Have you ever talked yourself out of something?  I am a professional at talking myself out of things.  Seriously, I should have a doctorate, I am so skilled.  However, to be able to talk yourself out of things, good, but challenging things, is a skill I would like to unlearn.  This realization came to me after a trip to the park with my three kids.

My son was stuck at the top of the play structure.  He wanted to slide down the pole like a kid aches for ice cream, however, his fear had him stuck at the top.  I could see the conflict etched on his face by the tension between a heart longing to slide down and a mind talking him out of it.  I stood at the bottom of the pole – strong arms, ready to spot, and catch, if necessary.  It didn’t seem to be enough for him that I was there ready to catch him.  The desire to slide down was overtaken, his minds’ rhetoric winning, as I watched him back away from the pole.  I yelled up to him, “You can slide down the pole AND be scared!”

The words ricocheted off the slide, bounced off the tire swings and hit my mind with searing truth.  Truth that challenged arguments both well-founded and rooted in years of successful arbitration between heart and mind, faith and ability; with heart and faith most often on the loosing side.  Comfort, conventional and rational always wins in my world.  But.  What if you can be scared and trust, scared and jump?

I have missed out on life experiences because I allowed fear to control my choices, but this opens up a whole new world to me.   I had lived narrowly and had believed that the options were:

Scared= Stay  OR  Trust =Jump

I understand now that there are more options.

Trust + my fear = Brave

Faith + who I am = Brave

Belief + my abilities = Brave

Bravery is not the absence of fear.  It’s me being me to the best of my ability and trusting that God has the rest of it covered.  This relegates fear to a participant in bravery and no longer the deciding factor.  Bravery puts fear beneath my feet to pave the way to freedom.  What would happen if I loved this way?  Parented this way?  Led this way?  Served God this way?

What would happen if you were brave?  What would happen if fear no longer made your decisions for you?  What would happen if comfort and rational were finally challenged in your life?

What would it look like if you were you, bravely?

Don’t be afraid to find out.