In Others’ Word: Bold (Guest post with Reba J. Hoffman)

Reba J. Hoffman and her trusty “steed,” Dakota.

 Meet my friend, Reba — truly one of the most unique individuals I’ve ever met! She embraces the challenge to “live life out loud.” We met at the inaugural My Book Therapy Storycrafters Retreat in 2009. Last Saturday, Reba embarked on an amazing cross-country journey. I’m so excited for you to hear why she made this bold choice.


There is no feeling like freedom. It is as grand a gift as the air we breathe. I don’t believe it can be fully experienced unless you do something daring and bold.

Experiencing freedom is at once exhilarating and terrifying. Facing the fear head on empowers us to boldly go where we’ve never gone before. We change the world when we step forward into fear and liberty is oh so sweet.

Unfortunately, for untold numbers of women, they believe they’ll never be free. They are imprisoned in their own homes by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They were bold enough to survive a violent attack but now hide from the world within four walls. If they do venture out, anxiety and panic paralyzes them.

That’s why I’m doing something bold. I’ve left behind comfort and familiar, climbed onto my bicycle and set off on a solo, self-contained tour from Appalachia to the west coast of Oregon or Washington. Why? Because I want to help set these women free from their past.

Through following my journey on what I’ve come to call the Road to Freedom, I pray these women will muster the courage to face that fear and take back their lives!

I know the grip of fear. On November 5, 1984, I survived a violent attack. The broken bones healed but the fear grew. I had to take a bold step: I sought help. God used a team of professionals to help me overcome PTSD. Taking that frightening step resulted in experiencing a freedom like I’d never felt before.

I want every woman who has been victimized by a brutal assailant to muster the courage to take that bold step for themselves and their future. I want them to know what it’s like to stand at the top of their own Everest and gaze out from the pinnacle of their own world.

Reba hits the Georgia line on Day 2 of her cross-country journey.

Reba hits the Georgia line on Day 2 of her cross-country journey.

That’s why I’ve mounted Dakota, my Waterford touring bicycle, and set out for places unknown. I’m going to blog the whole trip and share my insights, experiences, and bold moves as I go.

I’ll also be writing a book about it along the way. This journey is bigger than me and by far the boldest move I’ve ever made. I’m ridding myself of all the things I thought I needed in life, and will take essentials with me on my bike.

I invite you to take the journey with me. Follow my trip on my blog at Use the wisdom it brings to do something bold in your own life. I promise you that freedom lies in being bold.

Take the journey with me on the Road to Freedom.

 In Your Words: How have you been affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — do you know someone who suffers from PTSD? How have you discovered that being bold leads to freedom? 

Follow Reba’s journey by “liking” her FB page.

How being bold leads to freedom Click to Tweet 

The road to freedom from PTSD Click to Tweet 

Be Bold: Dr. Reba J. Hoffman cycles cross-county to support women who suffer with PTSD Click to Tweet 












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  1. July 15, 2013, 7:24 am   /  Reply

    YAAAAY, Reba! I’m so excited for you. Praying for you, too.

    I’ve not been affected by PTSD, but I do have some acquaintances who have.

    As for being bold, a couple of the boldest moves of my life paid off in pretty massive ways. And I’m grateful. I’m not naturally very bold, but it’s pretty amazing what God can do when we brave up, take steps in obedience, and trust Him for the pay-off. 🙂

  2. July 15, 2013, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    Reba, I am inspired by you and your outlook on life. I look forward to following your journey, now that I know you’re blogging it. 🙂

    I’ve never had PTSD, but I’ve seen its affect on a couple of people who have faced abuse.

    When I’ve been bold, it’s usually been to face a fear of some sort. When I’ve walked in boldness, I’ve found that joy and freedom follows. Which leads to a greater confidence in that aspect of my life. God is good to give me what I need when I need it, and to help me be bold at the right time.

    Have a GREAT ride!

  3. July 15, 2013, 8:07 am   /  Reply

    I am so excited to see what happens for Reba and her journey!

    For me, it’s bold to trust in something (Someone) other than myself, because I’m giving up control, and that’s hard. But quite obviously, that brings ultimate freedom. Freedom from worry, because I know, deep down, that God’s got this.

  4. July 15, 2013, 9:02 am   /  Reply

    Thanks for sharing here. I’m already enjoying Reba’s posts and am glad a book will result. I’m praying and believe her trip will be significant and important.

  5. July 15, 2013, 9:11 am   /  Reply

    I have severe PTSD. The other day my wife and I were coming home from a (rare, for me) trip out to the store, and there was a piece of cardboard in front of our gate. I took several minutes be ensure that it was not covering an IED, as it was sitting exactly where I would put my foot to open undo the latch.

    Silly? Where we live, sure. But the hallmark of PTSD is the dislocation of experience and response. Years ago that caution was a big part of what kept me alive.

    I don’t know if boldness is the way to freedom, for me – I don’t know if there is any way to freedom. But there is a way to channel the experiences. I’ve seen enough things that I do not care to describe, to know that every life is worth saving, and every kindness worth performing. My wife and I have a sanctuary for abandoned and abused pets – today’s project is to build a wheelchair for a little dog with a broken back. “Don’t throw me away!” she said. “I have so much love to give you!”

    The legacy of PTSD is that this sears my heart, and I live – constantly – in a zero-sum world. Anything I take for myself, I can’t give, to save.

    And, as a darker corollary to that ethos – those who have abused a child or a dog in my sight, or have taken advantage violent advantage of the innocent have been made to see the error of their ways. Regrettable that such things have been necessary – but I have never regretted the actions I took. If I may quote a few lines from a poem:

    “They say that words are best,
    I know, for curing society’s ills.
    True for most, but for the rest,
    I’ve returned with all my skills.”

  6. July 15, 2013, 11:05 am   /  Reply

    Reba, I am so incredibly impressed with you, your attitude regarding recovery and your epic adventure! Our nephew and his friend crossed Canada last summer and, whoa, WHAT an experience!!
    There are women whispering “thank you!” from behind the invisible blinds they have up between themselves and the world.

    I have a dear friend, more like a brother, who has PTSD. I saw a glimpse of it in a restaurant when there was the loud crash, of a plate or cup, smashing onto the ground. He flinched and his lovely wife locked her eyes on him and I put my hand on his back.
    It made my heart ache because I know that was nothing on the radar of suffering for him.
    And I know that I do NOT know the magnitude of his memory and all that he hides from those of us who cannot imagine what he has seen.
    That saying, ‘freedom isn’t free’ is trite enough, and bold enough, to make me cry when I see a soldier weeping.
    We have no sweet clue what we’ve been saved from, and but they do.

  7. July 15, 2013, 11:29 am   /  Reply

    I’m thinking of — and praying for — Reba today. I have my own experience with PTSD and so her bold journey is all the more special to me. The days of “can’t” and “won’t” are far behind me, but the wound can still be tender at times. There is hope, there is healing — and I love how Reba is riding to tell women that they do not have to live their lives in fear.

  8. Andrea Cox
    July 15, 2013, 8:49 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, thanks for hosting Reba here today. I’m glad to know of her inspiring story and how she’s helping to encourage women to face their fears.

    I’m not sure if anxiety fits into the PTSD category, but I’ve battled anxiety attacks many times before. They’re not fun, but I learn to lean on God a little more with each one. And I’m so blessed to have a family who understands what I’m going through.

    Blessings to you and Reba,


  9. July 15, 2013, 10:06 pm   /  Reply

    Oh. My. Word. I’m all chokey now. I always associated PTSD with the military. It honestly never occurred to me that it existed following other kinds of personal traumatic events. Reba, what a beacon of hope and courage you shine! You are in my prayers to ride that extraordinary course with excellence, leaning into God’s strength with each mile. Blessings!

  10. July 15, 2013, 11:11 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I’m happy to be home and reading your blog again.

    Reba, I’m so impressed with your commitment to take this ride. I can’t wait to keep up and to see how it helps others. Best of luck!

  11. July 16, 2013, 8:41 pm   /  Reply

    Praying for you as you step out in faith. Sure wish you were coming my way!

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