Day 25 :: Tatum is brave.

on October 25, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage with 17 comments by

Today for 31 Days of Courage, my sister Tatum is sharing about her super brave life. As in, she’s brave. I’m not. If you’ve ever considered a life of full time missions, she’s your girl.

Tatum, take it away.

. . . . .

When Annie asked me to write a post about courage, I thought to myself “I don’t really have anything to write about that…I’m not particularly brave…my life has been easy and awesome…my courage hasn’t been tested.” But the longer I thought about it, I realized two huge, amazing reasons why I don’t feel brave. So I guess I’ll write about those.

If you look at my life, there are some situations that people would think required courage. God radically changed my life when I was 12, and since then the only job I could imagine for my future was being a missionary. I’ve had the privilege of pursuing that dream since I graduated high school. A big part of that pursuit has been working with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) periodically since 2000 then full time since 2008. I’ve had quite a few adventures since then that might look brave:

2 months in India as a 19 year-old (before digital cameras…sorry)

over a year in Ghana

traveling around Asia (mostly by myself…meeting up with people in different locations)

 

and 2 months in Vietnam.

But here are the reasons I don’t feel brave.

1. My people. I have never known what it feels like to NOT be supported. (I know that’s a double negative, but stick with me here.) For my entire life, I have been surrounded by people who know how to love and encourage well. People who have believed that God had an awesome plan for my life, and loved me enough to push me toward Him. Parents who have allowed and even encouraged me to follow the Lord even when that meant me living far away and not having the life they envisioned for me.

2. The biggest reason: my amazing God. We have a Heavenly Father who cares more about us than we can ever imagine. Jesus loves us SOOOO much that He left His home and His Father (we can’t fathom that sacrifice!) and suffered here on Earth, dying a humiliating death…all so that He could defeat death and sin in order to have relationship with us again. So what do I have to be afraid of? He’s already taken care of the danger and pain, and He’s proven that His love for me is greater than any risk I could ever face. Our Heavenly Father is all-powerful, all-knowing, just, righteous, and good. He IS love. So even if a situation seems scary or looks painful, we have a wonderful Father that we can trust to take care of us. And even when a situation does hurt, we can trust that He is hurting with us, that He sees the bigger, eternal picture, and that His plan is greater than our minds can comprehend.

I turned 30 last week. [Thirty, flirty and thriving! Right? Anyone? 13 Going On 30? No? Ok.] I know that my life is all about missions, but I have no idea where I’ll be living or exactly what I’ll be doing after February. Here is what I do know: I have an awesome Father in Heaven. And it is an honor to walk through these unknowns with Him, following His lead, and experiencing His gracious love. When I start to feel the fear creep in, I remind myself of who our great God is and how He loves me. And I lean into trusting Him more.

On the outside it looks like courage..on the inside it is choosing to trust the Lord of all creation.

It doesn’t feel so brave when I think of it like that.

17 comments

  1. Lauren
    posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:23 AM  |  reply

    You are an extremely good communicator. In a few words you have said volumes.

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:39 AM  |  reply

      @Lauren, Thank you Lauren! So encouraging.

  2. Flyinjuju
    posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:52 AM  |  reply

    Wow, that really spoke to my heart. At 32 I am just learning God’s amazing love, learning to abide. What a blessing to hear how young you heard God’s call and the two reasons that have helped you be brave. I have four little ones and though I am a late bloomer learning these lessons, I pray that they will be passed on to them at a young age. Would love to hear where you go in Feb.

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:41 AM  |  reply

      @Flyinjuju, I’m so glad this spoke to you. I’m sure your children will grow up learning to trust God as they are watching you learn. Life is beautiful like that. 🙂
      Stay tuned for life after February! 😉

  3. posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM  |  reply

    what did your parents do to end up with 3 daughters that are this unbelievably great? i would like to follow them around for a few days.

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:42 AM  |  reply

      @katie torrance davis, Oh Katie, your cute Catherine will far exceed any kind of Downs girl greatness…that little miracle girl will be a mighty Kingdom force!!

  4. posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    You are brave. I believe mission trips for youth is a huge way to get them involved in missions for life. I’ve seen it in too many youth for that not to be true including my daughter. Kudos to your parents for being supportive of you and your siblings in whatever you pursue.

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:42 AM  |  reply

      @Southern Gal, Kudos to them indeed! Couldn’t do it without them!

      Isn’t it amazing what short term mission trips do? I’m so thankful for how God uses them!

  5. posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM  |  reply

    Your parents ought to be on the cover of Awesome Parents Magazine.

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:45 AM  |  reply

      @Caroline in GA, You and Mikey B ought to be too! On account of your awesome kiddos (and grand-kiddo!) AND because you parent WAY more than your biological offspring.

  6. Boggsy
    posted on Oct 25, 2011 at 9:35 PM  |  reply

    Amen and amen. Strong words with anointing. Thank you for sharing! I thought of 1 Peter 1:8-9 and it fits you [I think] – “Though you have not seen him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

    • posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:47 AM  |  reply

      @Boggsy, Thanks Justin! I really appreciate that encouragement!! I say “amen” to THAT!

  7. merideth
    posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for sharing Tatum. And Happy Belated Birthday! Welcome to the 30 somethings club. Just so you know, your 13 going on 30 reference did not go unnoticed. Cute movie. Hey, where are you living, now?

    • posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 6:43 PM  |  reply

      @merideth, Thanks Merideth! I’m in Honolulu now working with YWAM. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  8. posted on Oct 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM  |  reply

    I love that girl!

    • posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 6:43 PM  |  reply

      @audrey, and that girl loves you!

  9. Kelly Ashton
    posted on May 29, 2012 at 8:17 AM  |  reply

    Tatum,
    You’re amazing! We all love you so much!

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