Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Am Not

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.

P31 OBS Blog Hop


  1. Your words, "If what you said spoke to even one woman, you have accomplished what I sent you to do," from God are similar to what I've experienced recently. I spoke publicly for the first time this month. Everyone could tell how nervous I was, but I had prayed that if my words could help one person, I had done what God wanted. Thank you for your post.

    1. Thanks for stopping here, Jennifer! It's wonderful when God gives us affirmation that we are doing his will.

  2. Abigail, you were obedient. And that is huge! I pray God blesses your desire to please Him and to faithfully obey as you hear Him speaking to you. As a fellow leaf-shaker, I could identify with those feeling once you sat down - but God always seems to make sense of my mess, and it sounds like He did here, too!

    Missy (Small Group Leader & Prayer Team)

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Missy. That is my prayer too!