silver bravery

for my bestie. and everyone who cries over brokenness.


it’ll shake a man’s timbers when he loses his heart
when he has to remember what broke him apart
and this yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
when the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God
– AP, The Silence of God


bravery comes in all forms.

sometimes it’s randomly chatting someone who hurt you, even though you don’t feel like initiating anymore.

sometimes it’s writing when you’ve tried and tried and it has failed.

sometimes bravery is posting a picture online.

sometimes it’s speaking your mind and choosing to take care of yourself and others.

sometimes it’s choosing to tackle a project head-on right after it got a bad grade, or when it fills you with dread.

sometimes bravery is learning to transport burdens instead of carry them.

knights of old used to go on quests, journeying in search of hardship. that’s such a foreign concept: desiring to struggle bravely so much that you go in search of difficult things.

most of the time, i’ve seen hard things come at me instead. although, you could say that i am on a journey with the promise of difficulty.  as my friend Parker pointed out the other night, maybe life is a three-act structure, and the inciting incident happens in the first twenty years.

sometimes bravery is just getting up in the morning.  it feels like a failure, dragging yourself out of bed and going to work, or class, or to make breakfast.  you get up and smile and put on makeup and then you crash when you get home.  some days you look around and ask why, and all you hear is the silence.  the sky is full of stars and snow glistens on the ground and it’s simply cold, far away.

am i not shouting loud enough
is it more than the top of my lungs
oh i used to feel Your love
where has it gone
– Andy Gullahorn, Nowhere to Be Found

sometimes i really think that bravery is rarely audible.
sorrow is rare to express perfectly in words: sobs aren’t data or rules, but something felt, understood.

sorrow makes watching sad things hard, or an escape.  it makes smiling at customers difficult.  it makes conversations emotionally charged.
bravery doesn’t mean pretending.  it doesn’t mean masking everything to be okay.  bravery isn’t destroying things in protection.  sometimes it just means one step in front of the other…even when you feel like you aren’t moving.

sometimes it means just getting up. just being willing to fight.

some day you look back and see that you have been carried like a precious child, a four year old with ambitions exhausted for a time.  being told that you need to fix it, or told to wait and be patient, or to stop chasing don’t heal that tender ache.  how other people survived it is no solution, because your inciting incident is your own.  you are not anyone but your own self, flawed but shining as the light falls.

Our cause is never more in danger than when a human,
no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will,
looks round upon a universe from which every trace
of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken,
and still obeys.
– C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

that’s when it is hardest to be brave, when no visible light hits the silver through the pitch dark.  that is when it is hard to even know where the next step is, or if any progress has been made.  that is when you are Lucy, standing alone on the deck of a creaking ship in the dark and waiting for the albatross to whisper,

“Courage, dear heart.”

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[Image from]


10 thoughts on “silver bravery

  1. Oh wow, Shawnie. ❤

    This: :"bravery doesn’t mean pretending. it doesn’t mean masking everything to be okay. bravery isn’t destroying things in protection. sometimes it just means one step in front of the other…even when you feel like you aren’t moving.
    sometimes it means just getting up."

    Thank you…

  2. So, this morning started with sunshine pouring and doves cooing a soothing song, and, then… this. Like a piece of my heart and life has been splayed out in words. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Lovely… blessings!

  3. rambling through your blog again and finding this to be exactly what i needed. you are a beautiful expresser of heart, thoughts and Truth.

  4. Thanks for resharing this. It was hard to get out of bed this morning. Grieving the news of cancer in a good friend last night, and then your reminder of bravery and God’s steady hand. Thanks again 🙂


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