Be Brave.

We sat around a table, just a bunch of preteen girls chatting as the teacher passed papers around.  We were so young, barely twelve, discussing what we wanted to be when we grew up.  When I shared that I would love to be a librarian, the blonde to my right laughed and asked why.  I shrugged and tucked that dream away, never mentioning it seriously again.

A few years later, I gazed at the ceiling as his voice came through the phone.  We were all smiles, all fuzzy feelings and tummy butterflies.  We discussed our dreams for the future, trying to discover how our individual lives could dance together until they fit.  On a whim, encouraged by young infatuation, I shared my crazy dream of owning a Christian cafe and bookstore.  He said that it was a nice dream, but explained how, logically speaking, it would not be a successful business endeavor.  I nodded and tucked that dream away, feeling foolish for even mentioning it.

I'm 22 years old now and I'm still nodding and tucking dreams away.  In fact, most days, I forget that I even have dreams.  But last week I was talking with a wonderful friend about God and life and possibilities and friendship when she began talking about dreams.  She asked me to name a few of my own, to share the craziest and wildest and smallest of them.  Joy and wonder exploded across her face, and I could tell that she would genuinely listen to whatever I offered.

So I looked at her, took a deep breath, and began plucking dreams from my heart as if they were sunflowers to be shared with a friend.  We took turns, each of us throwing our dreams out into the space between us and watching as the other handled them with care.

What amazing, incredible, beautiful, revolutionary things can be accomplished in the Kingdom of God when, instead of feeling intimidated by one another, we encourage one another to dream.  

It amazed me how life-giving it is to have a person challenge you to open your mind to the possibilities, to the crazy hopes you hold dear.  How nice it is, when so many voices (including your own) are telling you that you're crazy, to have one voice saying, "It might happen.  It might not.  But look at how brave you are for even speaking it out loud!"

And maybe that's the true blessing.  Not only having someone call out the dreams that lay hidden in your heart, but having someone cultivate the bravery that rests stagnant in your spirit.

Because no matter how wild the dream, no matter how domestic the desire, we are all capable of living brave lives that bring glory to God.  Which is why I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not about the dreams we dream, but about the courage it takes to look life in the eye and keep dreaming anyway.  

Some of you may not feel like you have anyone calling out the dreams in your life.  Some of you may feel like you've shared your heart's desires only to have them trampled on.  If that's the case for you, can I offer this space?  Can I look into your heart and gently call out the bravery that rests inside?  Can I ask you to dive deep and uncover the kind of courage it takes to look life in the eye and keep dreaming anyway?  

Because it might happen.  It might not.  But look at how brave you are for even speaking it out loud.

And if you are someone who is blessed enough to have a community that encourages your bravery, can I ask you to do the same for others?  Can I ask you to dive deep into your friendships and relationships and allow joy and wonder to explode across your face as you ask the people you love what kind of bravery they hold inside?  What kind of dreams light their souls on fire and ignite their eyes with passion?  

Because as my friend and I were talking, courageously bringing our dreams into the middle of our conversation and dusting them off, I noticed the funniest thing.  

Cultivating bravery in someone else ends up cultivating the bravery in us.  

Because we serve a big God, and we believe He is capable of big things, we can be brave.

Will we?

1 comment:

  1. This is so wonderfully thought out. Like you, I have mentioned those dreams of being a librarian and bookstore owner only to have them trampled on. Right now, I am seeing different dreams unfold as I homeschool our kids. It's so neat to be able to spend lots of time reading with them (one of my favorite activities). I love being able to not only do school at home with them but go out and explore the world God has given to us.

    After homeschooling for a few years now, I still get those who think it's impossible to homeschool. They think it's too much for a person to try. But you are right! We can be brave about our dreams and that is something good to remember as I head into this next school year with my littles. Thanks for the encouragement!