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I love music—always have, hopefully always will. (Except country music, which grates on my nerves like fingernails down a chalkboard. Or anything “heavier” than alternative rock, which just sounds like so much screaming to me. But I digress…)

Music moves me in ways that often written or spoken words just can’t, and because it touches me so deeply (and because I tend to end up with earworms VERY easily), I have to be very selective about the kinds of music I listen to. I had “Let It Go” (by Demi Lovato) from Disney’s Frozen stuck in my head for a while. Then Johnny Lingo inflicted the Muppet version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on me (yes, Animal yawping “Mama” was actually hilarious, especially while BYU was trying to recruit Damien Mama, but unfortunately it was the original lyrics that stuck in my head and not Animal’s relatively harmless single-word ranting, yikes!), and I wanted to drive a stake into my ear replace it with pretty much ANYTHING else, but my efforts seemed fruitless. And then, miraculously, it was gone—replaced by something wonderful that I stumbled across the other day.

“Brave” by Sara Bareilles is my new favourite song, but BYU Vocal Point’s cover is DEFINITELY my favourite version:

Omigosh, these guys are A.MA.ZING!! (BYU Vocal Point has been around as a group for almost 25 YEARS—how did I not know this??) A cappella music has definitely evolved as an art, and I love all of the layers and texture it has now. Such incredible talent from these young men, and such an empowering message in this particular song. I admit I’ve choked up more than once listening to it, but I just can’t stop. (It’s okay, they’re happy, “my heart is gonna burst, this makes me feel so good” tears. 🙂 )

I was somewhat amused by some of the comments on the video on YouTube. Seriously, why does it matter what inspired Sara to write the song? If that circumstance is relevant to you, great; if it isn’t, that’s great, too. Brave doesn’t apply to only one circumstance in life—brave is whatever it means to each of us individually.

For me, brave is when I ask for help, because I’ve always felt like I have to do things on my own, or because I’ve felt ashamed and “weak” in the past because of things I just couldn’t handle by myself. Brave is admitting that I’m not indestructible, that my heart is easily broken, that my feelings run much deeper than I generally allow to be seen. Brave is letting myself be vulnerable, letting down the defences I’ve (subconsciously) worked so hard to build to protect my heart and mind from the anguish of betrayal, trusting someone enough to let him see parts of my life and my soul that NOBODY has ever seen before (sometimes not even me), facing the risk of rejection, believing that I’m worth loving even with all of my defects and broken parts. Brave is being honest about who I am and how I feel in any given moment and really OWNING those things.

Recently I’ve watched some important people in my life make brave choices for themselves. They’ve “show[n] me how big [their] brave is,” and I’m so proud of them—and inspired by them. It doesn’t even matter that they weren’t brave specifically “for” me; I still benefited from their examples, and I know others around them will be influenced for good by their brave choices, too.

So when are YOU brave?