Bold: One Word Update (January)

In Miscellaneous by Caris Adel6 Comments


Being bold is dangerous and vulnerable.  It’s intimidating to know that you’re choosing to walk down that path.  The one that is lined with rocks, thorns, and glass.  It actually does hurt.  Not cool Robert Frost.  Not cool Jesus.  Not cool.

Being honest and unashamed of that honesty feels like walking up to the burning bush, and instead of just admiring and questioning it, diving into the middle of it. 

I don’t want to just observe it.  I need to feel it. 

Being real and authentic isn’t taking off my shoes because it’s holy ground.  It’s taking a shovel and digging up the dirt, intent on finding the holy in the ordinary.

And it leaves me messy.  I find thorns, rocks, and glass in it.  Not cool.  It’s sweaty, tear-stained work, and then, as if to add insult to injury, I have to wash my hands and feet before I’m welcome inside. 

Sometimes being bold means burns and scars and dirt under my nails.

Sometimes affirming the humanity means affirming my own.  Sometimes it’s reminding myself that I’m not less than, I’m not unimportant, even if I don’t fit in.

Is it ironic, a paradox, that I seem to be most authentically me under a created name?  Is that ironic or is it just having healthy boundaries?

Initially I was afraid that being bold meant I was going to have to do big, scary, audacious things.

But what I’ve settled into is the quiet strength of knowing who I am.  I’m trying to be bold in who I am – accepting myself and living authentically and unashamed.

Being bold is telling myself I don’t have to feel bad about seeing the Bible differently.  I don’t need to feel apologetic for disagreeing, again, with parts of Bible study at church.

Being bold is reminding myself over and over and over again to not curl up in a ball and retreat from the world.  (Although, sometimes that’s just the answer.  If writing, listening to a Greg Boyd sermon, playing music, and reading books won’t take away the feeling, then curl up into a ball and take a nap.  <——– my day yesterday.)

But boldness reminds me that seeing the world, and seeing Jesus, through a different section of the prism doesn’t mean it’s invalid.  Doesn’t mean I’m invalid. 

Being bold is owning my thoughts, beliefs, questions, and frustrations. 


So, how else have I been bold these past few weeks? 

I saw a billboard along the highway on Christmas Eve, and it clung to me.  After deciding to be bold, I emailed them.  An uncertain email….I didn’t want to volunteer without knowing what I was getting into.  Normally, I would just brush it off as ‘oh that looks interesting.’  But boldness requires taking a step.  So, the email.  And now I’m on the committee for our local county branch, and the committee’s job?  Coming up with ideas.

I’m sorry, what?  You mean there is a place for a person who loves others, wants to welcome the stranger, learn and understand from different people, get involved with different cultures, is passionate, idealistic, and has ideas???  This is INFJ heaven you guys!!!  Boldness, +1


I’ve had a secret dream for about a year, that I haven’t told anyone about.  So I was bold, and told my husband, and his response was to check it out.  So……I emailed a seminary.  (Who hasn’t emailed me back.  I should try again.)  But, my initial response – still some of my response today – is that this is impractical, a waste of time and money, and what on earth would I do with it.  But.  This somewhat local seminary has a diploma program for people who don’t have bachelor’s degrees, and you can specialize your own program.  One of the areas of specialization is Missional Church Ministry.  (again, what in the world would I do with that???)  But.

Classes on

Missional Theology, Developing Emergent Leaders, Missiology in Church and Culture, Church in Postmodern Context, Missional Church Leadership, A Biblical Theology of Ministry to the Poor, Church Based Community Development

sound so fascinating and fun.  It’s not as online as I originally thought, so I don’t know practically how it would work.  The old me would have used those reasons to just drop it.  But boldness says check it out.  You never know. 

I joined Elora’s Story Sessions group.  It’s not that scary, but it was a move to say, I really am a writer and I want to be intentional about it.  For the same reason I joined Mandy’s The Art Journaler community, because I want to make art a bigger priority in my life.

I told a couple more people close to me about this blog.  One of whom is my pastor.  Eeeek.


It feels like most of my boldness has been internal.  I’m trying to become more accepting of who I am, and chasing after truth even if it means being the odd man out.  But I’m seeing how this internal decision is bleeding out in my external life, and it’s kind of exciting.


Linking up with a bunch of friends for OneWordUpdate – check them out!

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  • BrennaDA

    What an exciting journey, friend! Proud of you!

  • emmillerwrites

    TOTALLY COOL. I’m proud of all your bold steps, and I like who you are. (And an aside: I also dream of going to seminary. I haven’t been able to figure how that would fit into my schedule and budget, but my husband just pointed me to free seminary classes online through Covenant Theological Seminary. They also have $25 weekend courses [I’m really tempted by next weekends’s on prayer…]. None would end in a degree, but it’s that knowledge, that study at a higher level that makes me want to go to seminary anyway. Like you said, what would I really do with the degree?)

  • Ben Moore

    Love how you see something that resonates with your soul and take a step, not necessarily knowing the rest of the steps. That is boldness that God honors, even it does hurt.

  • kt_writes

    I love this—that rather than “bold” always having to be big and scary, it can look like this: “I’m trying to be bold in who I am – accepting myself and living authentically and unashamed.” A whole series of small bold steps will add up to an astoundingly bold journey!

    (Also, you made me lol with “Not cool, Robert Frost. Not cool, Jesus.” I’m so thankful you are a part of my blogging community!)

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  • Tammy Perlmutter

    This is awesome: “Being honest and unashamed of that honesty feels like walking up to the burning bush, and instead of just admiring and questioning it, diving into the middle of it.” I have felt that burn before!! I think you are brave for even posting under a different name!! I think that takes a lot of boldness. I love your mind, your courage to ask hard questions, take on the world for equality and justice. But I also know it feels lonely at times. Fitting in can feel like it’s more and more impossible. So you have to kick it to the curb and be fully you. And you are very loved.