Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Brave: Day 1

I believe that everyone has a story, and that every story matters

While I appreciate stories told with the benefit of some time having passed, when the storyteller has had the space to process and the time to find perspective - this is not one of those stories.

This is my story. Told from in the middle of it.

I believe that the middle of our real-life stories are every bit as important as our happily-ever-after-endings. Maybe even more so, because aren't we all living more or less in the middle of our own stories?

I believe that the telling of this story is as much a part of the process as the last few months have been. Months of struggling and learning, seeking and flailing around in the dark and finding a strong safe place was under my feet the whole time.

This is my story - the story of what God has been working in me and revealing to me about what it means to be brave, as I have learned it during this year.

I know one year is not a long time - a lot of these thoughts have been growing quietly in the background for years - I also know it's one thing to spend a year in a hard season and another thing entirely to spend two or five or ten years struggling through the same trial. I am just now starting to see what God has been doing deep underneath the surface, in the dark and quiet, in the roots of my soul, that are starting to become buds, about to burst into bloom. I want to look at some of these budding revelations of what it means to be brave.

At the end of the day I believe God is calling us all to be brave. Brave in our abundance, brave in our emptiness, brave in the silence, brave in the noise, brave with our words, brave with our stories, brave in our faith - in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, wherever God has brought us. We all have places in our lives where we daily have to choose to be brave. I hope that by sharing the story of God's faithfulness to me that your faith will be stirred to trust fully in His faithfulness for you.

Everyone's brave looks a little bit different (thank you Kaitlyn Bouchillion for this timely reminder!) for one person brave means letting go, for another it means holding on. For one person brave means moving on, for another it means staying put. For one person brave means speaking up, for another it means being quiet and listening. This is the story of my brave and my unexpected year of discovering what it means for me to be brave. It is mostly a story about God's faithfulness in the middle of my mess and pain and (spoiler alert) an unexpected pregnancy.

I was sitting in my OB's office, reading from "bittersweet" on the Kindle app on my phone, which in retrospect I think might have been the perfectly wrong book for me to be reading at the time since Shauna Niquist writes a lot about her experience of having a miscarriage. She writes beautifully about it all but it was probably not the best time for me to be reading about it. She writes in the chapter on crying in the bathroom: "surprise pregnancies seem so specifically unfair, somehow, like their bodies are betraying them in just the perfectly opposite way our bodies are betraying us." When I got back to my car I sobbed pretty much all the way home. It is so very unfair. I have felt the unfairness of it deeply.

I don't get why God began my year with the word "brave" and then a few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. I don't get it. I really don't. I expected that "brave" would be something more dramatic. Pregnancy is something I've done. This is my sixth time now. A healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy (even if it was my hardest one so far) and a perfect new baby don't seem like it belongs in the category of brave. I totally expected this year would be more, I don't know, cinematic. Still this year has been so hard. 

Through it all God's faithfulness and tenderness has been breathtaking and that is what I want to write about.

go back to the start
continue reading... a little bit of backstory  

I'm linking up to the 31 Days community and will be posting this series along with that group of amazingly talented writers.  I started writing the posts for this series in August and have all (or at least most) of my posts pre-written - so the "now" of my posts and of my life are not in synch. Thoughout this series I'll be posting music. You can find every song that I'll share here on my blog in my playlists on Spotify and YouTube

P.S. I nearly chickened out. Sharing your story brings out so many conflicting emotions, number one is is right now the right time to be sharing this? Almost every night I have just about decided not to write this series but when I heard this song again (I posted the YouTube video of it below) I just knew I needed to be brave with my words and do the hard work of writing. It might seem like the wrong place to start but this is where I started so here you go. If you are struggling to be brave with your posts in the 31 series I hope that this song gives you the extra nudge you have been needing. 


  1. Faith, my word for the year is brave too! So much THIS: "We all have places in our lives where we daily have to choose to be brave!"

  2. Thanks for sharing part of your story. I'm on a journey in finding my brave too. It's hard to step out and share your story. It makes you feel vulnerable. But, the beauty of it is we can connect and help; because, we know we are not alone. I will be stopping by to read your story!

  3. I'm so glad you didn't chicken out. Bravery is best done together, so I'll be standing with you during these next 31 days!

  4. I'm finally getting some time to sit and read your first few posts. I've gotten away from nearly all blog reading and had somehow completely lost track of yours--so it's going to take me forever to get through just the first week of your series becuase of clicking all the links and getting lost down the rabbit hole :) I can't wait to read more.

    This intro reminds me of an old quote from Nichole Nordeman. Actually it's from something a colleague of hers said to hers when her 2005 album--Brave, as a matter of fact!!--was in process. I've never forgotten it. He said:

    "Christians are somehow prone to talking more about where they’ve been instead of where they are. Very few people want to speak up while they are in process… They’d rather wait until their junk is resolved, so they can give a 'testimony' about the happy ending. As it relates to your writing, please don’t feel the need to tie it up with a bow at the end."


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