Boldness is brilliant and requires more bravery than I possessed a year ago. Oftentimes it requires loving bluntness, yet every time I have chosen boldness it has produced a blissful and beautiful moment in my life, one of which occurred on Monday.
Begging my attention for much of this semester has been an internal wrestling with God on his existence, on what church should look like, and on my own relationship to the two of them. One of my greatest questions has been: What do you do when you suddenly feel a stranger in the church you once called home?
Broken by the thought of leaving the people I’ve called family, bent on not repeating the cycle of “church hopping” I experienced growing up, and bitter at myself for not doing anything about my inner turmoil, I chose a moment of boldness. I reached out to the person I most wanted to speak to and yet was most terrified of having this conversation with: My dad. This fear had little ground considering I have a close relationship with my father, had many deep conversations with him in the past, and am secure in his unconditional love for me. My fear was rooted in concern of offending, disrespecting, or being misunderstood by one of the men I love most in this world. How was I to ask him why he resisted most churches we went to? How was I to look my sweet, loving father in the eye and say, “I know what you don’t believe about God and the Bible, but I would love to know what you do believe, what excites you about God, what gets you as fired up in your faith as you get in coaching.” It is done lovingly, patiently, genuinely, I learned. It is done boldly.
Beckoning my attention to the point I could no longer ignore them, these questions previously left silent were verbalized in a moment of bold encounter with my father. Fears set aside, boldness and vulnerability made a reality in a moment of chosen courage, a beautiful and blissful four hour conversation ensued. Words spoken broke chains off my heart, exposed unspoken realities of my past, and enlightened me on my father’s own relationship with the Lord. Past the life-giving words spoken, I walked away with another understanding: Truth can bring healing, and for me, the gateway to exposing, exploring, and embracing that truth is boldness.