your story too.


  1. I am really glad to call you friend. Miss you and love you greatly!

  2. What a beautiful piece of writing. You have definitely begun the journey out of the cave and I am blessed by your bravery and obedience. I can't wait to hear your story...the one He has begun in you. I am your newest follower. Patty