Public Speaking

Last Saturday I got to do something that scared the pants off me but that I knew would be awesome if I just felt the fear and did it anyway.

I got to speak to and encourage a gorgeous group of about 200 ladies at a place called Destiny Christian Center-appropriate name as I was speaking about Destiny.

Or Density as I have typed over and over.

With this book thing going on, I’m getting a lot of interesting and humbling opportunities. I could not be more grateful. Or more terrified.

People are asking me to speak. In front of other people. Often lots of people. In big rooms. On a stage 

Now, in one of my former before kids gigs I actually did a lot of musician-y, performance things. My undergrad degree is, after all, in music. And that’s a totally comfortable sensation for me. Want me to sing and/or play the piano in front of people? No problem, love to, sign me up.

Want me to speak to people imparting these supposed nuggets of wisdom while keeping everyone entertained and engaged and making them feel this was totally worth their time? 

Eek!!  

Maybe this is a bit of self-imposed pressure, but I do feel a certain amount of responsibility once someone has entrusted me with a microphone (and we know I like to rock the mic like a vandal!). With that act they’re saying they believe that I’m not some loose cannon they’ll have to have security tackle before dragging me off the stage. 

This is an act of trust that I don’t take lightly.

Honestly in preparation I do a lot of praying and soul searching. What am I supposed to be saying? Is there someone out there you need me to say specific words to? Oh sweet Jesus, please don’t let me mess this up for you!

Not to brag, but encouragement has always been one of my gifts. I love making people feel better about themselves or their situations. I’m ok with labeling myself a middle-aged cheerleader. No, I take that back. The ladies in my family live to ripe old ages so I’m actually not even close to middle aged.

I also tend to pray a lot as I’m walking onto the stage. Please don’t let me trip, don’t let me accidentally use one of my driving words, and for the love of Saint Peter please don’t let me say anything you don’t want me to!

I feel like I’ve been called to talk to women as a very imperfect, flawed and broken human. And maybe it’s because if others who are hurting and broken can see a hot mess like myself on a stage, they’ll believe it’s ok to take off whatever mask they’ve been hiding behind and be real. Raw. A hot mess just like me.

And I believe with my whole heart that when we are all broken together, exposing our wounds and warts, we start helping each other get put back together. We show our kids it’s ok to be flawed. We show our friends they can tell us dark things because we’ve been to dark places too.

And out of that darkness the seeds of hope come. And bloom. And spread.

So. I’m still going to be nervous each time I speak at an event or lead a women’s retreat or talk about hard things. But I’m going to keep doing it. And I’m going to trust that God is doing his thing, shining light through all my brokenness.

And hopefully I won’t trip.

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14 thoughts on “Public Speaking

  1. Professionally I am frequently in from of groups – sometimes only 5 people, but sometimes a few hundred people. Keep doing it, it will get easier. And, if you fall, which you may one day, just stand up and keep going – the impression you leave by picking yourself back up with grace will matter more than anything else.
    P.S. I once dropped a 25th wedding anniversary and 60th birthday combo cake in front of a room of about 60 people. (And I was sober and this was only just a few years ago). I was mortified, we all laughed and I’m probably the only one who even thinks about it. Honestly, there are worse things then falling down or dropping cakes in front of a group of people, you’ll be fine. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really love this. I still have many old and dear friends, but I have realized all my newer friends are a little broken and messy like me. I think it’s interesting and inviting. There is so much we can learn about each other when we talk openly about our struggles, those times when we “trip” emotionally or spiritually. Great job being brave and kind. That’s all we can ask of ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s okay if you trip. That just shows them that you are being real. Then you get back up, make a joke about it and move on. 🙂 Beautifully written! I am sure you did a wonderful job at the speaking engagement and were an inspiration to many!

    Liked by 1 person

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