Say the Next Yes
Normally when people think about being brave, images of sky diving and roller coasters are what appear. Or maybe you think of people going on missions trips to third world countries. We think of big, bold choices and actions.
But bravery isn't always big.
The seed of starting a blog was planted in my head when I was twelve. I told my youth leader Sarah that I wanted to be a writer, and she mentioned blogging to me. A couple of years later, I started Kitkats and Impromptu, which focused primarily on speech and debate life. It was a small decision, one that I second guessed more than I should have. I started the blog for fun, mostly so I could ramble about speech and debate to people who would relate. It's still really fun. I get to draw stick figures on paint and write about something I love.
Occasionally, I would write about more serious stuff. Those posts rarely got as many views as my funny posts or my parodies. But I still wrote them.
However, they felt out of place. Having a post totally unrelated to speech and debate just didn't fit with the theme. The thing was, starting a new blog was scary. So for months, I kept coming close but not taking that step forward.
A few weeks ago, I discovered a Youtuber named Katie Gregoire. I watched all of her videos in one night, even though I kept telling myself I should save some of the awesomeness for later. She was one of the first teenage Christian girls I saw online, actively encouraging other Christian teens. That was the night I decided to start this blog.
It was a small decision. I was just like, "I'm gonna do it." I said yes to what I knew God was asking me to do. There wasn't some huge booming voice from the heavens saying "HADLEY YOU MUST START THIS BLOG!" That would've been a little scary and I might have cried because I cry when I'm scared. Even without that big voice, I knew what God was calling me to do. So I said yes. It was a little yes, not something like moving to a new city or choosing a college. The hardest part was choosing a name (which I changed three weeks later).
I said that yes. Then I said yes to a blog post. And to another blog post.
Bravery is about small choices we make every day. It's choosing to turn off an immoral TV show. It's choosing to forgive someone who doesn't deserve it. Bravery isn't usually glamorous, and it's not always seen. But being brave isn't about the glory and praise. Bravery is about saying the next yes, even if no one else sees, even if all the eyes are closed and heads are bowed.
||Bravery is about small choices we make every day||
I was reading Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs the other night. One random phrase at the end of a sentence reached out and grabbed me. (Not physically, obviously. It was just ink on a page.) "[I] said the next yes." I was so touched by this one phrase that I wrote "say the next yes" on my whiteboard, mirror, and hand. I circled that phrase and put a big star on the page. That one little phrase, stuck onto the end of a sentence, is what it means to be brave.
Say the next yes. Or maybe say no. Maybe say later. Not every decision is going to turn your life completely around, but after 100 brave yeses, after 100 brave nos, you look back and see how much different you were a year, a month, a week ago.
||"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." -Zachariah 4:10||
Don't disregard a small decision as being unimportant. One yes leads to another yes which leads to a no which may lead to a bigger yes. And so on. Bravery is saying yes to a blog, a blog post, a commitment to truth, encouraging others. Nothing good happens before you say yes. That yes isn't always easy, but when it's the right one, it'll make all the difference. And that's what's up.