Not So Brave

"You're so brave!"  It's something that I've heard over and over again, from the moment that I shared that I would be quitting my full-time job to take this trip until just today while chatting with someone at my hostel.  It's always an interesting response to this little season of my life, because I don't feel all that brave.  Sure, I suppose it's pretty cool that I felt confident enough to quit my job, move back to my hometown for a season, and then traverse around Europe for a few months, but brave feels like a stretch to me.  Looking back, I was scared when this all started to come together, and I'm still a bit scared now.  From the initial dream to travel and knowing I'd have to leave my job of 4 years, to realizing that moving back home — while weird — was exactly what I needed to do, to planning all of the details and then leaving the states for 4+ months, I've been nervous the whole time.  But it has all come together one step at a time, because I honestly did not have the nerve to jump head first.  No, I had to take baby steps, asking God to affirm anything and everything along the way.  Do you see why "brave" might be hard for me to grasp or accept?

Northern Ireland Mourne Mountains
Cliffs of Moher Ireland

The truth is that I am doing all of this scared, and I think that's actually the best place to be.  When you find something that both excites you and terrifies you — where that thing lights up something in you but you also know that there's no way you can do it on your own — I think that's the sweet spot.  It's where you know you're taking a risk, but it's one that you want to take because you believe God is leading you to, so you do so knowing that He has to come through.  Those kind of sweet spots are where all of my best adventures have been born.  From choosing a university to attend, to working in children's ministry in my early twenties, to moving to Nashville with no job lined up, and then everything with this trip, they've all come from places of being both excited and terrified, and trusting that God, the dream-giver, would piece everything together in a way I never could.  And you know what?  I have not once been disappointed in taking big risks with Him.  It may not always look the way I'd imagine or hope, but He always comes through in the best ways.  See, I'm really not so brave.  I'm just crazy enough and confident enough in Jesus to trust that when He says "let's do this," He is going to pull off some crazy awesome stuff.  And this trip has been just that.

Gennean Northern Ireland
Cliffs of Moher Ireland Coast
Northern Ireland Annalong Corn Mill

But getting back to doing it scared, guess what?  I still am.  I get back to the states in just a few weeks, and — you know — I have to kind of figure out what the heck I'm doing with my life.  Am I going to stay in California or move somewhere else?  Yeah, I don't know.  Am I going to keep working remotely?  Heck yes, because it's the best and I love what I'm doing right now.  Am I going to try online dating?  I've debated it, but probs not because it all feels too inauthentic and/or shallow for ya girl who's an enneagram 4.  Yes, I have all sorts of nerves and feelings about what comes next  Yet God has been more than faithful up until this point, and I once again find myself fully trusting that He knows what's up and will bring all of the details together.

Northern Ireland Murlough Nature Reserve Atlantic Ocean
Connemara National Park Ireland

So while we're talking about being brave, do you want to know another phrase I've heard a lot?  "I could never do what you're doing!"  I am here to dispel that excuse, friends.  You absolutely could do something like this,  You don't need to feel ready or brave enough or anything like that.   You just need to be willing to say yes to the scary things.  More than that, you should follow God's promptings and the things He puts on your heart, and if that's traveling, you can and should do it!  But if it's something else, you should do that thing.  I think that we live in a weird time where travel is super glamorized and so many are just "doing it for the gram" (trust me, I saw a lot of this on my travels).  My advice is this: don't do anything for the sake of doing it; do it because you feel deep in your bones that God is leading you to do it.  Say yes to Him and the adventure that He has for you, whatever it may look like.  Do it scared, and trust Jesus to make your crazy trust look brave.