Be Brave by Alyssa Bethke
Have you ever loved doing something? Where when you do it, deep down you know that yes, this is what you were created to do. You feel alive. You feel cozy, like you’re at home—completely in your element. Not that it’s perfect. No, not even close. You still may have a lot to learn, a lot to grow in, but that’s ok. You know that you are walking in step with the talents, or the gift that the Lord has given you. It definitely has hard parts—it may not come easy, but it’s a joy, it’s worth it- to push through and do it.
That’s how I feel about writing. I feel completely at home with my fingers tap-tapping on the keyboard, or my fingers wrapped around my pen, creating phrases and sentences with a pen in my worn-out journal. It’s here that I process, that I pour my heart out on paper. God speaks to me here. I can be totally real and completely me. No filter. I can make mistakes and it can be messy, but that’s all a part of the process. And the most amazing thing is that I’ve seen God use my words to draw people closer to Himself. To show more of who He is, to bring glory to His awesome name. My passion and His praise meet.
But what happens when you’ve been in a draught- for months? When you don’t want to do the very thing that made you feel alive? It’s so easy to make excuses, to put everything else above it- taking care of Kinsley, laundry, cleaning, cooking, hanging out with friends and family, discipling, crafting, planning parties, and the list goes on. I love all those things. Well. No. Let’s be real. I do not love cleaning the toilets, but I do love having a clean toilet! Those are all good things, and roles and responsibilities I have.
“So is this.” The Lord whispers to my heart.
I’ve pushed aside writing for so long. I always just made excuses or thought it wasn’t as important or that maybe it just wasn’t the right time. And maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the Lord had to really show things to me in the wilderness.
However, as I was reading God’s word this week and praying, I was naming the fears I have. (And man, the list is long! Ugh.) And one of the fears that appeared in my workbook was writing.
Not being a good writer.
Not being able to encourage people.
Being fluffy or boring.
Just being noise- who needs another blogger?
To sound prideful or like I had it all together.
Or even worst, being completely vulnerable and raw and letting people truly know me- my weaknesses, sins, struggles, ugly parts.
My fear has stopped me from doing the very thing that God has called me to do. And yes, I think for a season I needed to take a break. I needed God to do His work in me so my writing could be an outpouring of Him, and not just words.
But now is the time. I need to surrender my fears, to let them go, and enjoy the “freefall”, as Rebekah Lyons says. Freefall into His arms. Into His grace.
I’m nervous writing even now. It’s scary- to put yourself out there. To risk failure. But it’s worth it. And more importantly it’s drawing me closer to my Savior. To the Mighty One. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I can fail, because God has me. He holds my right hand. He is simply pleased that I am walking in obedience to Him- shaky and all.
The word “brave” and “courage” have been dancing around in my head ever since I read Annie Down’s book “Let’s All Be Brave”. In the book, she encourages us to be brave- to step out and have faith. And everyone’s brave is different, and I’m finding that each day holds a new brave that I need to walk in. Some days my brave is simply getting out of bed. Other days it’s running errands with Kinsley. Daily tasks can seem so big sometimes. During this season, it’s writing, and preparing my heart to move across the ocean, and being a mom, and discipling four incredible college girls.
What’s your brave? What do you feel like God is stirring in your heart? What have you been fearful of? Made excuses for?
So here it goes. A new season. A season of bravery. (Hopefully.) A season of clinging to the Lord because the truth is, I am desperate for Him. I want to be used by Him. But more importantly, I want to follow Him each day—whatever that looks like. To follow so closely to my Rabbi, that I’m covered by the dust of His feet.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”