I was one of the shyest people I have ever known. I was also afraid. Quite the combination. I was so shy as a child that I was petrified when I won the national French contest because I would have to walk down the aisle to get my award with a large audience all around me. I did not want to be noticed. I did not want to be seen. I used to wave my pony tail in the air at competitive tennis tournaments when I wanted my parents to walk away so they couldn’t watch me. The day I finished my very first can of beer, I discovered the number one way to make all the shy and fear go away. I spent four years at an Ivy League university drinking away my shy and fear and hurts and memories of all I wanted forgotten. I drank my way straight out of shy and right into a boldness beyond imagination. Bold in all the wrong ways.
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For years afterward, even after I became sober, I stayed bold. But my bold sober was anything and everything but godly. How could it be godly? I did not know Him. I boldly took a baseball bat to the world with a fiery temper, an arrogant attitude, a judgmental spirit, a condemning nature, while all along inside my core I was lost and broken, terrified and hurting, wounded and alone, just as scared underneath it all as ever. But shy I was not. I was boldly living a life of sin and debauchery, of almost anything wrong I could get my hands and heart on.
And I tumbled down, ever down, into the downward spiral of all that leads to hell on earth – and hell for eternity. When I called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved, I merely believed. I did not follow Him. I did not get into the Bible and into the Body of Christ, and most importantly I did not get into a rock solid relationship with the Lord God almighty through my new found faith in Him. I stayed bold.
Boldly clutching onto my selfishness and healthy plethora of sins with all my might. But the more broken I became within, the more the ways of this world stopped working for me. And the Lord, in His loving way, allowed my circumstances to take a sledgehammer to my hardened heart and my ever bold, sinful ways. And I broke like I never had broken before. I was stripped of almost all I had held onto until I discovered that even though I had at last started studying the Bible and found myself in the Body of Christ and in a church, I had no personal, intimate relationship with the Lord. My relationship was with Christianity, but not with God Himself. This all changed.
At last, in pain indescribable, I grabbed on for dear life to the Lord, to the Bible, and committed myself to learn to live according to His ways. I became a genuine follower of Christ. And when in retrospect I might have expected that the shy might return, it did not. I discovered amid the rubble of all that I had to let go lay a treasure I would have never even guessed could possibly exist in the wreckage of how I had lived my life thus far. Bold.
I had decades of practice being bold – in all the wrong ways, for all the wrong reasons. But God took a hold of the bold in me, purged from the bold the junk that had stuck to it and tried to suck the life out of it, and taught me that bold can be a blessing. Bold can be a gift. Bold can be infinitely useful when placed in the hands of the Lord. Bold is now a blessing in my life because I am bold for the Lord. This once broken woman is broken no longer.
He has transformed my heart and life and given me such a love and passion for Him that I have become bold in loving and serving the Lord, bold in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world all around, bold in giving my life utterly to Him, bold in living for Him, bold in telling the world about Him, bold in teaching the Word of God, bold in the daily life I live for Him. Do I sometimes resort to shy? Not often, though on occasion.
Do I sometimes resort to the old bold? Yes, I confess. But then I repent. And I remember that bold is not to be used for the ways of this world. Bold is not for sin. Bold is for the Lord. Goodbye shy, hello bold for God. And may He get every ounce of glory for how He has transformed the life He has given me, and every ounce of glory for all that He does through me. For I am bold. Bold for the Lord!