Bravery in the Midst of Unknown Callings

“Before I knew you, I thought brave was not being afraid. You've taught me that bravery is being terrified and doing it anyway” – Laurell K. Hamilton
What constitutes bravery to you? Is it showing fearlessness? Heroism? Dauntlessness?

What I’ve learned is that bravery doesn’t mean going into a battle, an argument, a calling, etc. without fear. It’s not about having full confidence in yourself. Bravery’s not even reliant on having supernatural/special abilities that lend you aid as you approach the obstacle in front of you. Bravery is showing mental and moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty. As Hamilton says, it’s about “being terrified and doing it anyway.”  Bravery is having that hard conversation with your roommate even if you’re afraid of the repercussions. It’s going to college, leaving your parents behind for maybe the first time in your life to live on your own. It’s trusting God with your future when you have no idea what it will look like. Bravery isn’t fearlessness, bravery is facing your fears head on with full confidence that God is walking beside you with every step you take.
When I was in high school, I had my entire future mapped out, full of confidence that I was doing what God had called me to do and living to my fullest potential. But I came to college, suffered from severe anxiety, dealt with an eating disorder, had friends that were discouraging and judgmental when I didn’t follow their status quo, and hated the major I was so confident in studying. My “calling” was crumbling in my hands and I spiraled. Why? Because I had faith in myself, not God. I had planned my future out by myself, thinking that by doing good, I was doing what God had called me to do. I was fearless and self-assured until things started to fall apart.

Did that mean I was brave?  Yes, and no. I was brave because I didn’t give up. I was terrified of not knowing, of the what ifs that ran through my head – what if I can’t get a job? What if I have to move back in with my parents forever? What if I’ve been doing life all wrong this whole time? But I didn’t let those what ifs control me. I fought, I kept asking God for guidance, and I kept pushing forward until I found victory from my eating disorder and anxiety, until I found supportive and accepting community, until I found a degree that I actually enjoyed pursuing.  At the same time, I doubted that God would call me to something more. I was afraid of what my future would look like, and that alone keeps me from calling the way I lived “bravery.”
If you flip through my college journals, you’ll find page after page of me asking God why he was stonewalling me, why I couldn’t get an answer from him. To this day four years later, I still couldn’t tell you with certainty what it is I’m called to do, but as Bob said a couple weeks ago – that doesn’t mean that I’m not callable. That just means that I’m in a place of “not yet.”  Over time, I’ve learned to find peace with God’s answer of “not yet.” He hasn’t revealed my calling to me yet, but He tells me that it’s coming soon and that I should have patience. It’s in that place where I have found true bravery – not in giving my all towards a future I have planned out perfectly but trusting that God will reveal in His own timing what I’m to do in the next chapter of my life. That peace, in a world that says I need to know, is how bravery manifests itself in my life right now.

Despite the constant questioning of what will I do next, I can say “I don’t know” with an assurance that one day I will. I’m still afraid of the constant repeating of the phrase “I don’t know” – I hate not knowing. I wanted God to tell me four years ago what I was supposed to be doing with the rest of my life, not chase after him begging to know what the next step is.

The other day someone told me that as they were praying for me, they saw a lighthouse. That the light was guiding me forward, but I could only see what was right in front of me as I followed the beam – and that’s how I’ve been living lately. Stepping forward, one step at a time, following this light that’s leading me to an unknown destination. In Psalm 16, David says “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”  A joyful heart in a life of unknowns is the bravest you can be. Rejoice – God will not abandon you. He will come to you, He will call you, and He will set your path before you when the time is right.

Author | Emma Whitmer





no categories


1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Ben Gill Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Fernanda Lima Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God Goals God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luke Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Madison McManners Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Michael Weidner Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Partnership Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Riley Orr Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacred Rhythms Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Hill Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Simplicity Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth