HomedotMagisDiscernmentInvitation to Be Bold

Invitation to Be Bold

letter tiles spelling out "bold" - photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

In January 2023, the Lord invited me to hope. At the time, I faced a long journey ahead of rebuilding myself, body and soul, so I was a little afraid to hope. I did not want to be surprised again by challenges I didn’t anticipate. I did not want to feel my hope wasn’t enough. Still, that was the invitation the Lord had for me, and the Lord does not often take no for an answer. So I took a chance, and I hoped. I hoped for a stronger body. I hoped for new opportunities for myself and my family. I hoped for happiness just around the corner.

Last year was a year full of ups and downs for everyone across the globe. It was more challenging for humanity than I could have imagined. But despite the challenges, God continued to show me a way forward. The Lord continued, day after day, to give me a reason for my hope.

Now, as we enter 2024, I feel the Lord calling me once again to something new. This time, instead of one word, I feel the invitation to a phrase. It was definitely not one I chose myself, and I have a bit of apprehension about it. Still, once again, the Lord is not taking no for an answer from me. Over and over again, I have heard this phrase in my prayer and seen this phrase come in other forms as well.

For 2024, the Lord has invited me to be bold.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was texting with a group of friends, and I admitted that in certain situations I am quite bold, but in others, I’m like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. There is actually quite a bit of comfort in being the Cowardly Lion. There is quite a bit of discomfort in being bold instead.

My experience using the tools of Ignatian discernment has taught me that God will often invite me to things that will make me uncomfortable. The Lord will often invite me to things to which I do not feel ready to say yes. But I have learned that saying yes to the Lord’s invitations will lead me somewhere greater than I could have imagined.

I believe wholeheartedly it will do the same for you as well. So, as we begin this year together, I wrote us a prayer to help us say yes to the Lord’s invitations. God may be inviting us to say yes, but that does not preclude us from asking for what we need in order to do just that.

Fill in the prayer’s blanks with whatever personal invitation the Lord has for you. Pray this prayer as many times as you need, and let it help you say yes again and again. I will be doing the same.

Prayer to Accept the Invitation

Lord, I feel you inviting me to _______ this year.

But I have some questions first:

  • What if I’m too afraid to answer this particular call?
  • What if my humanity gets the best of me, and I answer your call in a way that serves me over others?
  • What if this call invites me to sacrifice something I am not ready to let go of?

Lord, I feel you inviting me to _______ this year.

But I am going to need a little help:

  • Help me to let go of my fear and lean into the desire to grow closer to whom you’ve created me to be.
  • Help reorient me to my foundation when I get off-track: that you love me as I am, imperfect humanity and all.
  • Help me remember that everything I have sacrificed for you has led me to something greater than I could have imagined.

Lord, I feel you inviting me to _______ this year,
and where you lead me, I intend to go,
so let us begin.


Photo by Alex Shute (https://faithgiant.com/) on Unsplash.

Gretchen Crowder
Gretchen Crowderhttps://gretchencrowder.com/
Gretchen Crowder has served as a campus minister and Ignatian educator for the Jesuit Dallas community for the last 15 years. She is also a freelance writer and speaker and is the host of Loved As You Are: An Ignatian Podcast. She has a B.S. in mathematics and a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame as well as an M.T.S. from the University of Dallas. She resides in Dallas, TX, with her husband, three boys, and an ever-growing number of pets.


  1. Gretchen, thank you for your inviting post. I sid your prayer and every time I heard “TRUST”. My husband of 65 years is on hospice and I feel frantic and helpless. I don’t want to lose him even as I experience his diminishment.
    Lord, I trust in you.
    Hoping the words make it so.
    Blessings for you in this new year.

  2. Gretchen, Thanks for your post. I am struggling with the recent death of my husband (after 57 years of marriage.) It is difficult to have hope at that point in life. Your words are encouraging.

  3. I think we might all be a bit like the Cowardly Lion sometimes but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a lot to admire in him. It takes courage to admit our weaknesses, ask for help, face up our fears and step into the unknown. When he does this the Lion finds he had that boldness within himself all along, he just had to look. He then becomes a source of inspiration to others. Quite a role model! I struggle with self confidence but it helps to remember that I have Jesus within me, my source of inner strength and boldness, holding onto me. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9) Thank you Gretchen for this very helpful post.


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