It is always fun to welcome new friends to the #BeBoldGirl series. Today, I want to introduce you to Jenny Connell, who shares her bold story of being honest. Welcome, Jenny!
Fear was looming behind my chair as sweat pooled on my neck, and tremors shook my hands.
They were coming around the circle again, and I was up next. The topic was shame. I knew this theme well.
It would soon be my turn to share.
In the sharing, I would be reliving rejection.
In the sharing, I would be revealing regret.
In the sharing, I would be scorning my sin.
I wasn’t prepared to share the dark, intimate pieces.
The Holy Spirit told me, “In the sharing, you will shine light on Me.”
God didn’t want His part of my secret story hidden anymore.
“You are the light of the World. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 AMP
When we open a cabinet that has no light, we illuminate all the contents and corners with the turn of the knob.
I was being asked to turn the knob.
He was saying,
“Let GRACE bring beauty to the hidden nooks of your heart.”
The story of Esther illustrates my thoughts perfectly.
In Esther’s story, Mordecai, her uncle, uncovers a plot to kill her people, the Jews. As queen, Esther must risk her life by appealing to King Xerxes for the lives of this nation. Mordecai says to Esther,
“who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NLT
While speaking to the King, she would have to be honest and reveal that she was a Jew. He didn’t know her heritage. On entering the King’s presence without permission, she was risking death.
He called you for such a time as this.
He placed you in this community of readers for a reason, too.
What are you willing to risk for Jesus?
I wasn’t risking death. Just dreaded rejection.
We want to tell about Jesus’ limitless love, but sometimes shame stops us.
Being bold means scorning the shame and shouldering your cross.
Being bold means…
Acting in the belief that God’s plan for your story is limitless.
“But perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18 ESV
I needed to tell My.Best.Kept.Secret and how dramatically He transformed me.
We shouldn’t limit our testimonies to what we are comfortable with sharing.
Jesus no longer wanted me, to be…
fixed to fear, immobile in shame.
He wanted me to finish strong the race He began for me on the cross.
“Looking to (trusting) Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising (scorning) the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 ESV (mine)
He said, “Jenny, it’s not your shame anymore, it’s mine. I carried it for you. Share the raw honesty of your past so that others can walk in My freedom.”
I realized if I told the easy story of my past, the glossed-over version, I was denying the extent of His power. I was squashing others’ chance at freedom.
Unlocking the memories of the past sets others free in the present.
I wanted them “to comprehend how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of God.” Ephesians 3:18 AMP
So, I shared.
In the sharing, two other women had the courage to tell their story and shed their shame.
In the sharing, acceptance and compassion was embraced.
In the sharing, freedom was multiplied.
My story shared equaled multiple souls being set free that day. The ripple effect is ongoing.
And I will share here, again… boldly.
Hi, I’m Jenny.
I am not who I once was…addicted and depressed.
I am alive, at this moment, because of His mercy and might.
I am a mother.
I am a wife.
I am a Bible teacher.
I am God’s daughter.
His limitless power set me free!
You can be bold too, just call on Him.
Be bold, be honest with Jesus.
In the sharing, you will showcase His Glory.
He is your Best Kept Secret! Share Him!
Jenny Connell is a school teacher that finds her mission field at home with her daughter and husband or online with women just like you. She writes for other moms at Heart Conditioning and is the hub leader for Women’s ministry at her church. She has a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Masters in Education from the University of South Alabama. You can find her most weekends volunteering for the Coastal Kids Children’s Ministry. Connect with Jenny on her blog, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
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Linking up with Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Abby McDonald at #RaRaLinkup
Thank you, Jenny, for your wonderful words of courage. It’s true when we share only our “cleaned up” testimony, we are robbing our stories of power. I’ve found that when I share my weaknesses, people are always encouraged more. something about knowing we’re not alone is so freeing!
Yes, Betsy we are never alone! Thank you!
Jenny, I so admire you! How obedient and serving of you to hearken to God’s leading. I pray your boldness is blessing you as much as it is others.
Alice, thank you so much! Don’t admire me! It’s all God!
Jenny, what a beautiful post. Yes, the enemy would like nothing more than for us to bury our stories in shame so that others can’t see the mighty work God has done in us. I love that you are setting others free with the truth. So good to see you here. Thank you, Rachel, and what a fantastic series!
Hi Abby! Thank you. And yes Satan would. He tells lies like why would someone listen to you, look at your past. And, I say it’s because of my past and being set free that I will obey. It’s not my job to get them to listen. I was only told to share. Thank you for stopping by Friend!!!
Honesty is so freeing but it is so difficult to take that first step. The shame and fear of others’ opinion keep us locked up. That is so awesome that you helped other women find their freedom!
Sarah, not me the Holy Spirit. If it were up to me I would have kept pretending that my past never happened. But… Jesus wouldn’t let me forget all that He has done for me and when I want to ignore it, His love pours out. When I began to believe I was loved, I stopped caring what other thought so much. It’s not my concern what other people think of me.
I love this, Jenny! It made me think of Salt and Light by Lauren Daigle! I love that He writes our stories –and redeems them!
Karrilee, that song perfectly describes this! Love Lauren Daigle. Thank you!
“Unlocking the memories of the past sets others free in the present.” Powerful and so true, Jenny! When God allows darkness in our lives, His plan will always be greater and sometimes that plan is revealed when we boldly share those dark moments with others. Thanks Jenny and Rachel for sharing Jenny with all of us!
Jill, I’m so thankful God’s plan superceeded my sin! Thank you for your kind comment. Even when I rebelled He never let me go!
[…] The Best Kept Secret: When Being Bold is Being Honest […]
Just the title….wow! I know the feeling and thoughts and the freedom of exposing shame to Christ’s transforming light…but I had never quite thought of honesty about our stories as boldness. Thank you for sharing, this frames something really important for me today.
Bethany, I realized I was deceiving myself when I didn’t share all of me with my group of ladies. They needed to know all that God has brought me through to experience the truth of what He could do in their lives. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I’m so glad it has helped to frame this in your mind today.
Love this, Jenny! There is such power in our stories and yes, they give others the freedom to share theirs. I’ve had a few of those “circle” moments in my life, and it’s amazing what happens when we are willing to share our vulnerabilities and invite others in. Thank you for bringing us these words today, Rachel! Great to meet you here, Jenny.
I’m re-launching my blog today and you’re both welcome and invited to come on over and join the celebration. So glad that I visited today from #testimonytuesday.
Thanks for visiting, Tiffany. I will certainly visit your re-launched blog.
Tiffany thank you. Sometimes being obedient is hard. In that circle moment I felt dread. Now, I feel such peace and it gets easier and easier to share. I would love to come visit your blog. What is your blog’ s URL?