I’m so pleased to introduce you to my friend, Marlene Lawson, today. I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Marlene and she is one of the funniest and most sincere people I know. I hope you enjoy her bold story of fearless freedom. #BeBoldGirl
Bold is described in various dictionaries as not being fearful or hesitating but courageous and daring. In the 1960’s I was not old enough to appreciate the bold statement that many women across the country made as they burned their bras, taking a stand against injustice and inequality, but as an adult I understand the fearless daring it took to do so, especially at that time in history. I also understand the practical feeling of freedom and “ahhhhhhh” that comes from “letting the girls loose.”
My spiritual journey has been one of struggle from rules to relationship, from the anxiety of unrealistic expectations, the fear of failure and what I could not control to fearless freedom. From being timid and insecure to … you guessed it … BOLD!
Being controlled for so many years by fear and insecurity, I allowed the pressure I felt of unrealistic expectations from culture, family, and the church, to define what I thought a godly woman was supposed to be. As a preacher’s daughter, I felt the subtle demand to be perfect.
Everyone seemed to have an opinion of what a “good girl” was supposed to look like, act like, and do with her life. You know the stereotype.
Conservatively dressed, soft spoken, always says the right thing at the right time. She plays the piano and sings, marries a perfect man and has 3 perfect children, keeps a perfectly clean house 24/7, leads Bible studies, serves in the nursery, visits shut-ins, can quote scripture like it was a recipe and never, and I mean NEVER, raises her voice.
You may find this hard to believe but I have just described my mother, the perfect pastor’s wife. I was sure that if you looked up the Proverbs 31 woman in a Bible dictionary you would find a picture of my mom. Are you getting the idea?
It just wasn’t ME! As a result, growing up I was timid and very insecure. Getting up in front at church or in front of a group was torture yet I was expected to be a leader and to fit the “preacher’s daughter” stereotype. It has been a loooooong journey to freedom and if I can share just one thing with you on your journey it is this:
God’s Truth brings freedom, and true freedom will give you the courage to be BOLD! To be the unique you God created you to be.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)
For me, to be bold means setting aside my fears of rejection and judgment and simply being who God created and saved me to be.
What a huge relief to realize it was really OK to be ME.
A bit outside of the box and definitely marching to a beat of a different drummer than, say, my Mother did. God loves me! Unconditionally! Outrageous outfits, not-so-quiet personality, off beat sense of humor, crazy family and all and that truth, my dear girlfriend, gives me passion, purpose and the confidence and courage to be bold on my journey and comfortable in the skin God gave me. I am even in ministry speaking in front of hundreds of women. Talk about ironic and, frankly, miraculous!
So, no, you don’t have to burn your bra to be bold, but next time you do let the girls loose, let that “ahhhhh” moment remind you to let go of the fear and restraints that keep you from being who our sovereign, creative, all wise, loving God created only you to be. Unique and beautiful. Living boldly for Jesus in fearless freedom! Get in to His Word and discover the truth of His unconditional, extravagant love for you and begin to live boldly in who you are in Christ!
Meet Marlene Lawson
Marlene Lawson is a trained Biblical Counselor, certified Christian Life Coach and Author of The 1st Peter 3 Girls: Sisterhood of Tragedy, Triumph, and God’s Amazing Grace and Does This Outfit Make Me Look Fat? Real Women. Real Life. Real Faith. With over 33 years of ministry experience she presently serves as Ministry Network Director for CityLinC Ministries in Battle Creek, Michigan and is a regular speaker for women’s events across the country. A wife of 37 years, mom, and grandma, Marlene brings her own unique brand of humor to her presentations and feels her ministry is to challenge, encourage, and assist women in becoming all that Christ created and saved them to be. Connect with Marlene on her website, on Facebook and Twitter and to purchase her latest book Does This Outfit Make Me Look Fat? Real Women. Real Life. Real Faith.
Amen! What a relief it is knowing that God came to give us freedom. True freedom comes from being in HIS word and letting that be our guide rather than the world’s standards. Wow, that IS freeing! Thanks for sharing this, Rachel and Marlene.
Yes! I DO think this is one area that is improving in our churches — allowing people to follow hard after God without having to conform to a certain image. How freeing is that? Thanks so much for your testimony and these wise words!