She Stands... Bold - Sheree Minturn
I want you to think about a feeling that’s familiar to us all, one that causes our palms to sweat, our hearts to race, butterflies in our stomachs, nausea and shaking. Can you picture a moment, or several moments, or possibly every day where you are or were faced with that feeling? That feeling of fear? I do. I remember a time back in 1980 and I had just turned 12 years old, the same age as my daughter Summer is now. Except I was still in Year 6 and was about to finish primary school and start the scary new world of high school away from all my friend’s who were off to the local public high while I was enrolled in a new private school out of the local area where I knew no-one. Fun times.
But before I started that journey, I was faced with an opportunity that to this day still bothers/annoys/inspires me because it was my first introduction to the wonderfully messy world of regret. You see, at my little country primary school in Ebenezer where I grew up, at the end of every school year and before the coveted 6 week summer school holidays kicked in, our school held an event called the Christmas Tree. This was a community event where we brought candles and blankets and nibblies and got to wear our normal clothes and run around our school at night with our friends - it was all very exciting! But my Year 6 Christmas Tree event was different because I had been asked to perform a singing solo in one of the carol items. Our whole local community attended this event, which was possibly only a few hundred people, but as far as I was concerned, it may as well have been 50,000 people I would perform in front of.
So after some agonising days I said ‘no’ to the opportunity to sing a solo. But that decision didn’t sit well with me. The night arrived for our Christmas Tree event, and as our little primary school jubilantly sang on stage ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ and Verse 2’s line of ‘Sing choirs of angels’ started, (my solo verse), I still remember that feeling of disappointment in the pit of my stomach. I let myself down. This would of been such an awesome way to finish up my last time ever in my primary school and I let the fear of something, well, nothing, stop me from a great opportunity that pretty well scarred (not scared) me for life. I mean, come on, I still remember what song and verse it was - scarred!!! And even though that moment haunted me, it was a pivotal point to begin to teach myself to stop saying no to opportunities because of fear. Even just 3 years later I said yes to a solo part in a school performance. I still had all the awful side affects of fear but none of the regret.
You see, being bold is not being without fear, it’s doing something despite the fear. The dictionary says that being bold is ‘necessitating courage’, which means making yourself be courageous. I’ve spent my life doing stuff despite the fear. Public speaking/performance was the biggest fear of my life and yet God put me into a ministry career where that happens on a regular basis. Yep, thanks for that God! Sometimes I can get up on that stage at Coastside Church and my legs are shaking. People think I’m so confident but I am fully peaking out! Yep, even last weekend when I spoke at our Shine Sisterhood event, the drive in was a full pep-talk in my head, convincing myself I could do this and saying ‘God, you’d better come through’, hahaha! But that’s my reality. And my 12 year old self reminds me that the taste of regret is more bitter than the taste of fear.
Being bold is a choice. It’s necessitating courage. It’s not missing an opportunity because of what ‘might’ happen. It’s being in control of your soul. Ouch. Being in control of your soul is deciding to do something despite the awful feelings that the liar fear whispers or shouts at you. Every great example of the Bible required a man or a woman to be bold, despite what fear was telling them. Esther broke a rule that carried the penalty of death so she could save her people. Daniel sat in a den of lions overnight trusting God to keep their mouths shut. David faced the invincible giant Goliath with a couple of stones and a sling because he was too little to wear the armour given to him. Each one of these necessitated boldness, despite the consequence.
Being bold is a decision despite a feeling or a thought. For you it might mean pursuing a dream or a career that has never been realised because of the fear of loss of finances. Maybe it’s keeping your virginity and integrity and waiting for God’s chosen partner despite the fear of being left on the shelf. It could be learning to say yes to opportunities and doing things scared, or even terrified! Proverbs 28:1 says - ‘The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion’. Don’t waste your life fleeing things with no-one or nothing pursuing you. Get your roar on! Do it scared! Boldness isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision. Don’t let life pass you by and live with the aftertaste of regret. This is your life, live it! Don’t die until you are dead - I’ve always loved that saying. Believe for better things for yourself, and believe that God has purposed you for those things. Then go and necessitate some boldness and make your mark on your world. The world is waiting for you.
(Your necessitating courage pastor who will always champion you on)