If you’ve been at ForestView lately, you’ve likely been hearing a new song we’ve been introducing on worship team called You Make Me Brave. As I was reflecting on my own life and the journey I’m on, I thought it a fitting title for my musings.
You see, the end of this summer marks two years since I’ve moved to Hamilton and started coming to ForestView. Two years since I left my comfort zone, the life that I thought I wanted, embraced the unknown, made a change and have never looked back.
The chorus of the song not only says “You make me brave,” but “You call me out beyond the shore into the waves.” Meaning that God doesn’t make us brave so we feel comfortable. He doesn’t make us brave so we can stay where we are. He calls us into situations that are strange, scary, and hard. But because He makes us brave, we don’t have to be afraid.
I have spent a lot of my life being afraid. Afraid of failing. Afraid of what other people thought of me. Ultimately, this fear was paralyzing. I would pray to God, asking Him to change me, or change the situation I faced. But without doing my part and stepping forward, things remained the same.
But when we are afraid, we have this truth to cling to, as the song says: “You are for us, you are not against us.” God is in our corner. He wants us to come out on top. He is rooting for us. He wants to come alongside us, but we need to take steps. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: God wants to be our partner in crime, not our heavenly benefactor.
So, in the past 2 years, what has that looked like for me?
Being brave has meant moving away from home. As someone who always considered herself a small town girl at heart, this idea was strange and scary at first, but I am continually surprised and blessed at the community I have built since moving to the city.
Being brave meant coming to a new church and trying new things. It meant showing up at the FV run club without knowing anyone there. It meant going to church events without a guarantee I’d see someone I knew. It meant joining a covcom and getting involved in church ministries.
And, as our covcom has continued to grow and change, it meant leaving that familiar and comfortable environment, starting a new covcom, and ultimately, stepping up to be a leader. Just when we think we have been brave enough, God pushes us further to newer, braver steps.
Being brave has meant swallowing my fear and joining a CrossFit gym. It meant being vulnerable, asking for help, putting in hard work at something I struggled with. It meant forging relationships with people I would have shied away from before because they were different from me. It meant embracing those differences and seeing what my new friends could teach me, while still staying true to who I am in Christ.
Being brave has meant letting go of the life I thought I would have. At 28, and someone who has grown up with a lot of small town, Christian friends, my younger self would have told you at this point I would definitely be married, and with at least one kid. But that’s not how life has turned out. I can let myself be disappointed and self-pitying. Or I can bravely step up and celebrate all the wonderful things in my life. Sure, it’s not where I thought I might be, but God is blessing me so richly I just need to bravely step out and accept what He has given me.
My life is messy. It’s hard. It can be lonely. I’ve gotten soaked stepping out into the waves. But I know God is for me. He has made me brave so I can go boldly out into those waves. Who knew that getting wet could be so exhilarating and rewarding?
So if you’re stuck on the shore – what are you waiting for? Sure, the view may be nice. But God didn’t make you brave to enjoy the view. He’s made you brave for a purpose. It doesn’t mean it won’t be scary, but God wants you to take the plunge. I promise you – it might not be easy, it might not be what you’re expecting – but you absolutely won’t regret it!