Friday night, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the FlameFest Ball (an event for wives whose husbands are firefighters). I was excited about this event — and especially excited to get to speak at a ball!
I was looking forward to my presentation and had fun getting dressed up for the event (I wore a dress I got from RueLaLa, shoes I got from Zulily, and jewelry Jesse bought for me for 70% off at Kohl’s — gotta love frugal fashion!). I walked down the hall from my hotel room to the ballroom feeling very confident and stoked.
And then I stepped foot into the ballroom.
As I saw all the couples dressed in their finest, my former confidence disintegrated.
What do I have to offer these incredible folks? All around me were strong and muscular men who willingly risk their lives fighting fires. Next to their sides were equally strong women who endure long days and lonely nights while their firefighter husbands are on duty.
I looked at the strength and courage represented in the room and felt very small. Who was I to be standing on stage delivering a message of hope to them?
But then I remembered: sometimes, courage is just showing up.
I’d been asked to share a message on saying goodbye to survival mode. The conference coordinator knew exactly who I was and what I was about.
She knew I didn’t have a long resume or heroic acts of bravery attached to my name. I’m just a regular mom who hit rock bottom in her own life and found a lifeline of hope and practical steps to take to no longer live life stuck in that pit of survival mode, but to instead live a life of passion and purpose.
And so, I had a choice in that moment: I could choose to be swallowed up by fear and self-doubt. Or I could choose to go up on that stage and give it my all, praying that the words I shared would be impactful to those in the audience.
And that’s exactly what I did. I left all those feelings of fear and insecurity behind, asked God to fill me up with courage, and then I went up on that stage and owned it.
When I came down off the stage, I knew that it may not have been the most eloquent talk ever, but I’d given it my all. And it felt so empowering.
Sometimes, courage is just showing up and giving it your all.
Wherever you are in life, whatever you are facing, can I encourage you to show up and give it your all? To not let fear, insecurity, and self-doubt own you but instead for you to own whatever “stage” you are called to stand on right now?
Maybe your “stage” is investing in your kids and marriage, or reaching out to the needy in your community, or writing a blog post, or loving a difficult person, or serving at your church, or being the best employee you can be, or studying for your summer classes… or a million other things. But whatever it is, show up and give it your all.
There will always be those voices (literal or imagined) that will whisper in your ear, “That’s not good enough.” Or, “So-and-so does a better job than you.” Or, “You’re not qualified.” And on and on it goes.
Stop listening to the voices and show up and give it your all.