My friend Lauren Gaskill is here today to share her #BeBoldGirl story. What leap of faith is God calling you to take today?
The rest of the room kept their heads bowed in prayer, but I couldn’t stay still any longer. I unclasped my hands to grab the tiny purple wooden block on the table in front of me, and on it, I wrote one word: speak.
Just a few minutes before, Jennie Allen closed out the 2016 IF:Gathering with one simple question: What’s I the one thing God is calling you to do right now?
The house lights dimmed as the livestream ended, and it wasn’t long before the Holy Spirit began to stir in my heart.
For months I had prayed for guidance and direction, but God remained silent. Even after being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder in October 2015, I could not feel Him near.
I desperately needed a fresh word from God. I needed to be reminded that my life had meaning and purpose. I needed Him to breathe life into my dry bones. I needed Him to meet me, and meet me He did on that morning.
Suddenly, God’s call on my life was clear. And though the voice wasn’t audible, I could almost hear Him say:
My dearest daughter. I know you are suffering, but I promise I will make beauty out of these ashes. You are not alone in this. I am with you, and I have a path for you — not just to write, but also to speak — to help others experience a faith that is alive and strong enough to thrive no matter what happens in life.
When I was in high school and college, I knew I’d graduate. When I fell in love with my high school sweetheart, I knew we’d eventually marry. When I wrote my first manuscript, I knew I was born to be a writer. But up until this moment, I didn’t know why. Now I knew what I had to do. But answering the call didn’t come without great sacrifice, discomfort and risk.
Stepping out in faith requires boldness, steadfastness and a posture of surrender.
The first step of faith God had me take was to tell my fellow sisters in Christ about my “one word.” No problem, God. Piece of cake, I thought to myself. But then the steps got harder.
A few months later, God called me to launch a podcast to act on the speaking portion of the ministry He had called me to. (Just in case you’re wondering, launching a podcast is not a piece of cake. It is, however, the perfect opportunity to eat copious amounts of cake, as you spend most of your nights leading up to the launch dealing with tech issues.)
The cherry on top of the cake came in October 2016 when, just one week after my new website launch and eight months after the IF:Gathering, God called me to create and host a live event. And you know what happened? By God’s grace, amazing things happened. One hundred and thirty women showed up to be encouraged and strengthened in their faith. The journey to get to that point wasn’t always easy, but with every step I took, my faith and ability to be bold grew.
When it’s time to take a leap of faith, there are two choices we can make. We can question God’s leading, or, we can strap ourselves into His provision and lean on Him to help us on the journey.
As I sit here writing this post, I can tell you that strapping in is always the best choice — even when we don’t know where the road leads. But strapping in also requires boldness.
Over the past year, God has tested my faith in the most challenging and beautiful ways. But know this, dear sister: My boldness is not my own. I could never be bold if God wasn’t by my side every step of the way, helping me take each leap of faith He puts in front of me.
Boldness doesn’t come from within. Boldness comes from God — the only One who can breathe life into dry bones and set weary hearts on fire once again.
When our hope and confidence rests in Him, our hearts become filled with a holy courage. Suddenly, we can do what once seemed impossible. We can become the brave and fearless women we were created to be. And we can be bold because we know that God’s Word is true when it says He will provide our every need (Philippians 4:19).
About the author: Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast. She is in the process of publishing her first non-fiction inspirational book. When she’s not writing, Lauren loves to cook, bake and go on hikes with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who is affectionately named Reese after Lauren’s favorite candy — peanut butter cups. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.