Stay Brave

If you're living, there are likely times when you want to come right out and just say what you're thinking. If you breathe, there have got to be moments where you want to let it all out right as you exhale that breath. Your tired heart probably seeks for any area of grace, some real honest space where something real and honest can slip out. 

I. Just. Didn't. Think. It. Would. Be. This. Way. 

My real and honest, and my "I just didn't think it would be this way" is in reference to bathtubs. I just didn't think, at the age of twenty seven, I would still be crawling into them fully clothed to sob. I'll be real with you. I thought I would be over that by now.

I'll go even deeper, I'll let you in on an apprehension that I have: I worry I'll never be over it. 

Let's go one step further, I might as well, I've said this much: I also worry that I will be over it because there will finally be so many things to cry over that I will stop caring enough about them to actually crawl into a bathtub to cry. Numbness. That is the worst fear of all

I've never read a handbook that said it: "Living as Jesus wants and loving as Jesus loves will call you to minister to people you really don't want to talk to. Or look at. Or think about. Welcome to ministry. It's one hundred percent, absolutely foolproof, mess-guaranteed. In fact, it's a good thing you like bathtubs because you'll need one for more than crying." I've never read a handbook that said that. But they should. 

The rough around the edges shattered shards of love rake right into the center of your fragile beating heart. The most romantic liquid in the world is not champagne you know, but this careful Christ concoction of blood and water mixed - broken hearts for thirsty souls. This is how the thirst is always quenched - through your own broken bloody heart. 

That is the way love is and I am glad of it for He never calls me to love anyone in ways He has not first loved me. 

 I read these words in "Present Over Perfect" by Shauna Niequist and they resonate. Resound. I recite them to myself again and again. "Sailing around the world isn't necessarily brave. Leaving real life for two years isn't necessarily brave. What you're doing - what you're building - I think that's brave." 

Sometimes the biggest brave is staying where you are, and feeling what you feel. 

There is a brave that stays. A brave that doesn't run. A brave that falls right into the mess of the moment with God-prayers on quivering lips and hope in open, tired, hands He's made holy. A sort of stay brave that let's you bloom where you are planted, that stretches aching roots into the darkness of soil in order to ultimately grow toward light. What had Ann Voskamp said about seeds?

"If we knew anything about growth we would understand that it looks like absolute destruction." 

Seeds die, to give life to trees, to give space for fruit. 

So I stay here, stay home, stay brave. I will do it if it hurts. I will do it if it's hard. I will do it whether I like it or not. He gives me that stay sort of brave. So I do.

I stay brave in this bathtub.