It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. Work, holiday get togethers, apartment hunting for my college kid. (How did that happen so fast?) I also had my first speaking engagement last week. Yep. If y’all know me at all you know that was kind of a big deal.
I’m not a public speaker. Correction… I WAS not a public speaker. I suppose I am now. Ha.
But seriously, that was wayyy out of my comfort zone.
I write. By myself. Behind my phone or tablet or computer screen. With no one watching me. And I have stage fright. Not the kind where I am just scared and frozen and speechless like a deer in headlights. Not that kind. The kind where your heart pounds so fast and so hard you feel almost certain you will have a heart attack right there on that stage. The kind where I think “I could totally do this if I could just stop shaking and my heart would stop freaking out.”
I wasn’t really afraid of telling the story. I wasn’t afraid of speaking. There’s just something about getting up in front of all those people, and all eyes being on you, that brings out that panic response in me.
But I did it.
I faced my fears. I pushed past the seemingly impending heart attack going on in my chest. I channeled my shaking hands into a tapping foot. Which was really funny for my family and friends to watch by the way. When one foot stopped tapping, the other foot took over. I’d catch myself doing it and try to make my self stop. But that nervous energy had to come out somewhere so that foot just tapped away!😂
I shared my story and my heart with over 350 people that night. And I think over all I did ok. I may have been a nervous wreck but the message was delivered and that’s what really matters. That people hear that God is a God of redemption, and of hope. That He always keeps His promises. That He has so much goodness for us.
And so, despite the stage fright and my overactive heart, I’ll do it again. And I’ll hopefully be a little more in control of my heartbeats next time. A little less intimidated by the spotlights. Or maybe I won’t. Either way I’ll still do it. Because it’s important. Because I want as many people as possible to know His goodness the way I know it. To know that no matter what their story is, no matter what caused their heartache, there is goodness waiting for them on the other side of it and to just keep pressing towards it.
I had someone ask how Jeff felt about me sharing our story. Because it’s not just mine, it’s His too. And that story reveals a darker side of his former self. It’s something he isn’t proud of. To be honest he still gets sweaty and clammy and anxious every time he hears it. Every time we have a conversation about it. Every time he reads a blog. It’s not easy for him.
But he is so incredibly supportive. He has never tried to hide from it or cover up the mistakes he made. He’s so thankful for God’s redemption in His life and in our marriage, and we both hope that sharing our story helps to bring hope and healing to other people.
The day that I was speaking at the Advent dinner, he showed up to my office with these beautiful flowers. He knew how nervous I was and so he brought me these, and told me that he knew I was going to be great and that he was so proud of me.
So yes, he is more than ok with me sharing our story. And I don’t take that lightly. I know it’s not easy for him and I am immensely thankful for his transparency. He is a good, good man. 😍
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for:
-An incredibly large, loving family of Thurston’s, that make my life so full and so fun.
-Jeff’s family who I love and who have always been there for me. And who taught me how to enjoy camping. (The secret is a really nice camper by the way😉)
-A few really special friends that make up my inner circle and mean the world to me.
-A group of girls at work that are like family and that I’ve been blessed to have for over 20 years.
-A special group of ladies from all over the world that I met as part of a book launch team and connect with online, most of whom I’ve never met in the real world, who share similar stories and support and encourage me and each other in the most beautiful way.
-My beautiful, healthy, smart, kind girls.
-My funny, sweet dogs that sometimes drive me nuts but are full of unconditional love.
-Baked goods. Seriously. I’m so thankful for baked goods.
-The opportunity to share God’s goodness, here on this blog and in my everyday life.
-My husband. Who loves me so well.
-All the goodness that I know lies ahead for us.
These song lyrics from Bethel Music pretty much sum up what’s in my heart this morning:
“How do I say thank You, Lord
For the way that You love
And the way that You come
For all that You’ve done
All that You’ll do
My hearts pours out
You walk through all my walls
Conquered my shame
Stepped into my past
Fill my world with grace
You didn’t have to come
But You wanted to
I say Thank You”
Happy thanksgiving y’all.
My hope for you is that it be filled with everything good and that you soak in every single bit of that goodness.
Amy Thurston Gordy