It was late on a Sunday night, when I read this interesting email from Jena (a lady in one of my writing groups). She asked me to consider being a part of a virtual event she and her husband were planning to put together in the Spring. The event is called The Staying Strong Summit, she explained. I would be one of 20+ speakers who have overcome obstacles in their lives. I would do a one-on-one interview through Zoom that would be recorded. “Are you interested?” she asked at the end.
“Am I even ready or qualified for this?” I thought to myself that night as I laid in bed. I had become somewhat familiar with Zoom since 2020, when virtual events became the norm. But me share my testimony/story through Zoom? That in itself kinda terrified me, because what if people couldn’t understand what I was saying?
Honestly, at that time – the previous week – I had been asking the Lord these questions, “What do You give me new freedom or permission to do?” and “If You could add one thing to my life, what would it be?” These may sound like odd questions to ask the Lord, and I was hesitant asking them because I had become so comfortable with my routine and really didn’t want to add anything else to my plate. As I typed that sentence, I realized that it makes me sound so selfish. I mean, hello, I have so much free time in my life it’s not even funny! As I came to that realization that night, I knew that the Lord was bringing this opportunity in my life to teach me more than flexibility.
The week before I was supposed to have the pre-recorded Zoom interview, I got a horrible cold and my neck was hurting so much. I was still preparing what I was going to say and was struggling with typing what the Lord really wanted me to talk about in the interview. I didn’t want to be vulnerable and share that I still struggle with trusting God in my life. I fought against it so much that week. I wanted to control the narrative. I thought to myself, “I haven’t ever had control of my life and what has happened in it. I want to share it my way. I don’t want people to know how much I really struggle with certain sins.” 😳
Those were my insecurities talking. Nobody has control over their lives completely; I knew that. God has ultimate control and can allow things in my life to stretch my faith and dependence in Him. I even said something similar to that in my answers for the interview. And here I was still struggling with the fact that I couldn’t and can’t control everything in my life.
Anyway, when I had my life coach session the day before the interview and shared some of what I was going to say at the end, she was very honest and blunt with me, which is what I love about her. She basically told me (I’m paraphrasing), “Abigail, stop compartmentalizing yourself and be real with others. It’s OK if you get emotional around others or on the interview. People want to know that you struggle and how you get through it with the Lord’s help. This is a huge opportunity the Lord has given you. It’s up to you how you use it. It’s your choice.”
My heart was beating so fast after that session. I knew before I even had the session I needed to change something, but my attitude was, like, I just don’t want to. But my attitude after my session was, like, I’d better obey the Lord even though I’m uncertain about how this will effect me.
It wasn’t easy to say or admit some of the things I said for the interview, but I’m glad I was able to be real with them–just like it’s not easy writing this blog post about how I fought against the Lord.
Not only has He handed me this opportunity but He has also allowed another great opportunity to share the testimony He has given me on the Joni and Friends Ministry podcast this coming Thursday! That is something I’ve dreamed about doing since I was a kid. Ephesians 3:20 came to my mind when I first read the email asking me to be a guest on the podcast.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20
I’ll have the podcast available on my blog website as soon as it airs.
Also if you’re interested in attending the virtual Staying Strong Summit on April 22-24, I just know how much you will be blessed by attending! Won’t you join me and hear the testimonies of so many who have overcome struggles? Get your ticket now! https://ministry-summit-conference.teachable.com/courses/1344454 (this is my referral link). See you there!