The Heart of Bravery


I’ve spent a lot of my life scared.

It’s sad but true. I’m a worrier by nature, the kind of person who considers every possibility and checks the locks on the doors multiple times.

I don’t want to be like that. It’s my dream to be like Lucy Pevensie from Narnia – a warrior princess with the heart of a lioness. So where is the courage I so desperately seek when all my homework is due at once, there’s a boil water advisory, and I’ve been asked to lead a small group (this past week in summary)?

I seem to have gone into battle without my sword.

I’ve begun to see how securely fear chains me down every day. I imagine myself as a little child running toward the ocean and then stumbling back as soon as the surf tickles my toes.

But I’ve seen what it’s like to be free. There’s a worship song that brings me to tears without fail every time I hear it. It’s called “You Make Me Brave”, and the bridge goes:

“You make me brave, you make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. You make me brave, you make me brave, no fear can hinder now the love that made a way.” 

Whenever I hear that, I picture myself standing on the edge of cliffs in Ireland with my arms spread wide, gulping down the sea breeze and laughing at the top of my voice.

If you didn’t know it was possible to laugh at the top of your voice, believe me it is.

I want to live that way my whole life.

That’s why I wrote this poem.

You Make Me Brave

A breath in the dark,

A ripple of flame on the breeze. 

Rain-spattered streets and silent alleyways. 

A creak beneath the stairs, 

Eyes in the closet, 

Claws tugging at the comforter. 

Storm clouds behind the window blinds, 

Whispers in empty rooms, 

Floors that groan, walls that wail,

Empty holes in your stomach,

Circles in your mind.


Stifled screams,


Endless silence.

Sunlight peeking around the corners,

Gold drifting between clouds,

Glowing embers.

Colors in the rain.

A half-smile,

A laugh,

A song.

Silent forests.

The hour before dawn.

Cold sliding between the trees,

Fireflies fading in the dew.

Running for the light.

Stumbling toward day.

You make me brave.

That’s it, my sweet friends. Be brave. Trust our Warrior-King. He’s the greatest father and the greatest general in the world. He’s got a strategy.

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