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Courageous Conversations: Bravery Deficit

You’re pretty. Pretty bold. Pretty strong. Pretty brave. 

I was on an airplane (what else is new?) listening to NPR’s TED Radio Hour, and thinking about how I was going to recap my birthday season and vacation for you. I was thinking about the things God spoke to me, my thoughts and feelings, etc.

I was enthralled hearing Reshma Saujani, a public policy analyst who founded Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization that empowers girls to be brave through computer science, discuss a problem I didn’t realize I had. She believes, through a series of research studies and personal experiences, that the U.S. is in a bravery deficit. This episode titled “Nudge,” which I highly recommend, explores how a gentle push can move us in right direction. As she spoke about perfectionism, it resonated so well with me. I talk a lot about wanting to be perfect here. Since I’m entering a new season and age (literally), I decided to jot down some personal reflections as I look at my own desire to live in complete communion with the Holy Spirit, the ultimate “nudge” when I’m feeling less than the brave, warrior God created me to be.

  1. I’m afraid to love unless I’m sure. As believers, we are striving to be like Christ. God, Himself, who gave, sacrificed and loved before we even had the chance to love Him back (1 John 4:19), and in spite of our most unloving moments. He still loves. His love is the plug…I mean the nudge.
  1. My nieces are the bravest humans I know. #Facts
  1. My mother is the epitome of brave…so it’s not inherited. My bravery journey is not the “remnant” of hers. It’s my own.
  1. Each person is working to be the best version of themselves. Even your favorite Christian preachers, teachers, authors and IG celebrities are stacking up heavenly crowns just like you. No one has “arrived”. Don’t worry about them. That’s not to say don’t admire and adopt practices that nudge you toward righteousness. That is to say, don’t compare. You’re enough. Anything lacking, God is manifesting. Keep going.
    1. I think I should explain these crowns:
      1. The Imperishable Crown – 1 Cor. 9:24-25
      2. The Crown of Rejoicing – 1 Thes. 2:19
      3. The Crown of Righteousness – 2 Tim. 4:8
      4. The Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:4
      5. The Crown of Life – Rev. 2:10
  1. Amazing Grace is more than a hymn. It’s momentum. How can goodness and mercy follow you (Psalm 23:6) if you’re not moving? Just think about that whilst you pick up your feet.
  1. Leap. You won’t fail. And if you do, fail forward.
  1. I may not have invested in stocks and bonds (yet), but I’ve invested in my sisterfriends, in the young ladies entrusted to my influence and to spreading the gospel. What is the return on your “investments”? In other words, is there fruit on your spiritual tree (Matt. 21:19)? If the answer is no, you may want to consider uprooting some things and replanting elsewhere.
  1. “Make me worthy” is a powerful heart’s posture (2 Thes. 1:11). It takes bravery to even utter those words to God. I dare you to adopt this prayer.
  1. Prepare for the inevitable arrival of what you’ve prayed for. I saw this on IG, and it’s so powerful I had to share it with you. Let’s temper this. God is not your genie in a bottle. He’s not a DJ playing your requests. He’s The Sovereign King and Lord of All. Your faith activates His power (John 14:13). As you pray His will, believe His will (Matt. 6:10). And His will toward you is GOOD! (Jer. 29:11)
  1. Look/wait for God’s “Best Yes.” In Lysa Terkeurst’s book “The Best Yes: Making Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” she discusses how saying yes to one thing means saying no to other things. To that end, you can’t possibly offer God your best if you’re pulled in a million different directions. Before you commit, pause to seek out God’s best. His leading. His nudge. Don’t accept anything less.

In the spirit of combating the “bravery deficit,” let’s commit to being our boldest selves, complete with an awe-inspiring awareness that God loves, cherishes, shields, speaks to and nudges us ever toward His presence. Always. All ways.

 

Remember, God loves you and so do I,
Ebonee

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