“For I can do everything though Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT
It still makes me smile.
Like really big.
I was strolling down the memory lane of photos in my phone and paused on one particular day.
That brave day.
Sometimes we gotta look back to live ahead.
A few years ago, my husband and I embarked on an island adventure.
Being the brave soul that I am (not), I was all in for an ATV buggy tour.
As we waited alongside others in our group, I carefully assessed the situation yet to come.
Funny how we can conjure up scenarios in our minds that almost never come true.
After our safety briefing, we hopped into the buggy and lined up behind the leader.
Actually, I was feeling sort of sassy…
Perhaps it was the coolish scarf or maybe, I just allowed my fear-o-meter to slide for a sec.
Still, with each twisty turn, our buggy parade moved farther away from civilization.
As well as this girl’s comfort zone.
But, know what I discovered?
Comfort can sometimes come from the uncomfortable.
And, on that brave day, there were three things that shattered my scared.
I am long overdue for a reminder, y’all.
Maybe you are too?
After a couple quick stops, we finally arrived at the entrance of THE cave.
I’m pretty sure my eyes were twitching.
Our enthusiastic guide…who was barefoot…just sayin’…told us that the climb was worth the view at the top.
Man, I wanted to trust him.
Sure, we’d have to dance around the water.
Of course, it would be damp and dark and rocky inside.
Absolutely, we would meet a bat or two along the way.
But, he convinced us that the view…through God’s window at the top…would be worth it.
All we had to do was begin.
Would I allow the butterflies within to ban me from beginning a journey that might change my life?
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT
So, I slid my hand into the hubs and we climbed higher and higher.
And, here’s the amazing part.
Each step of the darkness brought me closer to the light.
Closer to brave.
I giggled at the bats.
I grabbed the hand of another groupie who was frozen in fear.
I gravitated to the sunshine peeking through the hole at the tippy top…determined to embrace the freedom that was waiting to welcome me with open arms.
Sweet friend, fear wants to fake us out.
It wants to take us out…with every single breath.
When we believe, we become.
More than we can ever imagine.
So, why do we live like we’re doing this life thing all by ourselves?
Our Heavenly Father is always with us, friend.
We say we know, but do we really know?
Do we really believe?
Not just in words that feel like faith, but in actions that ignite our faith.
Sparkle us so bright, God, so that nothing…not a doubt or a detour or a downright lie…can ever dim our desire to be brave in you.
“For I hold you by your right hand–I the Lord your God. And I say to you, Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13 NLT
I don’t even remember descending from that cave.
I was still basking big in my brave.
And, when we got back to our buggy, I blurted out two courage-filled words:
As we headed back to where we began, I felt different.
I was different.
Brave brought joy that I never found in fear.
Brave tingles our toes.
It begins with one trust-filled baby step.
It believes when we can’t.
Brave is possible because our Heavenly Father is fearless.
When God lives within us, fear is nothing more than a four-letter word.
I want the rest of my days to be the best of my days.
Braver because of His mercy.
Braver because of His grace.
Braver because of His love.
Love that is greater than all our fears.
Oh God, help us to believe.
Brave on, writer girl.
Brave on, beloved.
Be free. XOXO
Spread your joy,