Today I am participating in Proverbs 31 Ministries’ blog hop as we study Renee Swope’s book, A Confident Heart.This is an online Bible study which will take place over the next five weeks.
For today’s topic I chose an experience where I felt like a failure and responded with a resounding #IAmNot.
I am a far better writer than speaker. I once heard a preacher quote the statistic that on average, people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death and I believe that 100%. However, a week ago felt God pushing me to share some of my testimony with my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, and since I was very inspired by this online Bible study, I volunteered to do so.
I serve as Co-Coordinator on our MOPS Steering team this year, and our theme for the year is called A Beautiful Mess: Embrace Your Story. My testimony, along with the short devotion and verses I planned to share, would be the perfect opportunity to highlight our theme.
After days of rehearsing what I was going to say in my head and preparing an outline of the points I wanted to share, I believed I was somewhat ready. Or, as ready as I would ever be. My story contained several experiences which are extremely personal to me, which I’d only shared with a handful of people until that point, but I knew there were women in that room who needed to know they were not alone.
Until that day I never realized how much more difficult it is to stand in front of a large group and share your heart, to reveal things which are deep and caused you pain, than it is to simply make announcements and talk about everyday matters. I was shaking like a leaf. It was painfully obvious that I was nervous. When I sat down after five minutes, I needed to throw up. I was sure that half of what I’d said didn’t make sense.
I felt like a failure. Why did I think I could do this? I wasn’t a speaker.
About ten minutes after I floundered through my speech, a fellow mom approached me. She told me how much she could relate to my words. She said how we shared similar experiences. She told me she was grateful I shared.
I sensed God’s still small voice saying to me, “If what you said spoke to even one woman, you have accomplished what I sent you to do.” I knew somehow, despite my nerves, despite my mouth becoming unhumanly dry a minute into my testimony, He had spoken through me. I couldn’t have done it on my own.
Although I don’t have the burning desire to speak in public again any time soon, I know that I did not fail. Do I have room for improvement in the public speaking realm? Absolutely. But I am not a failure. That I am not.