A few weeks ago, we held our very first Women Behind the Scenes Conference, and it was amazing. We had prayed for a few dozen and God blessed with nearly a couple hundred. There were countless details that were executed in such a beautiful fashion that day, and I could not be an ounce prouder of what was accomplished by our ladies than I am today.
But in that beautiful day, there was a mess. A giant, painful, heart palpitating, tear filled, sweat pouring, gut wrenching mess, that I was right smack dab in the center of.
I was scheduled to speak for two of the 4 break out sessions, and was so excited to share my heart with the ladies. I spoke first on “Nursery: A Vital Organ Ministry”, and it went smoothly, right down to the last minute. But my second topic, was one that had weighed so heavily on my heart for several weeks as I had prepared on the “Yokefellow: Becoming a Sender Friend”. I approached the platform ready to pour out my heart, nervous yes, but so grateful for the opportunity to be the mouthpiece, the “bridge” if you will between Missionaries and Senders. I wanted to be a blessing, an encouragement to ladies in the local church to reach out to those on the field to establish relationships that would make a difference.
I had failed to print my notes the day before, but thought the iPad version would be even better anyway, so as I swiped my finger across the screen to unlock the device, I managed to close my notes in the process. “No problem!”, one would think, but as I clicked the icon to re-open the attachment, all I saw was my husbands email account, not mine! I panicked. “The show must go on” pounded in my head, “Just keep talking” seemed to be a good option…until I totally blanked. 100% numb to the core of my brain. “WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING RIGHT NOW?!” as a million other thoughts, and seemingly none at all raced through my brain. I let go, let my heart do the talking (not recommended, ever.) and I flew through 40 min. of time trying to get the points I was struggling to remember in my panicked ridden mind across. From what I recollect (which, to be honest, I’ve tried NOT to do much of that) I didn’t say much of anything on my original outline, so I’ll be attaching that to a separate post because I still want to share those thoughts!
I’ve said ALL of that to say this. I was reminded of a very important truth that day. As much as I was in my head about it, emotional about FAILING, it was never about me, or my ability in public speaking.
I cried, I sobbed, I apologized to my friends, church staff and even some of my friend’s moms for failing their daughters across the ocean; but in the end, God never asked for a perfect specimen to work with. What if I had delivered a picture perfect lesson? Maybe I would have focused on myself; given myself a pat on the back, smiled at the hard work I put in– a job well done, and walked away with a sense of pride for what I had accomplished; leaving no glory in Him.
So I didn’t deliver a lesson with eloquent words, engaging the crowd with my poise and intellect. Sure, I wish I could have done better (I think we all would) but in the end, I’d like to think there was some speck beauty there and if just one sentence resonated in the heart and mind of a lady to cause her to act, He is worthy of all the praise.
I focused for far too long about MY performance. MY ability. MY mistake. MY regrets. But no. I was so wrong. He is a God of mighty works, and it was robbery for me to draw attention to my own doings (whether terrible or great) instead of pointing towards the one who made me what I am.
What are you “failing” at today? Is is being a wife? Raising your children? Teaching a class, a project at work? From one woman to another, can I remind you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that our God doesn’t ask for perfection. Even at our worst, He’s capable of using whatever we are willing to place in His hands. So take that thing you feel you’re failing at, place it in His hands and watch Him use it for His glory.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.