It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted and I apologize. I find myself lately grabbing life by the horns and holding on for what feels like dear life. It has been an incredibly busy season.
Recently I’ve been pondering what it means to “Be Brave” and I have a sticker on my desk as a reminder to be brave each day. One thing I’ve come to realize is there is an incredible amount of favor and grace that comes along with being brave. Some of the things that we are called to do in life are sometimes the scariest. It’s hard to be vulnerable, to share from our heart, and to allow people a glimpse into our personal journeys. Lately, my life has been all about being brave. I find myself being stretched and challenged, whether it’s in writing, in relationships, or with my health. However, when I follow through the reward is always greater than I can ever imagine. When we step past the fear of stepping out, God’s grace and favor breathes all over it and our successes become His.
The most recent experience I’ve had with this was on social media and Instagram. Obesity is often an issue in the Little Person (LP) community and for the last year and a half, I’ve been on a journey to become a healthier me. It’s taken lots of persistence, time, and dedication, but it’s been worth it because in the last year and a half, I’ve lost 25 pounds! Weight struggles aren’t always easy to talk about. They’re usually super personal and are tied to a much deeper inner struggle, as was mine. However, even sharing our successes with others can sometimes be terrifying. Thoughts come rushing to my head… “Will others think I’m successful? Will people make fun of me? Should I be embarrassed that my weight was a struggle to begin with?”
For the last 15 weeks, I’ve been completing Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guides. They are a series of circuits, combined with LISS and HIIT sessions, 6 days a week. Recently on Instagram, Kayla posted a contest in order to win $1,000 of Victoria’s Secret Sports Clothing. The contest was simple… Post a photo of yourself on Instagram with a #readytosweat sign. I thought to myself, “I can’t win if I don’t post. Why not give it a try?” However, with this post came a lot of vulnerability, so I was only going to share it on one social media platform and it was definitely not going on Facebook. I was afraid to put something that I’ve worked so hard to accomplish, out on a platter for the public to see. I was afraid of the mean comments I would get from strangers hiding behind their computers and phones. I was scared of what others might think. However, in this experience, I learned so much about God’s grace and favor, just by stepping into risk and bravery. Below is the photo I posted on my Instagram.
Within seconds, my phone was blowing up. I had to turn off all of my notifications on my phone and Apple Watch because they were draining my battery dry. I got excited when I hit 100 likes before I went to bed since that doesn’t happen very often. When I woke up the next morning, I had over 1,200 likes on my photo, which now has over 1,620 with 116 encouraging comments or votes for me to win. I also gained at least 200 followers overnight. There was a part of me that wondered, Why me? Why was my photo any different from anyone else’s? Am I really that inspiring? But then there is His grace and favor.
When we step past something that absolutely terrifies us, when we are bold, when we are brave… we allow God to use our journeys to inspire, encourage, and motivate others into braveness. When we don’t try to get attention, when we are humble and follow His lead, He breathes His favor upon us. He speaks life into our dreams and our callings. He is faithful and He never leaves us on our own when we step out in risk. He is our protector. He is even our shield and comforter when negativity comes our way…
And to the one person, who called me a ‘fat midget,’ I choose to not be offended and I forgive you! I hope that one day you will be comfortable in your own skin. I hope that you won’t have to bully others or trample on their successes to feel better about yourself. I pray that you know just how loved you are, how precious He created you to be, and how even you can step into braveness without hurting others. It might be difficult, but be brave. I believe in you… just like the hundreds that have told me the same, you can do it! And in the meantime, there is grace. Grace for you to learn, grace to not let your comment hurt me or anyone else, and grace for me to continue living out my journey one day at a time, no matter what people think or say.
So as you go about your day, I dare you to be brave! Try something new that’s been on your heart. Tear back a layer of skin and allow others to get to know the real you. Let your gifts and talents shine. You were born for a time as this. Now is your time to be brave!