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2015 Words of the Year: BRAVE

Believe it or not, my second "word of the year" surprised me. This is the second year in a row I thought "grace" would make it's mark, but it seems something else was up the Lord's sleeve for 2015. BRAVE is one of those words I wouldn't have used to describe myself. I thought it meant someone who was daring, adventurous, confident, and honestly lacking in some of the common sense I have all too much of. I'm calculated. I'm a planner. I like order and rules and structure and safety. Brave? Pssh. yeah right.

Wait a second. I thought the blog was called Brave Love? 

Oops. I can't quite hide from that one, now can I? ;) Early in 2014, I attended a women's gathering in Seattle called, you guessed it, Brave Love. Never have I connected with a room full of gals, most of whom I hadn't met before, in such a powerful way. Hearts were opened and Jesus was moving among us, teaching us what it meant to embrace our own unique femininity and to stand secure in our identity as WOMEN created by God for a purpose. Brave love is the expression of that. It is choosing to celebrate other women and choosing to go the extra mile to see the Kingdom come.  I wrote more HERE about the two words now printed across this blog, but even then I had no idea just how much they'd mean to me.

BRAVE soon started appearing everywhere. It was written in encouragement notes from friends, put into songs that I quickly listened to on repeat, and used to describe the transitions I was making even when I felt the furthest thing from it. The idea of being brave scares me, and that's part of the reason I'm excited to explore it this year. Being brave means trusting God in EVERYTHING. Being brave means being willing to take and make the uncomfortable step to bigger and better things. Being brave means abandoning comfort in favor of the call God has put on my life. Being brave sounds HARD. Being brave sounds out of my reach. But I'm already learning that being brave is a process, and grace abounds. 

Ah, grace. That word finds its way in anyway. One of the verses hanging in my heart last fall had it at the center:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

The beauty of being brave is that it can hinge on HIS power and not my own. Those places I am afraid to trust, He's there. Those unknowns, He's carrying them in the palm of His hand. There is grace for today and grace for tomorrow. Being brave isn't something you learn in a day. It's a process. And I'm sure 2015 will be full of opportunities to give it a try. 

So BRAVE it is, and BRAVE I hope to be. I read a quote on Pinterest yesterday that said "You're not a mess; you're brave for trying." That's what He asks of us. Obedience. He doesn't ask for success or outcomes or a certain number of goals met or salvations seen. He asks that we follow His lead. My verse of the year encapsulates this word, and that idea, in a way I desperately needed to hear.

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 
Let all that you do be done with love."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Can you spot it? Come on, I know you can. BRAVE + LOVE. I want them to be at the heart of what I do this year and how I respond to what the Lord throws at me.

I want to be brave enough to keep my door open to whoever may walk into my life.
I want to be brave enough to embrace my own skin and own my place on stage. 
I want to be brave enough to share with others what the Lord's doing in my life.
I want to be brave enough to color outside the lines and make a creative mess.
I want to be brave enough to live simply, give generously, and love deeply.
I want to be brave enough to try new things (foods, places, and hobbies).
I want to be brave enough to dance to my own beat and sing out loud.
I want to be brave enough to fully embrace my season of life.
I want to be brave enough to wear bright colors. 
I want to be brave enough to try and fail.
I want to be brave enough to try again.

What about YOU, friends? What's on your list for 2015? What does it mean to YOU to be brave?

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