I did something down right frightening a few days ago. And I am humbled because of it.

On Wednesday I talked about God telling me it was time to share my testimony. On Friday I did. It was the scariest thing I had to do in a very long time. It made me vulnerable. It made me transparent. It made me open up. It made me everything I try not to be for fear of rejection, judgement and shame.

I wrote my testimony out because I’m not very good at verbalizing my thoughts. I’m not great at speaking in front of people. I’d much rather not have a gazillion eyes on me. I reread my testimony over and over and over on Wednesday and Thursday. Made a few changes. Added a few things. I was worried I was going to be in my head versus allowing God to show people how much He has helped me grow. I worried about being able to write my story out perfectly.

Friday morning came and I was a wreck. Forget that I was already emotional after the previous night when retreat opened up to a really powerful skit. When it was time for the morning worship service I was convinced what I had to say wouldn’t stir feelings in anyone, my growth wasn’t enough to touch lives, my story wasn’t worth hearing. I was convinced that God couldn’t use me because there wasn’t anything to use.

I had to share my testimony twice. The first time, naturally, was scary. But, more so because most of the women that I’ve learned to open up to were in that group. Two years into our friendship they’ve already seen some pretty rough edges but this was different. This was taking every single wall that I’ve built around my heart for the last 20 years down. And I was pretty certain I wasn’t ready for that.

I didn’t mince words when I started. I cut straight to the chase. I told myself if I was going to do this, I’m going to hit the root of the problem immediately. I, for the sake of what I’ve learned during speech class, made sure I made eye contact. And the more I spoke the more I felt led to share. The more I felt led to kick every single brick and mortar down. The more I felt the time was right.

Tears that are normally only shed in front of a very select few began to roll down my cheeks. Every eye was glued on me but I could also feel their love and support as I told my story. Their tears flowed with mine as I shared the darkest parts of who I was. I shared without shame or guilt. Without judgment or reproach. I shared without hesitation because as I shared not only was I able to tell them what I came out of but how I came out of it.

When my time was done I felt a lightness in my heart. Hav you ever prayed for something and stopped and realized, “Wow, I prayed for this for so long and it’s happening.” That’s where I was. I talked about how God took me out of my heartache, but it wasn’t until I opened my mouth, it wasn’t until I lay myself at the feet of others bearing my entire heart did I realize that I wasn’t broken anymore. I was stronger and wiser. I was being molded into the beauty of what God sees. God had taken all of my broken pieces and the minute I laid it before Him and allowed Him to use me did He show me I was made new.

I have had many women come up to me and tell me how much my story moved them. TPCC women, I want you to know, while my story moved you, you have moved me. I am humbled to have been able to share who I am with y’all. And humbled God used me to touch your hearts. Remember how I said I thought I deserved the horrible life I had? Now I know enduring the loss meant God blessing me with something better. And I am so honored to have you all be a part of that. xoxo