"Turn to the person next to you and tell them something you love about yourself. Not your job, not your family, but YOU!" The words from the conference speaker hung in the air. I began to fell the tingles of nerves beginning to course through my body.
"I love my silliness" called out the woman to my right.
The lady to my left sat for a short moment, before stating, "I love my patience".
They both turn to me, as my face grows red. I question, "Just about me, not what I do or my family?"
I feel the tears begin to well as my mind draws a blank. I hadn't realized it had gotten this bad. I always knew I had struggled with my self esteem. I knew that I had a hard time when the attention was focused on me. Still everyone is anticipating my answer, as the heat in my body rages and the embarrassment wells.
The speaker, a friend of mine, catches wind to what is happening. She reels off a list of things that she loves about me. She lists things about my heart, about my inward and outward beauty. The tears are beginning to threaten to exit me...
Why is this so hard! Can't I possibly find one thing about myself at this moment to share. This is just getting ridiculous. Just say something, anything.....I love my.......ahhhhhh! Lord help me!
Then it finally hits me!
I could have offered some pad answer and not let anyone know the internal struggle. I could have masked the turmoil inside of me. I didn't know these ladies (other than the speaker). I could have let them think that I was this confident, secure woman....but I can't. That's not who I am.
Then I realize, that is what I love about me!
I am not fake! I LOVE that I am not fake! Even when it would be easier to pretend. I could hide all the things that I would rather not have people see.
But I love that I am REAL! In all situations! Regardless of my role as a leader, I have to allow myself to be vulnerable! I feel God has called me to this realness.
So here I am, bearing the embarrassment once more, to be real! I challenge you to be real! Also, take a hard look at yourself and figure out your insecurities and deal with them!
I had planned to go to the workshops that dealt with the practical side of ministry. God changed my plans! I decided my church could handle not having the best way to build a team! They needed a healthy leader! I chose to take care of me and attend the workshops about who God says I am and how to find confidence in the midst of your insecurities.
I thank God that he brought it to my attention! I thank God for the leadership of the conference that cares about the health of women in leadership!
The conference I attended was STRONGER put on by Pen Florida Assembly of God Woman's Ministry. Go to www.pfwomen.com for more info on the amazing conferences and events they offer.