It was 6:30a, still dark outside and I heard it. I’m not sure what it was. A cat? Maybe a bird? A squirrel? All I know is it was unsettling. There were several shrieks and screams followed by more gurgling shrieks.
And then silence.
In the words of Cedar, “What the?!”
But it hit me. Like cold water washing over my body. I hate it but it does the job of waking me up. Jesus wanted me to be the predator.
Let me back up. I am at the beginning of what I can only imagine to be a life-long journey to choose being brave in life. Today, I had spent the morning feeling like a failure. I overslept [aka only got up when my husband turned on the lights and took all my blankets away]. Went to work out but really used the least amount of effort possible [aka walking on the treadmill for 12 minutes]. I found another incredible local photographer who is doing what I’ve been trying to do… only she’s doing it successfully. I needed to start my morning off peacefully but was on my phone too early, answering emails and pumping out the mounting checklist of what I needed to do today to just… be better at life. But I just felt like shit.
Driving home from the gym, I’m talking to God and asking, “What the what?! This is lame! I want to be able to see beautiful work from fellow creatives without it making me want to quit and throw all my gear out the window. But right now, I want to throw all my gear out the window! We’re going to need a long talk when I get home, Jesus. I need you to answer some questions and point out the things in my heart that you need to fix.”
I walk in the house, head upstairs to the office and try to re-center… and then I hear it. Something fighting for life and not winning.
I hear Jesus say, “That’s you.” And I’m like… “Yeah, I know, that’s exactly what I feel like this morning.” And He says,
Self doubt, comparison, the fear of failing… those insecurities want to live. And you’ve picked a fight with them. This fight is more like sudden death than a schoolyard fight. If they win, you’ll never really live. But if you win… well, you can’t even imagine what it’s like to feel free, can you? I can promise that it’s good! They will put up a fight and will hurt you back. They will squeal and shriek. Their sounds can freak you out [what the?!] and make you want to let go of your grip. Their sounds will invoke pity [maybe they’re not so bad, maybe I can have mercy and let them live…] But don’t. Don’t let them live. Fight to the death. For in my narrative, you are the strong one. And in my narrative, you will be the one feasting tonight”
This was not how I thought this morning would go. What I’m feeling right now? There is a little bit of a “well crap!” feeling because I’m coming to understand that when it comes to being brave, it’s a continual choice and you just can’t get around that from any angle. But I also feel justified in the fight. Maybe I was expecting a game of hide-and-seek with my insecurities and as soon as I uncovered them they would “be out” and disappear. It feels more like a primal fight where the strong survive. But Jesus just called me strong so I think I’ve got a chance.
Being brave is not cute. And it’s no joke. You never really know what you’re getting yourself into when you jump in to the abyss like this but today I still think it’s worth it. I think it’s worth it for the chance… well, the possibility of being brave.
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