Sometimes the words just don’t come easily. When my mind is full of to-do lists, doubts, fears, insecurities, and jobs to do for others, I lose the desire to write in those leftover margin hours of the day. It’s easier for me to choose mindless television or make excuses about writers block when, in reality, I’m allowing fear to run the show.
I’m speaking this weekend – not a keynote or even a workshop, but a ten minute talk about my motherhood story. When I start to compare it to what the other women are doing at the conference or the amount of time it would take to lead worship instead, I start to feel foolish for the anxiety I have about it. And when I try to create a story that’s based on what I selfishly want to share, how I want to present myself, how I think it should be presented to women who would likely rather hear from a bigger name presenter – the words disappear.
Earlier this week I shared some of those fears with a friend, and as she prayed over me I heard God whisper:
You are the messenger. Not the expert.
I felt my soul breathe deeply for the first time in weeks and when I sat down in the middle of a busy Panera to write my story, the words came from a place that felt right. Encouragement. Authenticity. A call to claim a title as co-workers in the Kingdom that has nothing to do with whether you call yourself a working mom, stay at home mom, or anything in between.
Is it what she would share? Probably not.
Is it going to be presented perfectly? Nope.
But when I got out of my own way and allowed God to remind me that this is His story for my life, in this season, and that He has simply asked me to share obediently – my heart felt peace.
I don’t know what you’re struggling with this week, or what God is asking you to do that is out of your comfort zone, but can I share with you three things that have helped me this week?
1. Tell a friend. Whether it’s over Voxer, coffee, email, Google Hangout – confess your fears to a friend and invite her to share in your story. In opening up to someone about the hard parts of your story, you give them the opportunity to use the gifts of encouragement, empathy, and love that God has given them to share.
2. Get a change of scenery. For me, I used the excuse of work and home and my day-to-day routine to keep myself too busy to prepare and pray about what God was asking me to do. Maybe it’s a walk outside in the fresh air to make the decision seem less urgent, or going somewhere to be inspired as you’re surrounded by people and amazing bagels.
3. Do it anyway. If you wait until you feel brave enough, you’ll never do what God is asking you to do. And if He is asking you to do it, it’s going to happen – whether you prepare or not. I finally realized that this speaking engagement wasn’t going to disappear because I was feeling fearful and insecure, and I might as well prepare the best I could so I could be the best messenger God was asking me to be.
Will I see you at Raising Generations Today this weekend? I’d love to meet you!
Rebecca Brandt says
So happy Lauren shared this. I don’t get to read a lot of blog posts these days, but the words expert and messenger- hit my screen and I knew I had to read it. I recently asked (on facebook) what makes one an ‘expert’ because so many hold tight to that word and definition of themselves these days. Love your post and pray your speaking is straight from God. It’s always amazing when He shows up and changes what a person is to speak about right when they walk on that stage.
#2 above is the one I struggle with the most. Thank you for sharing that I’m not alone in this boat. My prayers are with you and your speaking engagement. I am certain that you will deliver your words beautifully!
YES!!! As someone who likes to stay hidden in the winepress b/c of fear, I so get this! Proud of you for blazing a trail for those behind you…thank you for your honesty.
Amy Tilson says
Just be the deep down you and it will be wonderful. Wishing I was sitting there beside you. Will be praying for you all at RGT this weekend.
Thank you for those prayers!
Diane Bailey says
Magnificently said! You inspire with you honest look at life!
And you inspire with your sweet encouragement 🙂
LeeAnn Taylor says
I am in a similar place this week, consumed by all the other tasks that grab for my attention – mothering, household tasks, training for a new position at work, groceries, laundry, baby showers, etc. – and the writing on my blog is suffering. You’ve helped me see that part of my lack of words is fear that mine won’t be as powerful or as well written as “the others” that I know my readers follow. I work through the topic of fear a lot in my writing, but sometimes it takes someone else saying the words for me to realize the extend of my fears. Thank you for sharing this today and I hope the conference is a wonderful blessing to you this weekend! I’m also hoping you’ll be at Allume this year so I can meet you in person and say thank you for writing from your heart and pushing through the fear. You have helped me and I am thankful.
I’ll be at Allume 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you, LeeAnn!