Bravery to Me

When I think of a person exhibiting bravery, I think of the soldier boarding the plane to start on their tour, I think of the mother laboring for hours to bring life into the world, I think of the young person sticking up for what they believe in- no matter the cost. None of these scenarios describe me, and, for that reason, I have never really thought of myself as brave. But what if bravery can be seen in everyday moments, and not just those of exceptional strength? What does bravery mean then?

As a young girl growing up in the Bible belt, one of the first verses I remember memorizing was Philippians 4:13-

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Perhaps, because it so seemingly overused, this verse sometimes causes an eye roll for those of us who grew up in the church. However, I have found myself rehearsing it over and over again in my head throughout various moments in my life:

“I can do all things through Christ, even try out for this play!”

“I can do all things through Christ, even take my driving test with this super scary instructor!”

“I can do all things through Christ, even leave home and move across the country!”

Or, most recently,

“I can do all things through Christ, even move back to Birmingham after 6 years in California!”

This verse isn’t just a catchy feel-good quote to put on a hand towel or chalkboard- it is an invitation, one could even say a call, to bravery. As a Christian, we are gifted with the knowledge that our God is in us and with us in every situation. Our identities are not determined by our achievements, our disappointments, or other people’s view of us. Our identities were bought and paid for on the cross. We are no longer orphans who are slaves to our fears and our circumstances. We are adopted sons and daughters of the King- wholly known, deeply loved, and always provided for.

Life isn’t always beautiful meadows filled with flowers, sometimes it feels like a desert with no oasis in sight. Life can be great, and life can be hard. However, in all of the highs and the lows that we walk through, He is the one constant that remains. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Always sovereign and ever faithful. Perhaps bravery doesn’t always have to mean grand gestures. Sometimes, it is just choosing to remember who God is, and who we are in Him. Walking with Him in the way we feel Him leading us and taking steps of faith in our journey to know Him more. To me, this is bravery.


Julianne Sparkman