Growing Boldly

Boldness has taken an interesting turn since childhood. As a girl growing up in the desert, being bold meant facing off with the rivers of flash floods. Or when I was in seventh grade, I punched a boy in the face for picking on my brother.

I’m finding I’m not the same girl in my thirties as I was when I was seven or twelve. Somewhere between marriage, entering the workforce, and motherhood, I became less ardent to risk and clung more to safety. I hung back instead of moving forward. I camouflaged and tried to match magazine covers, only I didn’t realize it. I thought I was bold, brave, and strong until I faced an incredible period of loss, pain, and change.

Recently, I found myself sitting in my counselor’s office when she posed the question:

 “What do you need to do to get the old Heather back? The one who everyone says is strong and bold? She’s still in there.”

I was at a loss. I searched to find her in all the old things I used to be and do, but I came up empty. I had been persuaded that God didn’t care about me. I believed the lie I had nothing else to offer. I was actually afraid to go to God because I didn’t know what his future held for me. But going to him was the key. 

“You’re hiding from me. You’re hiding from yourself,” I hear him whisper. “Be brave, be bold, take courage.” 

I smirk and roll my eyes at the God Most High and question, “How am I supposed to do that?”

And then I sense it, Do the very next thing. One small step, pursue me. Live for me.   

Alone and face down on the carpet I stretched my spiritual muscles and offered a weak prayer. 

I sat up and opened my Bible to one of my favorite verses when the opposite page caught my eye. The word purpose jumped off the page.


“I am the Lord. I have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will hold you by your hand. I will watch over you.” Isaiah 42:6

What if the life you really want and the future God wants for you is hiding in the midst of your pain, your problems, or your worst failure? What if being bold isn’t chasing lions but pursuing God with all-out abandonment? The goal of faith is NOT the elimination of risk. 

But here’s the thing, if you choose not to risk, you’ll sacrifice your dreams and achievements; not only for yourself but for his glory. You’ll freeze any opportunity for God’s glory to work through you.  If we aren’t careful, we chase beautiful things; good things, like family, career, and ministry;  we end up trading our time with him for worldly things and it takes audaciousness to pursue him above all else.  

I pulled out my journal and began to write a declaration; a manifesto of what it means to live boldly for God. And I knew once I finished writing it, I would never go back to living the way I was before. I want the next 36 years of my life to count for his purpose. I want to live bold truths through raw faith. 

I don’t know what my younger self would’ve thought of my black mascara tears but I do think she would be proud of the declaration that is now hanging on my mirror. 

A bold woman is a warrior at heart – tempered in strength and humility.

She lives from sun up to sun down through bold truths and raw faith.

Her hands hold the world together fleshing out audacious beauty in her daily life.

A bold woman is filled with gratitude for God’s good gifts.

Her heart beats to the measure of her Creator with sacrificial devotion.

Her identity is rooted in her Savior.

She performs only for an audience of One and doesn’t seek reassurance from human opinion.

She has the power to illuminate and inspire because she lives and moves under the power of the Holy Spirit.

She is willing to battle for a worthy cause.

A bold woman lets nothing move her except the love of her God.

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