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.