Hey, brave one.

I used to think bravery looked like jumping out of airplanes or scaling the side of a mountain with your bare hands. I thought being brave was this big gesture—a way of taking a blind leap with zero fear. And I still think there’s bravery in the big moments, the getting down on one knee and the staring at a positive pregnancy test, the moving to a new city and taking of a new job—these moments require heaps of bravery.

But I’m starting to see bravery enter in the small, the seemingly inconsequential and ordinary moments.

Now I think bravery looks more like honesty, in showing up, in words and waking up every day. I see bravery in paying attention when you want to push it deep down in your soul and sitting in silence with your thoughts. I see bravery in being your odd self and believing in yourself, in listening to people’s stories and talking to strangers. I see bravery in allowing yourself to feel the tough things, in discussing the uncomfortable while clinging to grace, in having compassion and acting on it. I see bravery in allowing God to pick up the pieces of your broken heart.

I’m starting to see that bravery is like they say: it’s not the absence of fear, but the necessity of it—in all of these weird, in-between moments that make up life. 

It’s a really strange landing place—this befriending of bravery. I feel like we’ve been acquaintances for a while, but I’m just now getting to know her in an uncomfortable way. Like she accidentally walked in on me naked, so there’s no choice but to laugh with her now.

I guess I just recognized the secret truth, that we are all hiding this intense bravery right under the surface, even if we don’t realize that we are actually warriors—that we are all really rockstars brave enough to show up on stage every day.

So I don’t know where you are in life, but I think you’re secretly a fighter. I think you are incredibly courageous, with a lion heart and a chilling roar, even if you feel more like a small turtle too afraid to come out of its shell. I think, underneath it all, you are a superhero. I think you hide your cape under your clothes, ready to battle at a moment’s notice. I think you are capable of the miraculous, of loving on the unlovable and giving grace to every kind of people.  

And you may not feel like it, at this moment in time, but I think you’re a boxer with a nasty right hook. I think we all are. We may be fighting different opponents and battles, but we are all bringing our beating hearts into the arena and giving it all we’ve got. We are showing up full of nerves and mess and apprehension, but we are showing up. And we are fighting.