Last year, my friend Catrina Welch shared her #BeBoldGirl story of how heart-break and loss helped her find her bold, confident voice. Today, Catrina returns to share the next steps in her journey to maturity. Welcome back, Catrina.
Some women are strong and naturally bold; their journey to maturity includes becoming more sensitive. Others, like me, are sensitive and by nature far less bold; our journey to maturity involves finding courage.
In the years of helping women dress according to their personal image identity (or Img.ID), it has become obvious to me that we must first understand our authentic clothing personality–there are six of them. Three of them are strong, while the other three are sensitive. While many of us are a combination of two styles (being both strong and sensitive) none of us really mature until we discover our true nature.
To be bold, we must know who we are
If you are uncertain whether you are strong or sensitive, consider how you handle Confidence Conflicts, especially confrontations.
Or raise a rebellious teenager.
When my first child became a teen, I was still a timid woman. By then I was leading a vibrant women’s ministry, so, sure, I had found my voice, but I was far from bold when being confronted or mistreated. If I had words then, they were only, “I’m sorry.” This presented a problem when it was my own child who was throwing his anger at me.
It really wasn’t my boy’s character, and I didn’t know drugs were involved, so the sudden aggression wasn’t something I was prepared for. In fact, learning how to navigate the turmoil that comes with addiction was a long process of various emotions: denial, desperation, anger, disbelief, depression, hope, impatience…
Like dressing true to your personality, I could not figure out how to be bold until I understood myself.
To be bold, we must overcome fear
My son’s aggressive behavior scared me, and he knew it. While my fear brought out a number of emotions in me, it always empowered him. After his graduation, he moved in and out of the house a number of times and with each attempt to help him on his journey to healthy maturity, I found a bit more courage for my own.
The turning point for both of us came after an extremely difficult season of silence. During that time, I had to “lay my Isaac down” and trust God with my son’s life. As much as I wanted to force and fix things, I had to relinquish control and allow him to live his own life. Because of the danger he was in, my fear was fierce. I could lose him. I could lose his love.
To be bold we must let go
My heart grieved as I let go of my role as his mommy–he was now a grown man. I may have failed in some areas of raising him, but I couldn’t live with the guilt anymore. Regret gives no power except the strength to seek forgiveness or the authority to destroy.
I chose grace. This took believing that God would use my mistakes as goads in my son’s character just as he was using my pain to mature me. God loves each of us and He promises to complete the work that He begins in us (Philippians 1:6)
It wasn’t long after my son got clean and our relationship was restored that he turned back to his habit. The day I had to confront him was the day things turned around for us. He immediately went into his angry technique of casting his shame onto me, but this time I didn’t feed into his guilt-filled manipulations and become fearful. Instead I held up my hand and calmly stated, “this doesn’t work anymore.”
I think his jaw literally dropped.
As he stood there baffled, I grabbed my opportunity to assure him that I now trust God for his life and release him to make his own choices and live his own life. He was now responsible for himself and he would pay his own consequences. I told him I would love him no matter what the outcome, but I believed he would figure this out and live righteously.
It’s been a several years since that day, and wish I could tell you we have both reached full maturity, but I can not. I can tell you, though, that with each rising conflict my confidence rises with boldness and I see his beginning to do the same.
To be bold we must be strong and sensitive
If you are struggling to be bold in a scary situation, I encourage you to trust in God’s faithfulness. Nothing is too difficult for Him. While it remains ugly, seek to understand yourself. If you are strong, let Him use this to make you boldly sensitive. If you are sensitive, let Him use this to make you stronger.
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Psalms 56:11 (NKJV)
If you would like to learn more about overcoming Confidence Conflicts, or to discover your Image Identity, including What2Wear, please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
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Linking up with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup
I truly understand this. My family was met by the actions of a niece, my mother took custody of two children, rather than see them go to foster care. So I always encourage people to do this if they can. Although I have to be honest dealing with the children can be a challenge because of their lifestyle and learned behavior, settling into a normal home is hard for the ones traumatized, or with ADHD or autism. Yet, the need for Christian parents and the love of Jesus is overwhelming. The demonic drug specter is a source of fear and the danger is real. I believe love is the only thing stronger than fear, and not even mother love, but His. In Ezekiel 18:20, parents are not responsible for children’s actions. People are quick to judge, but the truth is He knows. Mother has had these children two years and there are moments, especially in public, you’d think they’d never been told anything. Trusting God with them is all anyone can do. Don’t let the devil lie and guilt you into shame, this gives you a powerful testimony.
I appreciate your validation and encouragement. Addiction does create a lonely feeling of shame and judgment for all involved. I completely agree that love–with all it’s attributes–is the answer. Perfect love casts out all fear.