I like hiding behind my computer. I feel safe there. I can write freely – which I love to do. And then I can edit if I don’t like how I wrote something. Yes, my computer is very safe.
This is why, the past few months as I’ve been invited to speak to a few different groups of women, I’ve really hesitated. I haven’t felt sure that I had what it took to get up in front of people and speak. I don’t care what size the crowd – public speaking has been intimidating to me.
God knows best, however, and He decided to stretch me in ways that He apparently felt I needed stretching. He’s wise and fun like that.
Here is what I have learned through the past few months. First and foremost: I must always have a big bottle of water with me because, wow, my mouth always gets super dry when speaking to a crowd. Next: I may be the one up there doing the talking, but if I can remember to let go of myself (and my nerves), and embrace the fact that the Spirit can take over and do the talking – then we’re really onto something.
Several months ago when I was sharing my desire to simply stay behind my comfortable computer screen and avoid public speaking, my friend Emily said something very empowering to me. “Laura,” she said, “what you do on your blog is wonderful. You have been able to encourage women in so many ways. But just think how much more you can bless them when talking with them face to face.”
Well, shucks. I hadn’t thought of that before. She knew that I had what it took, and I’ve carried that vote of confidence with me ever since.
Satan has still been working to wear me down – just ask those who have had to live with me. I’ve had many moments of being a bit of a basket case leading up to each event, and have, unfortunately, done my fair share of completely freaking out. It has not been pretty, but somehow, my family and friends still love me anyway. God bless ’em.
What I have appreciated most recently is the army of prayer warriors I’ve had behind me. Matt and I took a trip to South Dakota last weekend so that I could speak to a lovely group of ladies there. The week leading up to this event was challenging in many ways, but God continued putting women in my path each day who were happy for me to share my angst. They all pumped me up with encouragement, and more importantly, they promised they would pray.
I wasn’t doing this alone. This has never been about me. God knows what He’s doing every time.
For this, I am thankful.
And as a selfish little aside, I am also thankful that I’ve checked all of my speaking engagements off my calendar for now. Yep, here I am, waving from behind my safe little computer screen. Stretching has been nice, but relaxing again back in my comfort zone is awfully nice too. ;)
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