How To Find Your Brave (if you’ve lost it)

There is a type of language that resonates with athletes, and those who are not easily daunted.

 

It is a language for both optimists and realists; replete with words that champion perseverance in spite of difficulty. As an athlete, and as a coach who loves words, I never tire of communicating in this genre. It sounds like this:

“Do the next good thing.”
“When your legs are tired, use your arms.”
“Of course it’s hard!”
“Look how far you’ve come!”
“You are able.”
“It’s a new day.”
“Just try.”
“Find your brave.”
“Finish well.”

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I learned to appreciate the beauty of this language as a child. My father was my first teacher, and had me speaking fluent brave by the time I could tie my own shoes.

Dad was also my basketball coach in my early years as an athlete, and we both loved leaving it all on the court. Where most kids had elbows and knees, I had three-inch black scabs from practice on the tarmac: a gritty road-rash that never had the chance to heal.

“They aren’t going to give you the ball, Kim, you’ll have to go take it.”

And so, there wasn’t a loose ball I wouldn’t scrap and scrape for in the game; or a race I would ever turn down away from it. I was glad to lay it all on the line for a “well done” from my father.

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Ever since those formative years, brave has always been my preferred native tongue. If all else failed, I could at least speak, write, and act boldly – there’s always been that.

Until recently.

I seem to have lost my brave. I worry about staying outside the scrum, so that I won’t lose any of my blood or skin (or pride) in the action. I worry what people will think. I care too much what I look like – and sound like – to be effectively brave. I hate it.

“Be strong, Kim” I can hear my dad say, “the LORD is your brave.”

You should know that not only did my dad tutor me in brave as a child, but both my parents also taught me the much harder language of trust.

Trust is different from brave, and like all languages, is harder to master the farther we get from childhood. It is not a language for the strong and sturdy, but for those who are small, poor in spirit, and weak in their own strength. Trust is for the unexceptional and the faint-hearted; for those who feel lame. It is for people – like me – who have lost their brave.

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Wherever trust is spoken, it is the loveliest sound in all creation. It is the sound of God telling his people who he is, and his people believing him.

“I made you.”
“I made your world.”
“I give you breath.”
“I give you life.”
“I am your Father.”

“I go ahead of you.”
“I am with you, always.”
“I am for you.”
“I care for your every need.”
“I am your Shepherd”

“The victory is mine.”
“I fight for you.”
“Be strong and courageous.”
“Fear not.”
“I am your Savior.”

“My son finished well.”
“You are mine forever.”
“I am your Redeemer.”
“I love you.”
“All will be well.”

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There are days we all lose heart, and even this is a good reason to give thanks. When our own brave has left the building, the One Who Is Always Brave is still with us.

How do we know, friends?

God’s own son didn’t balk at laying it all down on the line. Out of great love for his father, Christ went all in for us. Also from love, our Heavenly Father gives us the gift of his own Spirit – not just in bits, but in flood amounts.

We can find our brave in this kind of love.

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“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28)

Kim

14 responses to How To Find Your Brave (if you’ve lost it)

  1. J says:

    A very wise person once told me: it was none if my business what people think of me. Now I repeat it to anyone who will listen. It is very liberating.

  2. K says:

    I’ve been thinking lately about the idea that we are all brave…sometimes we just need to remember! Thanks for your inspirational post!

  3. lcthielmann@shaw.ca says:

    Thanks for this. Really needed the reminder to trust today. I’m not as fluent in trust as I would like, but I’m learning.

    Lisa Thielmann
    (A new subscriber to your blog and really enjoying what you write!)
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

  4. Dana says:

    Kim, I was so blessed by this post today. The timing of it and just everything about it. I’ve found myself in a season of feeling so small and fragile and aware of my weakness. And aware of Him in the midst of it, but I needed your words tonight. Side note? I think I know your dad. Not well, but a little. Does he work at Westover Church in Greensboro, NC?🙂 I grew up there. I live in Kansas City now. When I scrolled down to the picture of him in this blog post my jaw dropped.🙂

  5. Chris Goppert says:

    Kim

    Excellent poem about trust –

    Thx so much.  

    Serving at Harare Theological College (Faculty Member) Mentoring Followers of the Way at the Ragged Edge of a Broken World TEAM – Zimbabwe, AFRICA

    “…there is no one besides you – there is no Rock like our God!” (1 Sam. 2:2).

    http://www.team.org

    http://www.htc.ac.zw                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  6. Given Breath says:

    Well hello Dana!

    Yes – my awesome dad still is on staff at Westover Church in Greensboro. It’s a little too far from Austin for my liking, but they love it there. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

    Thanks for taking the time to say hello.

    The LORD is with you, and for you, always.

    Kim

  7. Dianne says:

    Thank you so much for these words! Your story of you love for your father’s praise resonated through me. Psalm 28 is one of the most comforting verses to me – again thank you.

  8. dawn550 says:

    Beautiful and timely! We’ve had some major parenting challenges this month, and this is a great reminder to be brave and trust the Lord to fix all of the things that we can’t. Thanks so much.

  9. You know those headsets diplomats wear in the UN so they can all understand the speaker? I think mine is broken, because I often hear God speaking in Brave when He’s really speaking in Trust.🙂 It’s amazing (and sad) what our internal interpreters whisper in our ears when they malfunction.

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