I am excited to introduce you to my April 2019 “Bold, Brave, Catholic” writer. Stacie Yocum is a proud Navy wife, and mother to three children. She blogs at Anchored Saints, and is on a mission to provide faith-based support to other Catholic military women, through sharing her own story, her own insights, and her own experiences on living faithfully as a military wife, mother, and daughter of God.
St. Pope John Paul II’s motto, “Be not afraid.” is always at the forefront of my mind every time I proclaim my Catholic Faith out into the world. Boldness and Braveness is embraced in our culture in many different ways, but to a Catholic it means to not be afraid of stepping out of that comfort zone. It is getting out of your warm, cozy car to give money to someone holding a sign for help and looking in their eyes and saying, “God bless you.” Being bold means saying the prayer before meals at a restaurant and not being timid about making the sign of the cross. Living our Catholic Faith with courage, loudly and boldly in the world, might get us a glimpse into Heaven.
I have not always been that person! I have always loved my Catholic faith but I thought I knew everything I needed to know once I had been confirmed. I was that lukewarm Catholic going through the motions but not really “getting” it! God must have known that my time would come to be on fire for my faith, lukewarm no more. The more I learn, the more I can’t stop talking about it and the more I want to learn! People are missing out on the best life ever because of fear and I don’t want that to be me. The hardest part is turning your life over to God and his plan, not mine. Military life doesn’t make this any easier! Out on the mowing tractor one day I was listening to a Fr. John Riccardo podcast. It was like he was talking directly to me. He was saying how everyday we have to literally tell God, “I will do your will today, not my own.” It is something that has to be proclaimed every day with all of your being or defeat is in your future. I have the utmost respect for the people that aren’t afraid to live out their faith. The parents that do a family Rosary, pray together, defy cultural norms? Now, that’s brave!
Being Catholic and unashamed forces us to be bold and brave. We have to draw people in by the mere fact that they can see Jesus in us and want what we have. Starting a blog for Catholic Navy Spouses has been my biggest leap. Every time I sat down with the word of God, whether it was daily mass readings or a book by a great Catholic writer, or even a book my friend literally handed to me and said, “Read this!” the signs became clearer that I needed to share my faith. I know that there are spouses struggling and if I can say one thing to lead them closer to God then the Holy Spirit has done his job through me. I just can’t contain myself any more, I don’t want to be lukewarm, I want to trust God and live my life according to the doctrines of this beautiful and magnificent church started by Jesus himself.
Anyone can be bold and brave, you just cannot be afraid to do it. Be a light in the darkness! We have so much to encourage us at our fingertips. Get to know your faith, study, spend time with Jesus, pray the Rosary, just do the things that Jesus tells us to do! Be around like minded people that can encourage you. If this sounds too overwhelming, as Dynamic Catholic author, Matthew Kelly asserts, start small by just doing the “next right thing.” Dust off that Bible and open it up and start reading the Gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Don’t be afraid to put your Bible on the coffee table in the living room. A faith journey truly means you have to go somewhere. Be brave, be bold in your Catholic faith, most of all don’t be afraid to live it!