still brave.

today marks six months since A Song of Bravery was released.
the days and weeks and months that followed were full of joy and excitement and just about every existing emotion. i loved waking up to find comments and reviews and book royalty reports.
i felt happy and accomplished. my bravery, my decision to be true to who God made me to be, was being rewarded.

and slowly, with time, the excitement began to dissipate. comments and reviews and book sales were less frequent. college became more demanding and i found myself with less time and creativity to write new poetry. i’ve told you before that i tend to place my worth and my identity in my words, and this season of my life was not an exception. i was discouraged. i felt sad that i was unable to make new art. whenever i managed to get a few words out and write what i considered to be a decent poem, it felt like it was the best day of my life. that’s how bad it was.

and yesterday i sat down to read my book. i felt encouraged and inspired as i read my own words. i read those verses a thousand times when i was putting the collection together. but yesterday i didn’t see the string of words i’d grown accustomed to reading when i looked for typos and mistakes. i found hope and joy in my very own song of bravery. i remembered who i was.

and i asked myself, “am i not still brave? if my words were to be taken away from me, wouldn’t i still have worth? wouldn’t i still be enough? am i not still brave?”

the answer to all of those questions is yes.

yes, i am still brave. yes, i am still enough. yes, i am still worthy. because, oh my soul, you are more than your words. you are more than where you place your worth. you are more than your dreams. you are still brave because you choose to hope. you are brave because you have chosen to believe in your Maker. you are brave because you are still here, because your heart still beats. because you still wonder at the beauty your eyes see. because you haven’t lost all of your joy.

my soul, you are brave. your bravery isn’t big. it doesn’t shine. your bravery maybe goes by unnoticed. but it is there. between your heartbeats. inside your bones. in your glittering eyes.

yes, i am still brave. because i no longer walk with shame and fear. i walk with a head that is lifted high. i walk with grace, the same grace that erased who i used to be. yes, i am still brave. because i am not who i used to be.

i still sing my song of bravery. the melody and the words have changed, but the brave heart is the same.