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When I was in college, one of my professors told a story about a professor who decided to challenge his class on their final exam with one question, “What is bravery?”  All the students had to do was write an essay to answer that one question.

The students began frantically writing when they got their test question, except for one student who sat at his desk for a few minutes staring at his paper before he got up, walked to the front and turned in his final examination.  The professor looked at the him and asked, “Are you sure you want to turn this in?”  He said yes and walked out.

The student’s paper was completely blank.

I think about this story often, because when I first heard it I thought what that student did really was bravery.  All the other students were working their little fingers to the bone, writing about what they thought bravery was, while this guy took a chance and acted out bravery.

But, was he really brave?

Or, was he stupid?

I had breakfast with a great friend the day before I left for Chattanooga.  She was asking me about my plans, and I told her that my plan was to pack everything in my car that I would need and drive to a house I had never seen to live with two girls I had never met, sometime the next day.  (I know, well thought out right?)

Her response was, “Well, that is very brave of you.”

I didn’t know what to say because in that moment I didn’t feel brave at all.  I felt scared and stupid.

During my entire drive to Chattanooga on Wednesday I wrestled with myself, because I wanted to feel brave, but the only thing I could think was how stupid I was being.  I left my family and friends behind to go to a place where I don’t know anyone and don’t have a job.

All the questions that have been racing through my mind for the past year began beating down on me…What if I don’t find a job?  What if I don’t make any friends?  What if I can’t handle going back to school?  What if I fail miserably at this, too?

Frankly, I am terrified of the journey I am embarking on.

Today, I have still been thinking about this question of bravery or stupidity, and the conclusion I have come to is that at any point I can choose either path.  I have this amazing opportunity in front of me, and I can choose to approach it with bravery or stupidity.

You see…

Stupidity is reckless and self-centered.  Stupidity is wastes our gifts and talents on things that aren’t important.  Stupidity is lacks thought and intention.

But…

Bravery moves in the face of fear.  Bravery takes a chance on something better.  Bravery invests in something beyond ourselves and our little world.  Bravery protects and defends what is good and right.

Bravery is expectant.

I choose bravery.

Since I’ve been back from Uganda, I have tried to write another blog post about what is going on in my life post-Africa, but the words are having a hard time emerging.  The truth is…I’m not sure what to say.

It’s hard to believe that in two days I will be moving to a new city.  It’s hard to believe that I will be sitting in a classroom once again.  It’s hard to believe that I will actually have to start all over…again.

I should be excited about the adventure awaiting me in Chattanooga, but instead I’m afraid of everything that can go wrong.  I have gotten so caught up in what the world tells me I need to have, do, and be over the past few years that I seem to have lost that girl who was fearless and had unwavering faith in her God.

What has happened to me?  I find myself wanting to be somebody people know and love instead of being someone who is secure because she is already known and loved.  I have become lost in myself and what I think I need instead of knowing that everything I could ever need I already have.

Maybe it’s because I’m older.  Maybe I’ve just gotten lazy.  But, I am so ready to just be somebody.  I am ready to put down some roots, have a family, and just have some stability.  It is my struggle, because even though I am at the age that the world says I should have all of those things, I am not at that place in my life.

I am not married, and I have to embrace that.
I do not have children, and I have to embrace that.
My roots are being uprooted, and I have to embrace that.
I have no stability, and I have to embrace that.
I am still figuring out who I am, and I have to embrace that.

The hardest thing is that I have to learn how to live in the midst of all the uncertainty.    I feel like I have spent the majority of my life living for what I want to happen in the future, and I have missed living in the stage of life I am in right now.

But, I am learning to embrace where I am and who I am at this time in my life.  And as much as I just want to be that somebody I hope to be in the future, I have to be who I am right here and right now, even if I’m still not really sure who that is.