Hiding in front of a computer screen, in the privacy of your home and pouring out whatever is on your mind, has a comforting vibe to it.
You’ve got time on your side; you can deeply concentrate on what it is that you’re feeling or wanting to share.
You have the power to type out a sentence and then erase the entire thing without anyone ever knowing of its existence.
You can sit and ponder exactly what it is that you want to say for however long you want.
You can shape it, give it texture and color, until it becomes your masterpiece.
You can even finish your masterpiece and decide whether or not you want anyone to lay eyes on it. Maybe it wasn’t meant for the world to see after all.
Though it’s not always easy to be vulnerable in this kind of way, it most certainly is easier than exposing your mind while physically standing in front of a crowd of faces.
Which is what I will be doing in a few days.
*insert “that feeling in the pit of your stomach” here*
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m terrified.
Yes, I get up and sing in front of people all the time… but I guess in my eyes, these two forms of opening up are completely different.
More than once has a song caused me to choke on its words, and people may wonder where those emotions have stemmed from, but that’s just it; they wonder. I don’t ever have to explain why. The details of what that song pulled from within me are usually never discussed, and that’s what I find solace in.
It’s another thing to share your most inner battles, your deepest sadness and your weakest parts of yourself. This is still being vulnerable, but on a higher level. Like, Empire State building higher…
I’ve shared bits and pieces of my story throughout the years, but I’ve always slithered my way around the fine details in order to keep the darkest portions of it hidden. I’ve buried them deep enough that I can share my story on a surface level and still keep my composure. I rarely allow myself to dig them all up. It’s too much. Too overwhelming. I fall apart all over again.
Bringing all of those deep-rooted feelings to my comfy surface level is wearisome. It’s as if I’m pulling my soul out of my body and placing it back into the tragic place of turmoil. It’s “going back there”. And I don’t like to do that.
I’ve been asked to give my testimony at a moms group, hosted by my church, that meets every Friday. They’ve been covering a series for the last month called “Overcomer” and it’s been extremely heartfelt. A lot of brave people have shared their stories at this moms group and also during our church services. I love hearing other people’s testimonies; there’s just something about listening to someone else’s trials and tribulations and how they’ve overcome. It’s encouraging and uplifting to hear how they fought the good fight and came out a stronger, more faithful person in the end.
I just never thought I would be asked to be one of those brave people.
Oh, and did I mention that I’ve already tried to back out twice due to pure nervousness and anxiety? (No seriously, I’ve lost sleep over it…)
At first I thought “yeah, I can do that! Nothin’ to it!”…
But then as I started gathering my thoughts and writing them down, I began to panic. What do I say? What do I not want to say? Where do I even begin? How on earth do I fit everything into a 10 minute spiel? That would be utterly impossible. To describe every emotion that flooded my mind while fighting the greatest battle of my life, would be unachievable. I could talk for hours, days even, and close the conversation feeling like there were still things left unsaid. Or pieces I could have described in another way.
Just a few short days ago I was sitting in my kitchen, typing everything out and all of a sudden I was weighted with sadness. Before I knew it, tears were trickling down my face and a heaviness filled every inch of my body. Those same feelings from the worst time in my life were crashing down likes waves and the fear of drowning made me immediately stop what I was doing. I closed my laptop and haven’t look at my notes since.
Now, after many days of reflection and prayer, I’ve decided that I don’t want to let fear win. That maybe there is a way of approaching this situation that can make it less frightening.
Do I know what that looks like? No, not yet. I still haven’t a clue what I’m going to say and clearly I’ve been avoiding it by writing this post instead of jotting down notes for Friday.
But I’m hoping with some guidance through friends, family and prayer, that I can figure it out before time is up. I plan on spending time in silence, quietly listening for God to give me the words that I need to speak. As much sorrow and pain that come along with my story, there is also the peace and love of God that covers it all in the end. He rescues me from all overwhelming circumstances and situations.
At times it doesn’t feel like I’ve overcome that area of my life and I feel as though I’m having to overcome it every day, but He did bring me through it. And maybe just that thought alone will encourage someone. Maybe there’s a specific person who needs to hear that. And possibly why I’ve been asked to share.
So I want to let go of the fear and hold onto Him. He will sustain me and hand over all that I need to be able to step out of my comfort zone. For I know, that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.