How Big is Your Brave

As we stand on the precipice of a new year, how big is your brave?

I spent this Christmas and New Year’s with my family in the Teton Mountains of Wyoming. Skiing is one of my husband and his family’s greatest joys. Not only is their house a stone’s throw from the slopes, but they have everything you would ever need to hit the slopes, Lindsey Vonn style. I remind you, I’m a Carolina girl. Our fun is collecting angel wings on a good, flat sandy beach that stretches for miles, far from moguls, freezing temperatures, and steep mountains.

For the first couple of mornings, I gracefully maneuvered my way out of joining the family ski. I snow-shoed, cross-country skied and practiced yoga. Pure bliss. But I knew the reckoning was coming. Who doesn’t ski when the clouds drop an early Christmas gift of six inches of snow on the mountain? Perfect conditions, right? That’s what everyone kept assuring me as I floated up into the heavens in a car that dangled from a wire. I should have been praising Mother Nature for her exquisite pure white Christmas gown that draped the face of the Mountain, but all I could do was look down at my gloves and tremble in my ski boots. One of my greatest flaws is my need to be in control of my destiny. But when you find yourself up 12,000 feet on a mountaintop, flirting with the hem of the heavens, and your skis are literally hanging off the edge, watch out! Thankfully, my kind husband side-stepped his skis back up to me. All he said was, follow me, I will get you down this mountain.

We have no idea how the drama of our lives will unfold over this next year. There is no crystal ball, tarot card, or palm reader that can predict or prepare us for what lies ahead. Life is unpredictable, fragile, treacherous, glorious, brutal, and beautiful. There is no avoiding the deep sorrows or the great joys that are ahead. To wear the holy vestments of flesh and bone requires enormous bravery.

The plot of the human story is a life-long series of exiles and exoduses. With much pomp and ceremony, we trust our lives to the mystery and the benevolence of God. But then in the very next breath, when our hearts clutch in fear, we snatch back control with a death grip. What a great comedy…or tragedy to think we can ski down the mountain on our own accord, without God tenderly and patiently leading the way.

We must learn how to ski forward knowing without knowing the path ahead. Bravery requires surrender. 

And God said, “Follow me. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

How big is your Brave in 2014?

Live in Hope,



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