I am excited to feature Julia Miller from Fresh Rosary for this month’s edition of Bold, Brave, Catholic. I first met Julia via the Catholics Online directory, which offers a way for those seeking, to find Catholic artisans, artists, writers, bloggers, speakers, and more! If you are interested in supporting Catholic businesses, don’t forget to check out their website right here. Julia gifted me with a fresh decade Rosary for the Coast-to-Coast Rosary last October, and she and I paired up to spread the news of her Memorial Day Rosary Novena for the Holy Military Souls in Purgatory. You can still access a copy of this particular Novena by clicking the image on the sidebar of this page. I will let Julia’s biography speak for itself, along with the military connection she writes about so eloquently over on her Fresh Rosary website. And, I will let her thoughts on “Bold, Brave, Catholic,” and what she considers “divine appointments,” speak for themselves below.
A few days ago, police escorted a Catholic mom out of a public library in Renton, Washington, where drag queens were “edu-taining” tweens and teens, and liberally handing out condoms, lube, dental dams, and “safe-sex” info on penis-shaped bookmarks. The story and video are on TheBlaze.com. This mom frequently visits representatives at the State Capitol, fighting for parental rights and other critical matters. And she homeschools.
I know her. On church grounds she’s sweet, pleasant, calm, a bit mousey even. But she’s a brave, bold defender of all that is good and holy. I’m not that kind of brave.
Another friend owns a Catholic bookstore in Tacoma. She a rosary-praying, 40-Days-for-Life, daily Mass attending, adorer of Jesus in the Eucharist, and she can hold her own in any political, or religious — or blend of the two – conversation imaginable. Online or offline. She’s been bold for God and Country as long as I’ve known her, about 25 years.
She wears, and offers for sale, a red ball cap embroidered with the slogan, “Pro-Life MAGA Catholic.” I love it on her, but won’t wear one in liberal Western Washington, for fear of violence against my person or property. I also don’t engage in her passionate discussions on Facebook, but sometimes quietly offer information via private message. Because I’m not that kind of bold.
Brave. Bold. Catholic.
I’m thanking God for baseball right now, because out of the three, “Brave. Bold. Catholic.,” I’m just “Catholic” with a capital “C.” One for three. And I can boast a .333 batting average, which is the hallmark of a winner.
It can be demonstrably proven that I’m Catholic. Anybody who knows me for a few minutes knows it’s true. Being solid, and faithful, and generous, and helpful – these things are visible to the world. (The Mary statue in the front yard, and the Miraculous Medal around the neck are obvious hints, too.) But boldness and bravery aren’t part of my reputation. I married those attributes. Thank you, husband John!
Therefore, when these qualities show up in me, in promptings, and callings, and prayers, and words of encouragement, God gets all the Glory and the Holy Spirit gets all the credit.
I can tell you about the callings, to do big things out of my comfort zone. Jesus leads me into roles of leadership and helps me by the power of His Spirit. I never thought I’d lead a moms’ group, and I did for five years. I never thought I’d lector, and I have for 20 years. I never thought I’d be a youth minister, and it’s been over 6 years. I never thought I’d make and sell living fresh rose rosaries online, and I do. And it’s still a bit scary.
Then there are divine appointments. The Holy Spirit compels me to call or visit someone, and then I learn that they begged the Lord for specific timely help, or for knowledge of His personal care for them. One day I felt the strong urge to call a friend, and she had just cried out to God for help. Our tearful, life-changing phone conversation led her to pursue, and receive, post-abortion healing. Praise God!
And then there’s the electricity of the Holy Spirit – the power I feel in moments when I’m praying with people. I serve in a Catholic healing prayer ministry called Dwelling Place Northwest. At times of focused prayer with hands laid on, I sometimes feel a current of energy run through my body, from the soles of my feet, to the tips of my outstretched fingers, as I declare what the Lord is showing me in that moment, and I ask Him to heal this person and to meet their needs and help them. God’s rich, personal love for each soul impresses me, as the feelings, and visions, and thoughts, and direction of prayer are different for each one.
I’ve gotten braver in declaring the visions, and bolder in asking Jesus to heal each soul, and give each one everything they need.
So, because I know that I am personally neither bold nor brave, then my only response is to give God the credit for every good work He accomplishes through me. May He help me as I desire to grow in boldness, for His right purposes, according to His holy and perfect will.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for honoring my attempt to share my story. The Holy Spirit is the cause of my bravery and boldness. And in the same way that God loves each soul uniquely, He doesn’t expect my bravery to look exactly like anyone else’s. I can be myself, and filled with His Holy Spirit, I can overcome any adversary, because He will help me.
“Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.