I wanna see you be brave

In the final days of my senior year, I asked all of my friends to write down one word that described me in my yearbook. Instead of a long soliloquy of how we had such a great time learning life lessons in the classrooms of Hallsville High School, I wanted to know how these important people of my youth would remember me. How did I make an impact in their lives?

Most of my friends just rolled their eyes and complied. Others quietly labeled me as “eccentric” or “strange” and went about their business writing the same old message to every other senior.

We’ve talked about how I was a strange kid, right?

I’m looking at that list right now. I’m actually holding my yearbook and staring at the adjectives.

Kudos to my BFF Julie who halfway broke the rules by submitting a hyphenated word: fun-loving. And thank you Brian for suggesting I am/was awesome.

Courtney thought I was creative. I love that. Chance said I was witty. As one of my oldest friends, I can say that I learned that trait from him.

Laci thought I was funny. YES! Jennifer said I was a leader. As president of the Spanish Club I say muchas gracias, Jennifer.

Joe Bob wrote that I was punctual which I assume he thought was a funny joke, but little does JB know that I smiled when I saw that 1994 Lincee was just as punctual as 2017 Lincee. Other labels included talented, friend, outgoing, energetic, and bubbly.

I’d say the list holds up. I feel like I am most of those things as a grown adult woman. Remember that time that I said I didn’t really like change? It makes sense that high school Lincee is pretty much current Lincee with a little more padding and some crows feet around the eyes.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by my friend Luke Brawner if he could interview me for his podcast “The H.” I had a great time. I was so surprised that my twang only came out once or twice! I was equally surprised when he described me as brave.

The compliment startled me. I don’t know if I have ever been described as a brave person.

On August 1, 2015, I stepped away from the oil and gas business and decided to branch out on my own. My first year was hectic but manageable. I had tons of freelance work, a sweet gig at CBS, and my other sweet gig at Entertainment Weekly. The change didn’t feel like a brave move. It felt right. It felt like obedience.

August 2016 was a different story. My work schedule was like a dust bowl with one, lone Big Bang Theory-looking tumbleweed blowing through. I panicked, knowing that there was very little income and I doubted myself for taking the step to branch out on my own doing something I loved to do. I questioned everything.

That’s when Sara Bareilles’ 2013 hit “Brave” re-entered my world. The song came on the radio as I was having an emotional “moment” in the Target parking lot. Sara told me:

Say what you wanna say

And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

I listened. And I searched my Bible for scripture that spoke about bravery.

Most of the verses I found combined trust, strength, and hope. There was also a lot about patience when it comes to bravery, which is just awesome, because I have a tough time with that one.

“But I trust in you, O Lord. You are my God. My time is in Your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31: 24

I didn’t understand why my fall schedule had suddenly opened up. Then I got a book deal and it all made sense. There’s no way I could have freelanced, written for CBS, and recapped four shows for EW while writing a book.

Well, I could have done it, but the book would have been mostly gibberish.

So I stepped out in faith. I covered my one show for EW and spent the rest of my days saying what I wanted to say, letting the words fall out. Honestly, I didn’t feel very brave.

It wasn’t until last week, when I announced on my website that I had actually written words that a publisher was going to print out on a page and bind for other people to read that it hit me…

My life is out there. For you and everyone else to read. The book is about INSECURITIES for crying out loud! Why in the world did I choose that topic? Why did I include the most embarrassing story ever in chapter 2? PEOPLE ARE GOING TO KNOW ABOUT CHAPTER 2 AND THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT NOW.

I called my friend Rebecca because I was looking over the edge, ready to freak out. I babbled on about what an idiot I was to put all my dirty laundry in a book for the entire world (read: residents of Hallsville) to devour.

Rebecca assured me I was not an idiot. In fact, she used that word again. She said I was brave. And my stories needed to be told. People will either relate or laugh their butts off at my expense. Either reaction is an acceptable one.

So here I am, permanently in a state of flux until this thing comes out. I’m not sure if we’d call this feeling I have as “brave.” It is more like an eternal butt clench mixed with heartburn, but I’m rolling with the flow. Or rolling in the deep. Or rolling on a river. Pass the antacid.

What I do know is that I’m practicing patience and hoping that Lord does whatever it is that He needs to do with the words in my book. If my stories can make you feel like you’re not the only one out there dealing with X, Y, or Z, then I achieved my goal.

And if the stories inspire you to be just a little bit brave, then this book will exceed all of my expectations.

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