I spend a lot of time and energy making all of the little things in life work well together. Encouraging others is my passion and if I can share my faith through a smile or positive encounter, I'm all in. I'll listen to you and ask questions and sympathize and try to make you feel like the most important person in the room, because I truly believe you are.
The downside, however, is that there are very few people that I share my struggles with. I'm not good at being equally yoked in friendships. I am a seasoned interviewer and I work hard to actively listen with follow up questions poised on my tongue ready to aim at any lull in conversation.
Sharing my weaknesses is hard. I know I've been more open than I am now at different points in my past 42 years, but rejection and disappointment have crept in and I've become guarded. I've shared pieces of my heart with the wrong people at times, and have looked to friends for reassurance and comfort that only God can offer.
As I prepared for the talk I gave last night, I logged hours watching 'Ted Talks' on YouTube and analyzing messages by Christine Kaine, TD Jakes, and Francis Chan. I studied speaking styles and watched monologues, I reviewed inspiring video clips and tried my best to drown out God's quiet whisper directing me to present my very personal story.
It was evident that He was insisting that I share my 24+ month journey that led me to my cornea transplant. I waffled, I hedged, I even whined to Him that I didn't want to be that vulnerable! Lots of people knew about the surgery, but it was done. I was ready to move on and talk about something else.
As the days got closer I refused to write down my speech. I needed to fill a 25 minute time slot and I had nothing. If I could have shared about talking to teens about abstinence or technology traps or the value of being involved in kids lives, it would have been a piece of cake! I could fill hours with interactive and engaging lessons about loving yourself and the value God sees in your life, but ask me to peel back the onion of emotions surrounding my very personal and potentially permanent loss of vision? No thank you.
As the event approached, I cobbled together a loose framework completely dependent on a foundation of the Holy Spirit doing the talking through my red lips. It was clear that this talk was dependent on my obedience to God and nothing else.
I knew if I could do the walking and get myself on stage, clip on the microphone and give Him the glory, He would do the talking.
He did not disappoint. It was like an out of body experience to feel God 'steal the show' - and I loved every second of it.
As I crawled into bed last night, a feeling of relief and euphoria washed over me. I felt like a giddy little girl who had been rewarded for dying to my fears and trusting God. I walked by faith and not by sight, and I didn't wobble even once.