I’m sitting at the edge of the Amazon rain forest, in the depths of Peru. I’m here for just under six weeks, recording stories and helping my friends before they start up their girls’ home. I’m on a constant journey of searching for bravery, and I’ve realized . . .
When I look for courage, I tend to find it wherever I go.
My friends are brave for moving to Peru. They’ve been here for over a year now, and I look at their lives in wonder and amazement. They’re learning Spanish, they’re living under bug nets, they’re using a toilet that doesn’t have plumbing. They’re doing brave, hard things — things I’m not sure I would ever be able to do. And they do it, not because it’s glamorous or glorifying, but because they’re in the place where Jesus wants them to be, and doing the work that Jesus wants them to do.
I wonder if that’s true for all of us.
I think we’re at our bravest when we’re in the place where Jesus wants us to be, doing the work that Jesus wants us to be doing.
Perhaps that’s not Peru. Maybe, for you, it’s mothering. I’m not a mother, but I’ll soon be an aunt, and I am quickly realizing that motherhood is one of the bravest things in the world. I’m equal parts ecstatic and petrified for my sister come January. I think she’s equal parts, too.
And maybe your bravest is not mothering, but waiting. Waiting never feels brave, does it? Courage generally seems like we should be doing something, or going somewhere. It feels like it should be big and bold and book-worthy. But when we’re in the place where Jesus wants us to be, and doing the work that Jesus wants us to do, we are doing the brave thing — waiting for the test result, waiting for the opportunity, waiting for the dream that we’ve yearned for to come true.
Perhaps your brave right now is trudging through the thick of school — with people telling you to determine your future, to choose your life — and it’s overbearing and overwhelming. But if you’re where Jesus wants you to be, you’re in the midst of your courage. The same goes for if you’ve decided not to go to school. You’re no less valuable or intelligent. In fact, you’re very, very brave.
I’d hate for us to get caught up in the lie that our life must appear spectacular in order to be considered brave. We are courageous because Jesus breathes bravery into the core of our fearful bones, and when we take a terrifying step toward the place we believe Jesus wants us to be, we’re living testaments of an audacious God.
I think Jesus has so much more planned for us than a seemingly spectacular life.