“What if?”

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For the past three years I’ve tried to choose a word that sums up everything I hope to be in the new year (inspired by her lovely self)

I’ve never been able to narrow it down to just one,  but this year a Certain Word sprang out at me and I knew without a shadow of a doubt what would be my word for 2016.

BRAVE, adjective

1. Courageous; bold; daring; intrepid; fearless of danger; as a brave warrior. It usually unites the sense of courage with generosity and dignity of mind; qualities often united.

BRAVE, verb transitive To defy; to challenge; to encounter with courage and fortitude, or without being moved; to set at defiance.

I used to think myself a brave person, but in re-evaluating myself last year I realized that in the things that really matter I cower with fear.

I don’t want to be like that.

What if I am brave enough to start a conversation that matters, and not simply exchange banter and light chat when there is so much more beneath the surface?

What if I am brave enough to write about the things that scare me — brave enough to write what I feel called to, no matter how others may view it?

What if I am brave enough to say “no” when I need to?

What if I am brave enough to share my true thoughts and hopes and dreams in person (without the safety of a computer screen or the pages of a journal) and not filter them because they may come across as silly or childlike or sentimental or strange?

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What if I am brave enough to tell people how much they mean to me, how thankful I am for them, instead of only thinking it?

What if I am brave enough to disagree when I need to, instead of keeping silent because of how people may respond?

What if I am brave enough to talk about my faith openly — to show how much it means to me and how being a child of God is what gives me life and purpose and joy and peace?

What if I am brave enough to buy that homeless person food? Brave enough to take the risks I need to to accomplish what I am passionate about? Brave enough to be wholeheartedly the person God made me no matter who I am with or how they may react? Brave enough to read the books that intimidate me, discuss the topics I am uncertain about, make new acquaintances even when it’s easier to just pretend I don’t know people exist? Brave enough to follow my impulses when it comes to strangers because sometimes a smile and a kind word is exactly the bit of sunshine they need?

I wonder how much deeper and richer and true my life would be?

I intend to find out.

This year I will be…

BRAVE

 

 

15 thoughts on ““What if?”

  1. This post resonated deeply with me, Annie. The bravery to have the hard conversations…to be honest about who we are and who God is making us, instead of filtering it through the light of what others may approve of…bravery to say no.

    This year, my words are actually from the new Cinderella….courage and kindness. So in a way, courage and bravery are the same goals, and we can reach for it together. ❤

    I've never witnessed to a nonbeliever before, and this year I am praying the Lord would give me the opportunity. It makes me scared, but at the same time, I am done with the fear. It matters too much to put my own comfort above the only hope and truth they might ever hear.

    I love this post, your words, your heart of inspiration. Thank-you for sharing yourself with us, and what God is doing in your life. ❤

    Love,
    Schuyler

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  2. Annie! This post speaks to me. When we were little, our parents taught us right from wrong and we didn’t know anything else, so we defended what we believed with what little knowledge we had because we didn’t know others believed differently. Now, we’re afraid to “offend” people. But, honestly, I feel like the majority of the time, those that get offended are the ones that are opinionated, but not informed, are are afraid to question their beliefs.

    I have grown quiet too. We’re expected to stay silent on the things that matter, but I think we have a duty to speak up instead.

    I’ll pray that this year is your brave year + that I, too, can grow stronger in speaking of things that matter. Please keep us updated on how it goes. ^_^

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  3. I think being brave is something everybody struggles with–yes, even people who come across confident or brave. I know I need to be more brave. A lot of your questions hit home with me. I understand this. I know I need to try harder. I might need to make 2016 be a year of trying to be brave too.

    You’re not alone in this. But you’ll do it. You’ll find a way to be brave. 🙂

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  4. Thank you so much Annie. After reading this, I read your previous post.

    It made me cry.

    The beauty of your words stirred an overwhelming amount of reflection in my own life. This new year, for me, is going to bring about (and already has brought) hardship.

    Beautiful hardship.

    Christ-glorifying hardship.

    And I think handling it with graceful bravery is going to be a challenge. You’ve brought up some things that I’ve been feeling, but ignoring in my selfish state. Asking God for help in a difficult time seems to be a lot easier than glorifying Him when all we want is a break.

    Being brave is so hard for me. People scare me. Circumstances scare me. Dying to myself scares me.

    But not this year.

    If all I do in these days remaining of 2016 is absolutely nothing, Christ will do so much more. Of that I am sure.

    Much love,
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post and beautiful goal. ❤ Ah, this post stirs me. Courage is one of the hardest – and one of the most rewarding – character traits to pursue. May we all become braver this year. ^_^

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  6. Wow, Annie! I adore this post. I relate so much to what you are saying. I have really stepped out a lot these past few days. Out of my comfort zone. Trying to be brave in Christ. And I’m loving it. But I’m not there yet. Not enough. Continue fighting the good fight and being Brave, girl!

    Also, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! You can find it here: http://waterandpen.blogspot.com/2016/01/sunshine-blogger-award.html

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  7. I have to say: “wow”. Because ‘brave’ is the word I chose for this year too, and reading through your questions, I have been asking the exact same thing. I think God wants brave young women to get out there and do what He wants, to be His hands and feet here on earth, and share the hope He gives…

    Your post inspired and encouraged me, Annie! I hope you have lots of opportunities to be brave and daring this year. xx

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  8. Thank you–THANK YOU–for this post. It’s an uncomfortable reminder, and that’s exactly what I need. To step out of my comfort zone. The boundaries of that zone have grown much in the last couple years, but not nearly enough.

    My name actually means “bold and courageous,” but so often I feel the opposite. Much of what you wrote here resonates with me. Thank you again. ❤

    Like

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