Sometimes Bravery Might Not Look Very Brave

I’m behind. Like years behind. I know this and I have made peace with it. I find out all things cool from my younger sister. Even she is getting up there in years. Unlike me, however, she seems to have a firmer grasp on “hip” so my coolness factor will be going strong for at least a few more years until she ages out of the system. She is the one who told me about Sara Barellis a few years ago. I’ve been listening hard to the one album I have of hers and, on a recent trip to visit said cool sister, I was exposed to another one of her songs.

It’s about bravery. And I love it. Have you seen the video? Here it is. It’s worth a gander.

If you’re reading this in an email click here to see the video.

Don’t you just love it?! It makes me tear up every time. I know that’s weird. I should have kept that to myself.

Did you notice the onlookers reactions to the brave dancers? There was a mix of confusion and alarm (I LOVE the guy at the end who thought maybe the dancer took the wrong pill! Ha!) but in the end, the crowd smiled.

There is something deep in each of us that wants to be that bold. We want to step out and do that “thing” we’re afraid of. But we stop short. What are “they” going to say? What if “they” don’t like us?

You know what? “They” are thinking the same thing. About you. You are their “they.” {This is getting confusing.}

Where in your life can you step out and be brave instead of scared?  

It only seems fair to answer the same question I’m asking you. My recent area of bravery was to open an Etsy Shop. I don’t know why it was so scary. I had already been putting my words out there for some time, but for whatever reason, taking a picture of something I made in my laundry room and asking for money seemed like a scene from a horror movie.

scream picture

But something in me was dying to try it. I talked it over with my husband, and we made a plan and did some research. I would make 20 canvases and then open a shop. I didn’t know what I was doing, but no one knows what they’re doing when they haven’t done it yet so I felt like I was right on track. Friends of mine said, “I didn’t know you made art!” and my reply was, “I didn’t either!”

Opening the shop felt all kinds of scary, but I had orders to fill before I even knew how on earth I would ship the items. (There were clearly holes in my research). My shop is only 7 months old but in that time I cannot tell you the number of very meaningful canvases I have had the opportunity to make. I’ve been honored to make canvases memorializing babies who have died, commemorating husband’s last words and celebrating recovery from addiction. I am seeing my bravery bless other people, and that in turn blesses me even more. Additionally, my shop is now sponsoring a Compassion child with hopes of adding more children as the shop grows.

I share my story only in hopes of firing you up to be brave and walk out your own story. Maybe my bravery can be the catalyst for yours. Be prayerful. Be wise about it. Seek counsel and then pray some more. But know that eventually you will arrive at that place where all you have left to do it be brave.

As you look back over your life, share a time where you’ve been brave or seen someone you love be brave (somehow easier to share other’s bravery, isn’t it?)

Photo Credit: (1) via Compfight cc / (2) Susana


  1. Lauren Pinkston November 17, 2014

    Love this, Emily! And loved hearing the stories behind your business!

  2. Kayla Rupp November 17, 2014

    Emily this post is fabulous! And even more fabulous is your Etsy shop!! I’m telling everyone I know about it. And that vide0. Tears for sure. I am so inspired!

    1. Emily Thomas November 18, 2014

      You’re so sweet girl!  Thanks for spreading the word.  And the tears?  I know!  Gets me EVERY time.

  3. Amy Young November 17, 2014

    Emily, you know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that video. It’s my go to one right now when I need a bit of inspiration. Thanks for sharing your brave with us :)!

    1. Emily Thomas November 18, 2014

      I know you love this song so much!  YOU are who I think of when I hear this song now!

  4. Laura November 17, 2014

    Emily, thank you for this post today. I especially loved the part about stepping out and being brave without worrying about what “they” will think. At times that’s the hardest part of being brave for me.

    1. Emily Thomas November 18, 2014

      Agreed, Laura.  “They” is this nebulous shadow lurking somewhere on the sidelines but we have to just push past it and do the brave thing.  It might be a complete disaster but at least we tried, yes?

  5. Cecily Willard November 20, 2014

    Just for the record, I teared up when watching the video at the point when the girl in the library starts to dance at the end 🙂

    “No one knows what they are doing when they haven’t done it yet”!  That’s profound!  Why didn’t I think of that?

    Why do I always think that I should always know how to do everything?  And is that not why I don’t start doing something so many times?  (Does that make any sense?)  I totally get it!  I need to get over myself and just DO it.  It won’t be perfect the first, second, fiftieth or thousandth time, but who cares?  Perfection isn’t the goal, is it?  DOING IT is the goal.

    Sorry about the sermon that just leaked out.  I am just cheering myself on!


    1. Emily Thomas November 20, 2014

      No!  It’s perfect.  I’m cheering you on too!  🙂

  6. Monica November 21, 2014

    Your post is so timely.  After 14 years of overseas ministry/work (in Africa and Asia) we are taking our first-ever sabbatical.  Just the idea of taking a Sabbatical was scary, but others said it was brave.  I think it was both.  And now we are at a crossroads… What’s the next step for our family?  Asking the Lord to help us be Brave as we look ahead.

    1. Emily Thomas November 21, 2014

      Wow!  That is quite a crossroads!  It will be exciting to see how God leads you in this time!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.