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.