I’ve been praying and reviewing journals from 2018, and also thinking about 2019. The words fear, faith and brave seem to show up a lot. Which naturally leads me to the topics of God’s faithfulness and little black dresses. Yep, that’s where it led me.
Some women have that perfect, little black dress that makes them feel invincible. It works for a day at the office, a day of shopping, a night out. With just a few small accessory changes, it makes them feel like they can conquer the world.
My mom had three skirts that served as her little black dresses for about a decade. I still remember them vividly. Full of color, they tied at the waist and had rows of patterns like an 18-tiered cake. She would wear them with suit jackets, islet summer tops and T-shirts. They were inseparable, my mom and those magical, twirling skirts.
I tend to feel most at home in black sweaters. I feel invincible in my current, threaded armor of choice. It’s ribbed, has three-quarter-length sleeves with three silver buttons just past the elbows and is slightly gathered at the waist. I bought three of these sweaters, all identical.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I put on this sweater and, whoosh! I feel 20 pounds lighter, a few books smarter, much wittier and my teeth are suddenly straighter. I am confident, fearless and ready to talk to the world.
Picture Linda Carter in Wonder Woman from the 70s as she takes off her giant glasses and spins in circles until she transforms into the bikini-clad super hero with perfectly toned muscles, shiny hair, a magical lasso and bulletproof bracelets. My sweaters make me think I’m bulletproof.
When I don’t wear my black sweater, I feel like I’m being forced to star in the reality show, “Naked and Afraid.” (that’s a real show, by the way) Only it’s a special, extended episode, and it’s called “Very, Very, Very Naked and Terrified to My Bones, Turn the Channel NOW!”
As I think about being brave in careers and relationships, in faith and doing good for others, and in using our abilities and chasing our dreams, I find myself thinking, yes, let's do that! But, at the end of the day we all still need something in which we can hide, because we are not bulletproof.
What I'm learning is that bravery does not equal breaking the habit of hiding. It means breaking the habit of hiding in anything other than God, even in the good things. It means learning to hide with everything we’ve got in God, and God alone. And from that secure and loving relationship with Him, and thankful state of mind and heart, living BRAVE. As we interact with the people, go to the places and do the things.
When we are hidden in God, we can be brave. Because even though we still care what others think of us, we are DEFINED by what God thinks of us. Because even though it still hurts to fail, or to be rejected or overlooked, we are not without hope as He provides the sweetest comfort. When we are hidden in God, that's when the brave in us starts to show up.
So, to sum up, here’s to hiding, and to living brave in 2019! And, maybe to branching out with a gray or faded black sweater.
This book by Annie F. Downs is incredibly helpful. I recommend it! It’s full of insightful thought starters and daily doses of wisdom about being brave and trusting God. #100daystobrave