“When the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.”
― Charles R. Swindoll
There are two types of athletes. Those that are running in a competition to beat their opponents time and then there are those, like myself, that enjoy running to beat their own time. I race against my own clock. I am my biggest opponent; at times my best cheerleader and at other times my worst enemy. I am at my best when I allow myself grace against the clock. But it’s times when I compare myself to your clock that I find my confidence waning. I see your brave and I feel inferior. I compare my journey and I see the distance between us and I feel as if I should be running faster and harder to the goal. I compare my spiritual steps to yours and wonder why though just yesterday I had felt as if I had traveled so far, today I feel as if I’m miles behind.
I have figured it out- although my brain will need to be reminded daily, if not, hourly. I am yet again comparing my brave to yours. And I must remind myself of how far I have traveled. You see, you don’t know my entire brave journey- but I do. And the more I remind myself of how brave I have truly been, the more I am reminded of just how far I have come. Not your brave but my brave. And I must remember that I will never achieve my own personal best brave, the one God has called me to, if I’m always comparing my brave to your brave.
I love these synonyms for brave- spirited, spunky, lionhearted, undaunted, and fearless. We each are called to our own fearless, spirited and spunky journey!
So today, I applaud your brave, because I don’t know your full story. I have a feeling that you’ve walked through your own struggles and you’ve had your share of heart ache- yet you’ve carried on; you’ve persevered. And today, instead of comparing how inadequate I sometimes feel to your brave, I’m going to celebrate your baby steps and ask that you celebrate mine. And when we start to read blogs or Facebook posts about someone else’s successes, we must train ourselves to squish that little green monster inside of us that might want to try and compare or criticize. Instead, let us ban together to say “your brave looks pretty good on you just as my brave looks pretty good on me.” No more tearing each other down in this never ending, never winning, comparison game. My brave will always look different than your brave and that is exactly how it should be.
For some of us, our brave might be teaching a Bible Study, while someone else’s brave might be attending a Bible Study. Your brave might look like running a marathon while my brave might look more like running a 5k. My brave might be speaking to a group of women while your brave might be starting a blog. Whatever it is, embrace it and look to Jesus to whisper to your heart what your next brave step might look like.
Psalms 27:14 (Living Bible)- Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.
We all have been commissioned to be a light in a dark place. You might not feel like your inspiring anyone with your life, but I promise you this- people are watching, and you don’t have to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to inspire. Sometimes my brave is just inviting people over for a meal or a game and not worrying about a perfect house. God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us. We are all uniquely fashioned and formed for something specific, just for us; a specific brave.
I ask you, what is your best brave? I’m not asking what you see others do that you wish you could do. Think about the things that make your heart beat fast or perhaps the things that people compliment you on. Think about those things that you do, that when you finish you say to yourself, “This is exactly it.” Don’t waste one more second allowing the enemy to make you believe you’re inadequate or not good enough. You are enough, because the One who made you lives in you… and He, my friends, is more than enough. Together, let us unite, encouraging one another- one brave step at a time!
Repeat after me:
I am enough
I am brave
My brave is different than your brave
I applaud your brave
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not something you should wait to feel. Brave is a decision. Glennon Doyle Melton, Momastery