twenty eight.

 

Twenty eight.

Somehow it seems momentous, the ending of a new year and the beginning of another. Why is that? What do you take from a year and bring into a new one?

You bring grace. So much grace. Because on that highway along the river, she spoke truth into your heart that you’d carry with you everywhere: we’re all just doing the best we can do with what we’ve got. And those words would shake you to your core, anger you in some ways, because you’d realize everyone else needs grace just as much as you do, and you could speak kindness to the one that broke you just as you could speak kindness to yourself. You’re doing the best. You can do. With what you’ve got.

You bring courage. Courage to pray the bold prayers, courage to stand in front of His throne, courage to sit across from a therapist and break open again and again. You do it, not because you always feel brave but because courage is doing it scared. Doing it anyways.

You bring tears. Not because you’re broken but because tears are the glue that piece you back together. Tears are found in pools at Jesus’ feet, and He’s there, He’s there, I promise you.

And you bring trust. Trust is realizing that there’s a Light that follows you, illuminating just a small circle around your feet. You’ll wish you could see past into the darkness, but that Light – it follows you. Because God, He always gives you enough, just enough for the day. For the moment. And you keep moving, and He keeps walking with you, and you realize – the darkness is not dark to Him – and He knows. He knows what’s out there, even if you don’t, and that is enough. Trust is believing that He’s out there, even if you can’t see Him.

This is what you take into a new year. You leave behind the old year,  but bring into it all that shapes you

into the person you are meant to be.

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letter series vol. 1: be brave.

Dear you,

Each Monday morning I get an email in my inbox called “Dear Monday.” It’s one of those emails from a favorite writer, and each one is different than the last, but somehow, someway, they are filled with tears and cheers and anything else that you might need to cope with what life throws at you.

I usually save mine for when I need it during the day, and today, I opened it while on the bus, squished in between a wall and a myriad of other people on their way to begin their day. Bags hugged on laps, people holding tightly to railings so they wouldn’t jostle the person next to them. I clicked the mail icon and opened up words that always breathe life into my soul.

Today’s words were about being brave. I don’t know about you but most days I don’t feel so brave. I do the things that I know; I make the same breakfast that nourishes my frame; I climb onto the bus, or the car, and go to the places I know and love. I talk to the people who I’ve grown up with; I navigate the streets of my neighborhood, and I put on the favorite jeans and scarf. Nothing is brave about that, I think. I really like my normalcy. I like knowing what’s coming and I like knowing what’s lined neatly in my day planner, organized by hours and by subject.

And I guess that’s okay. But maybe there are ounces of bravery pumping through our veins that require us to stay, and live the normal life, and live a life knowing where to drive our car without entering it first into Google Maps.

Maybe there is bravery in that, for you. Maybe you want to leave and jump onto the plane, and it’s what your dreams are made of, and your thoughts are filled with it but it’s taking your bravery to stay and face the same day. The same place. The same people. And if that’s you: keep on being brave and keep on taking those steps because bravery like that sometimes goes unnoticed. And if you need someone to say it: I am noticing. I need bravery for that, too.

But maybe you are the one who is driving late at night, and the dreams and the hopes you see are far off and they require the jumping kind of brave. And with each swipe of the windshield it’s like a raindrop of fear hits you, and you’re afraid of what the cost might be, and you’re afraid of what might happen and maybe you’ll get a little more broken. Maybe your dreams are the ones that require you to jump into the darkness and leave what you know behind, and leave the people and faces you love behind, and the sidewalks you could map out because you know each crack and each turn and each bump. Maybe you need to jump, and you need to put the clothes into the suitcase and you need to go. Even when you just want to stay, but you know that somewhere inside of you, you need to go.

You need to be brave and jump because what’s on the other side will be worth it. And you might be a little more whole than you were before your jumped.

Maybe bravery looks different for all of us, but whatever kind of bravery you are seeking today, may you find it. Know that both are beautiful: the bravery that requires staying, and the bravery that requires going. Whatever bravery you need today wear it well; hold it loosely and hand it over to someone else who might need it. Be brave in your own way: be bold whether you stay or you go, but know that the bravery coursing through your veins wasn’t mean to sustain just you. It was meant to be weaved into your story, your words, your actions so that someone else might hear the same words you needed to hear today:

Whether you go or you stay, you can do it. You’ve got bravery running through your veins and the world at your fingertips.

Lovingly,

a.