Digging deep for a courageous heart

The stage lights are up and the stage sits empty, waiting for her to come up.  She is praying fervently in her seat that it will go well.  She looks to her husband and friend and whispers, “Pray for me.”  It’s almost time.  She studies her notes one last time and prays for God to give her the words to say.  And then it is time. The pastor of the church calls her up.  Her heart flutters as she hears his words:

“Lisa, come on up and make the announcements.”

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Yes, we are just talking about making the announcements in church.  That 3-5 minute break between worship and the sermon where someone tells what activities are going on in the church.  And on this Sunday, that person just happened to be me.

My heart pounding, I bravely ascended the steps to the stage and the lights blinded me.  I looked out at the crowd and my heart skipped a beat.  And then I opened my mouth.  Big mistake!  I told a joke about a funeral and it flopped.  And then I said something that was really funny to me but it wasn’t to everyone else.  Then I couldn’t remember a date that was printed right in the bulletin in front on me and someone in the audience had to help me.

I left the stage an emotional wreck.  I felt like I had blown it.  Even though I had prayed all morning, my delivery was horrible and embarrassing.  Everyone around me said that it was great but I beat myself up for the rest of the day.

Why on earth did I say THAT in front of everyone?

I have a degree in public relations and public speaking has always been something that I enjoy.  The whole church knows that I LOVE to hold the microphone.  So what could undermine my confidence, training, and experience and cause me to flop at the church announcements?

Insecurity.

I’ve been leading the Ladies Ministry at my church for three years.  I’m often out front, leading the way, teaching, encouraging, reminding, and being vulnerable.  During this time there have been some women who have found fault with me and their words have really hurt me.  I have had to make peace with the fact that they don’t like me.

I really want everyone to like me.  Don’t you?

This insecurity caused by ladies in my church not liking me undermines my confidence.  It makes me afraid to be out front because they will probably find fault with what I say.   They may be critical of me, even in their silence, sitting there staring at me.

What went wrong on the stage during announcements?  Well, I was me.  I was silly.  I told jokes.  I had fun.  I was animated.  I was quirky.  I forgot something, which occurs quite often in my life.  I struggled over words, which is a side-effect of my migraine medication.  But I was the real, true me.

Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly, shares her vulnerability prayer: “Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.” When I was on that stage, I was vulnerable.  I let my true self be seen.  It was terrifying.

After those horrible Sunday announcements,I got a call on Tuesday.  The church secretary told me that the pastor wanted me to make the announcements again, on the following Sunday.  I took a deep breath and replied, “I would be happy to.”  And then, in my mind, came this thought unbidden:

#$@&%*!

I get to do it all over again!  But this time, I want to do it differently. I want to kiss insecurity goodbye and have the courage to show up and let my true self be seen, and not be ashamed of who I am.  I don’t want to hide behind a persona that is not my own.  I don’t want to be who those critical women want me to be.  I want to be who God created me to be:  ME.  Silly, fun, crazy ME.

Are there situations in your life where you are insecure and afraid of letting your true self be seen?  Are you putting up a mask and acting like someone who you are not?  Are you afraid that people will not like the amazing woman God made you to be?

I dare you.  Kiss insecurity goodbye and have a courageous heart.  Show up in your daily circumstances and let your true self be seen.  Let the person that God created you to be shine today.

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What if they don’t like it?  That’s not your problem.  Let them deal with it.

Oh God, people say things that hurt us and cause us to be insecure.  Your word says that You have given us power and love and a sound mind, not fear.  Oh God, give us a courageous heart so that we can show up and be seen.  Help us to be brave.   Give us the courage to be the women You created us to be.

What about you?  Are there areas in your life where you need the courage to show up and let the real you be seen?

Lisa

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7 thoughts on “Digging deep for a courageous heart

  1. Again…..I’m so touched and inspired by your honesty and sharing that truely comes from the heart.
    Insecurity arouses all kinds of fears..not being Good enough, Smart enough or “Liked enough”. Why do we obsess about the few people who don’t like us and forget about the many who do? We allow them to take far too much room in our “heads”?. I believe that our insecurities are tied to our past, back to our childhood. It’s rooted in our paradigms. But once we can identify our fears and realize them as lies and untruths, only then can we can begin to change. When we step out of our comfort zone by taking continuous ACTION we begin to experience a subtle shift in the way we feel and see things. Suddenly the things that caused so much pain and fear seem to lose their power. We see things from a different perspective, we feel empowered. For me, I know this is part of my journey. Things that seemed so monumentous are now bumps in the road. Now don’t get me wrong, not all my fears have not been allayed. This will be a lifelong process, but I now know that every action (no matter how small) and with God’s help, I will grow and expand my horizons. My life’s a path of progress not perfection. All of us have trials and tribulations, fears and joys, but what a blessing it is when we can share openly without reservation. That’s when the miracles begin. Not only do we help ourselves but we help others in doing so. They come to realize that they are not unique and not alone.

    • Thanks, Pamela, for sharing. I like your perspective, especially about helping others along the way so that they know they are not unique, and not alone. That’s good.

    • Thanks, Allie! This past Sunday I did the announcements and it was so much better. I was just me…I couldn’t help it!

  2. Oh my goodness! You really nailed it, Lisa. I have struggled like this for as long as I can remember. Your post, your willingness to be transparent and vulnerable are a true blessing.

    • Thanks, Angie, for reading. I know that I am not the only one that has felt insecure when facing a large audience of people. It is hard! But God is giving us the courage to be ourselves. Go for it!

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