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.
Monica Lacy says
What an awesome post! You are so right…we are at our bravest when we are in the place Jesus wants us to be, doing the work He wants us to do. I, like you, have always believed courage involves doing…thank you for reminding me that waiting is also courageous. Having walked through breast cancer over the last year(6 surgeries, chemo, etc) and now trying to get my footing..figure out what God has next for me..waiting is often hard. Thank you for this post that spoke to my heart.
Ms. Witi says
This is so nice. It makes me happy to be doing what I am doing right now. 😉
So glad to hear that!!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Yes, compared to what your friends are doing in Peru, I don’t feel very brave. I do agree with you too, that waiting is one of the bravest and hardest things we can do. Waiting and trusting…that takes courage. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that the strength to do all these brave things comes not from us, but from daily, hourly reliance and dependence upon the Lord. In Him we are able.
Waiting and trusting takes a ton of courage – often they are the hardest and most courageous things to do!
Oh Aliza, your words are the very shield of bravery I needed to read this morning. I love your wisdom and deeper thought into what bravery actually looks like. Every turn of my life has required bravery of some sort and right now it is in the waiting. And yet I never thought of it that way. Thank you for being brave enough to stand and hold a sign right where I could read it and hear God’s message. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.
I’m so glad to hear this, Kathy! Thank you for your encouragement!
Your outlook is very refreshing. Although it can be hard, faced with Him, trusting in Him, helps to make it easier.
Beth Williams says
Thank you for your perspective on bravery! We tend to think of bravery only as going overseas or doing some big thing. This speaks right to my heart: “We’re at our bravest when we’re in the place where Jesus wants us to be, doing the work He wants us to do.” My brave right now is assisting my aging dad and watching him slowly slip away. It is tough to deal with his dementia, confusion, and other medical issues. I am blessed by God to be able to stay home and have this special time with him!
I have never looked at waiting as courageous. Wow! Such an eye opener! Sometimes waiting becomes depressive for me but wow this definitely gives a whole new perspective! I am brave for waiting on the husband God has for me. Thank you Lord for using Aliza and thank you Aliza!
Madeline Osigian says
Ah! So beautiful! Thank you for encouraging me to be brave in the midst of school, relationships, and all the other crazy that life throws at me.