About a month ago, I sat across a table in a Starbucks from a very important person in my life and they told me that they were envious of how much courage I have each and every day. Those words still echo through my head daily. How could someone I looked up to be jealous of me? Was I really as courageous as they made me out to be? All I thought I was doing was living my life.
I don’t have a life plan. Until recently, I never allowed myself to even think about a future. I live my life by following my heart, by going where I feel called, and never stopping to question. For someone who does not adapt well to change, it’s surprising that I am the first person to drop everything and take a new road if that’s where I feel like I should be going. It’s scary sometimes. It was terrifying to change my college major senior year. It was strange to leave behind a program that had changed my life but knowing that my place wasn’t there anymore. It was out of my comfort zone to get in a car and drive to a place I’ve never been, knowing almost nothing about an event I was supposed to lead at except for my arrival time and the fact that I felt a tug at my heartstrings when I got the email. It’s intimidating to be applying for jobs states away from where my life is rooted, with no experience with these organizations themselves. It’s unnerving sometimes to want to change the world, to live to that high standard I set for myself. But it’s what I do, it’s part of who I am. I let courage run through my veins and lead me to make choices that I wouldn’t have made if I let that fear, that unknown, tell me who I am. I do silly things, I think with my heart and not my head, and I never let someone or something tell me what I can or cannot do.
You see, courage isn’t taking the easy way out. Courage isn’t staying in your comfort zone when there might be something greater out there. Courage isn’t giving up, courage isn’t giving in.
Courage, courage is going on when you feel like you can’t anymore. Courage is that little voice that tells you to try something new, that tells you to try again tomorrow. Courage is staying true to yourself, even in the hardest situations, even when it seems far easier to change.
Stay true to yourself. Stay true to your weird habits, to your one-of-a-kind beliefs and values, to what makes you, you. Jump into your challenge zone. Hear that fear in your head and then push it away, choosing to find strength in nothing. When you are courageous and when you live your life being exactly who God made you to be, you are beautiful. You are beautiful when you are you and and you are beautiful when you are courageous.