Building Brave

My mom is one of the most creative people I know. When we were kids, she nurtured an environment where my siblings and I learned to look at assignments with inquisitive eyes, to challenge expectations, and to create something distinct. We would sit at our kitchen counter-turned-work station, armed with rubber cement, modeling clay, and hot glue guns and brainstorm how to take an ordinary project and craft it into something unique. This meant learning to take some risks.

In first grade, there was an assignment related to Queen Esther. Our class had spent the week learning her story and went home with a coloring page of the queen; the following week we would bring in our royal heroine to display in the school hallway. Many students chose crayons and acrylic paints as their preferred medium; and while I do not remember a significant amount of detail from 19 years ago, I do remember walking into class with my take on Esther. A retired Barbie of mine loaned her head, bestowed with a paper crown, and fabric scraps from our living room remodel shaped royal robes, creating an amateur illusion of Esther stepping off the page. 

Do you have someone behind you and helping you make brave decisions? Someone who says, “Let’s try this. I’ll be here with you. If it goes wrong, I’ll be with you too.” With sixteen queens on the wall, a brave choice meant looking a bit different from my peers. 

When Esther learns of Haman’s plan of genocide and decides to approach the king, it was not without the support and prayers of Mordecai and Jews in the kingdom. Esther 4:15-16 states, “Esther told [her attendants] to reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do.’”  

Just like Esther, you and I are wired for partnership and community. We make decisions every day, some more difficult than others; and it is good and healthy to have someone encouraging us to make the brave choice in the midst of fear.

In my 25 years, I have never been faced with a decision comparable to the magnitude of Esther’s. However, I believe the little moments of brave add up. Seemingly insignificant moments of making a different choice, a brave choice, help mold our character. When we encourage and support being brave when the stakes are low, such as first grade assignments, we develop a foundation of bravery for the big moments that come our way.

By Bethany Taylor

Bethany has been calling Immanuel Baptist her church home since 2014. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, she is now an obstetric nurse here in Lexington.

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