Becoming Bold {}

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.  Ephesians 6:18-20

It was the Apostle Paul who spoke these words in a letter to the Ephesians. At the time, he was in prison, chained to a guard around the clock.

Paul knows that although he is in prison, he is exactly where God intends him to be (hence: the ambassador in chains). His purpose is clear – to make known the mystery of the gospel. He asks the church to pray for him – not so he can mention the gospel in passing, or can draw a cross in the dirt, or even that he can hum a quiet hymn for comfort in hopes that someone will take the bait and initiate a conversation about the gospel with him (so he doesn’t really have to do anything that might draw unwanted attention).

No. Paul asks for prayer that he may speak. Boldly.

I am not bold.  (regardless of what I call this blog)  I am a big fat coward.

I am terrified of this blog.  I am terrified people will read it.

But I am compelled to write it.  I feel like words are my calling.  I have wanted to write since I was a child.  It was such a sacred and precious dream that I didn’t share it very often.  I was afraid then, too.

I am not anything like Paul. He is one of the godliest people to have ever roamed the Earth since Jesus. My small trials don’t compare at all to the persecution he faced.

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness–  2 Corinthians 11: 24-27

That is Paul.  That was his life after the road to Damascus.

What exactly am I afraid of?  Someone not liking what I say?  Someone judging me?  Someone mocking me?  Someone deciding they won’t be my friend anymore?

How does that compare to stripes, and being stoned and shipwrecked, and countless perils from every direction?   It doesn’t.  At all.

Paul was pretty much called to suffer for Christ.  I am called to write.  (Thank you, sweet Jesus, for that!)

Paul prayed for boldness.  I prayed for alternatives. (anything, God, anything but this.)

I am foolish!

I want to be given utterance, which I may boldly speak, as I ought to.  This is my prayer.

This blog is my place to be bold.  I am not promising life-changing prose with every new entry, or that every word will be saturated with unrelenting hell fire fueled by fearlessness.  Most likely, none of them will be.  However, I can no longer run.  If I do not use my gifts and answer my call, someone else will, and I don’t want to fail my God.

Haters gonna hate.  That is okay.  There are people out there who know how awful of a person I was, and who will refuse to believe the things I say.  There are people out there that I have hurt, who out of human nature, will try to beat me back through all the ammunition that I will be handing them here.  There will be people who judge, chastise, and mock.  All of that will hurt, but all of it is okay, because I know that I am finally doing what I need to do, and I won’t be doing it alone.

This is me, becoming bold…