Kelly Baker is here to share her story of regaining her boldness after a setback. Welcome, Kelly! #BeBoldGirl

Not too long ago, I morphed into a timid leader while wondering where my courage went. Once a go-getter, if someone called for a leader, I raised my hand.

At some point growing up, I overheard an adult talking about how you could tell if a kid is a leader. If some children decided to do something together, one of those kids would start organizing it without invitation, give directions, and lead the group toward the next step. The kid that achieved results is a leader.

I sat in wonder of this new piece of information. I did that. Well, I could be quite bossy. But I am a leader? Whoa.

My worth is found foremost through my relationship with a God who loves me. I will boldly serve others knowing that He is the refuge for my heart.

After that, when the opportunity arose, I stepped back to see if any of the other kids would lead. When I saw another take the unofficial role, I respected that. But if it was chaos, I couldn’t contain that drive to lead. I jumped in every time.

Sometimes it wouldn’t always be to the betterment of the group because a novice has a lot to learn. I naively thought those leadership tendencies made me a born leader and I didn’t need to grow in it. As an adult, that headiness got the better of me; I crashed and burned after leading foolishly. For example, I trained a new director only to middle-manage her decisions after that. But God helped me gain wisdom over the years and get some real experience under my belt.

Disturbing Tentativeness

So recently when I found myself second-guessing my every move, that tentativeness disturbed me. I’m no longer a novice. What happened to the bold girl that jumped at chances without looking back? I noticed it affected multiple components of my life. The fabric of my life had rips—and it frightened me. I looked for validation anywhere I could find it. I cried out to God, asking Him to show me what was going on.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 ESV

Then one day I noticed how I avoided Facebook as much as possible. I’d get on and off as fast as my fingers could fly. I read articles but gravitated away from people I knew in real life, especially dear friends that had hurt me. They appeared to go on their merry way while my heart was left reeling from their soul-crushing rejection. I began to see a connection and the source became clear: the hurt I harbored in my heart affected my boldness.

Regaining Boldness

Why would I want to put myself out there again? Walls are safer than rejection. I teach how rejection rejects, yet I remained comfortable in what I know is unhealthy. I needed to practice what I preach and forgive. The thing is, I had forgiven.

Healing is what I needed next. I know God heals so when I prayed for healing, I expected God to do it a certain way. When it didn’t happen in my assumed way, I didn’t understand. It seemed I would never get out of the ongoing cycle of tears.

But God had other plans. He led me out of my comfort zone into the honest view of my heart one night. Sitting in the darkness, He weighed in on my situation. I had replayed the hurt in my head so many times that I remained caught in a mindset of rejection. He led me to the verse that says,

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23, (NLT)

Healing came as I focused more on loving others rather than my wounded self.

Heart now soothed, God led me to take brave steps forward by putting that love into action. It was time to trust Him with putting my heart on the line again, knowing that He is really the one leading. He prompts me to open up, not that I won’t experience pain again, but recognizing my worth is found foremost through my relationship with a God who loves me. I will boldly serve others knowing that He is the refuge for my heart.

Kelly R. Baker is a Bible study teacher, writer, and mentor. She serves with her husband in leading the worship ministry at their church. You will probably find her sneaking a bite (or more) of organic dark chocolate in between wrangling her four kids. Her greatest passion is helping others seek God daily and thrive in spiritual growth. Connect with her at www.kellyrbaker.com or on Facebook.

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  • Rejection rejects. That is powerful, Kelly. Thank you for sharing part of your testimony here with us. This is an honor to be able to glean from it and know you a bit better. Love & hugs to you both.

  • Leading out of a heart of love — I see and appreciate your re-set, Kelly. I also have a tendency to second guess myself, to doubt God’s calling on my life. It helps me to love and value the women I serve so that I don’t become over-focused on tasks and lose sight of hearts.
    Blessings to you, Rachel and Kelly! May your celebration of Advent be full of joy and peace.

  • Knowing our true worth allows us to put out hearts on the line and serve boldly! YES! Such an encouraging post, Kelly! Thanks for sharing her words here, Rachel! Blessings to you both!

    • Hi, Liz! I think it goes back to who we are in Christ. Leaders, imperfect as we are, must start with that foundation. Blessings to you as well!

  • Kelly,

    What a great post on leadership. I love the verse – “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23, (NLT)”

    Yikes, I am reflecting on my journey as a leader. One does go through some twists and turns learning all the way. I had to laugh about the micromanaging (I’ve done that too) then I have swung the other way with hands off, and that wasn’t much better.

    The stories people could probably tell. Hopefully, they have hearts for forgiveness. We are all just works in progress that need to be led by God.

  • Dear Kelly and Rachel, God knew what my heart needed to hear this morning! Our small school is in the midst of some big changes. I yo-yo between stepping up and stepping back. Your post helped me to realize I’ve been putting way too much stock in erratic leadership at the top, instead of trusting the Lord. Your whispered prayers for wisdom, discernment, and boldness would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for candidly sharing your hearts today!

    • Hi, Alice. I’m glad my story helped you. Seasons like this aren’t easy to walk through, but I’m grateful that God walks with us. Praying for you and the situation with the school. God will show you what to do. Be blessed and have a great week!

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