Friday, January 17, 2014

Bravery...

Okay we all know that moment.  The moment that comes after you have carefully stepped one toe gingerly outside the comfort and safety of the box you'd rather stay in... and set it down on unknown ground.  It makes your stomach clench.  It takes your appetite away.  It might cause a few sleep-resistant nights but you push forward because you know in your heart it's going to make you stronger. 

You look backward before taking that first big step and that box... it beckons just a bit.  It's safe and warm and known.  It's maybe a little cramped in there, but you tell yourself that a person can get used to anything.  If you leave that protective little shelter, who knows what could knock you sideways.  Or go wrong.  Oh that box... it's so very predictable.  And let's be clear, we like predictable. 

When the doctor raises his eyebrow as he faces you in his office and begins to explain your prognosis, you want predictable.  When your child's school calls in the middle of the day and there is bad news, you'd give anything for predictable.  When you spouse says, "We need to talk tonight.  I've got something I need to confess to you...."  predictable would be a comfort.  Unpredictable seems like it's always going to be bad, doesn't it?  The great unknown.  The spontaneous "who knows." 

I know people that have built a very predictable, safe, known world around themselves.  It's a nice life, don't get me wrong, but they don't seem to let anyone in or out.  Sometimes I wonder if it ever gets lonely, that being locked up in predictability.  Because you know something?  Come close and read this next part carefully. 

Safe predictability does not exist. 

It really doesn't.  We tell ourselves that it does.  We lock our doors and we drive safely and we keep laws of God and man but that's all a bit of an illusion because a hurricane doesn't care if your door is locked.  A fire doesn't worry about what laws you never broke.  Cancer doesn't think twice and relationships take turns without warning.  Boxing ourselves in and making our world as safe and small as we can, do not qualify as living.  Real living is breathing in and out and facing every unexpected thing that comes with the assurance that we are not all there is because the unexpected will come.  It is, in fact, crouching at your doorstep waiting for the right moment. 

We fear it so much, but do you want to know something I've been learning over the past few years as I bumble my way though "work-in-progress-ville?" Endings are always beginnings.  Always.  We throw ourselves over the bed and cry and wail at the heavens because life took a dip on us when we weren't looking and God looks down tenderly and whispers, "Hush little one.  I know you don't understand and I know it makes no sense but I have good plans for you.  Even the ones that come from pain are for you.  Never against you.  They make you what you need to become and they shape your heart so it takes after mine, as long as you don't let bitterness and anger harden it first." 

And as I continue to walk this path alongside you, I know this truth.  This moment of bravery in faith, and trusting that His plan is going to be awesome in the end, is where hope is born.  It's the place that hope breathes and blinks it's first few moments in a heart born anew. He has a mighty plan.  It's not always safe, or predictable or known... but it's always for us because in His eyes we are known.  We must be brave in our faith in HIM and step out of that box to live the life He has planned for us. 

And it's going to be awesome.   


I am tentatively planning on a shop opening of Feb 5th at this point.  The watercolor in this post will be available for purchase as soon as my shop opens, along with many other new prints. 

15 comments:

  1. I think I might have to have that print...I am so very not brave. It would be a lovely reminder of what is so often emphatically exhorted throughout the Bible: Do not be afraid!

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  2. I'm learning how to be brave. It is very scary, but the rewards seem to be more than worth it!!
    Love that print and your new do!!

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  3. Found your blog via Tara at betweenyouandme; love reading her words and love reading yours! Here's to bravery!

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  4. Your blog hit home with me today! Thanks so much!

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  5. Oh my, Sasha! You are so right. However painful it can be to be out of that protective and safe box, it is not truly living life until you are. I needed this..I also need this print for my Mom as soon as your shop opens. Thank you!

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  6. Love this. Love you. Overcoming fear means coming alive... Glad to see you loving and breathing :-)

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  7. AMEN! You couldn't have said it better. I've been 'burned' by stepping out of that box, but it's better to have experienced things than to stay in that box and wonder.

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  8. "This moment of bravery in faith, and trusting that His plan is going to be awesome in the end, is where hope is born. It's the place that hope breathes and blinks it's first few moments in a heart born anew. He has a mighty plan."

    I love this.
    love when he breathes new life into our hearts and minds.

    xo

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  9. Amen! I keep hearing this message in different places...God does have a good plan for all of us no matter what the circumstances look like. Lovely watercolor!

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  10. Thank you for this post today. It could not have come at a better time in my life. Sold our home, became an empty nester, lost our 15 year old yellow lab, moved to a new community, my father had cancer and I am about to embark on a total home rehab all within the last 5 months. Brave? Maybe...or not...because I know that there's a plan in place for my life. Easy? On the days that I remember that there's a plan in my life, Yes. On the days when I try to control more than I need to...not.so.much. Have a wonderful weekend! xo, Kimberly

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  11. I needed this. Thank you. Endings are always beginnings and God has a mighty plan...I wish I could put those words on a bracelet and wear them around right now.

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  12. To live fully, as we are fullly known by Him. It's His desire for us!
    Proud of you--and you're inspiring me, too! xoxo

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  13. Oh dear sweet Sasha...You have no idea how timely this post is for me. I have been sick with pneumonia and had some xrays done this past week. Yesterday I received a call that my doctor saw a small 2 cm polyp on the films and he wants me to get a CTScan so he can investigate it further. Of course my mind immediately jumped to the absolute worst case scenario.

    Thankfully my Momma gently reminded me that I had a terrible bout of pneumonia a number of years ago and this polyp is probably just scarring and the doctor is simply being thorough to make sure it isn’t something to be concerned about.

    I want to thank you for always sharing your heart so openly. Today I can’t help but feel that God spoke directly to me through you...when I saw your water-colour painting I began to sob uncontrollably. I knew God was telling me not to worry, that everything is going to be just fine.
    Thank you for always being so open and sincere...you make such a difference to so many.
    Sending you my deepest affection and many hugs
    Esther xoxo

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  14. Beautiful post and so timely for my family...my youngest is facing a crossroads for her future plans....over the next 4 months, she will be going on another international mission trip, and is waiting on a decision for her summer employment.....both are life changing events and we are all trying to be brave...I can't wait until your shop opens on the 5th so I can buy that beautiful print for her....it should arrive about the same time as the decision on her summer job. Your sincerity and passion ring thru in your work and your posts. Thanks!

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  15. As my husband and I prepare for a move from Kentucky to Michigan, this reflection was such a soul-soother!!

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