This April, I’m going to be one of the featured speakers at the Tiara’s Ball in Troy, Alabama. The event is for girls ages 12-18 and it’s focus is on promoting positive messages for girls and highlighting their value as “daughters of the King.” When the organizers reached out to me, I was very surprised and humbled to be asked. I accepted with great excitement. It’s an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to give my talk. However, a few hours after I accepted, a massive wave of fear and doubt hit me.
“How am I qualified to speak to a room full of teenage girls?” I thought. Immediately the greatest hits of my failures with women played through my mind. I have five failed relationships casting a shadow behind me. I have no sisters to relate to. My knowledge of the female world and mind is equal to my knowledge of theoretical physics or how Taco Bell can be so tasty and yet immediately regrettable afterword. I couldn’t stop thinking about how wrong they were to reach out to me, how massively I could screw up and fail, and how I really had no clue what I was doing.
I tend to live inside my head a lot. This is the curse of the chronic over-thinker. I started to think back on all of the unqualified opportunities I’d been given throughout my life, and I realized that in spite of my lack of qualifications, nearly all of them turned out OK, or in some instances, opened doors to me that had not been previously available. In those opportunities where I succeeded, it had only been when I’d trusted God to guide me. When I succeeded, it was because God worked in spite of me. When I failed, it was because I tried to handle everything on my own.
Truth be told, none of us are really qualified. We are all flawed, petty, sinful, selfish, and ignorant human beings, and yet, God loves us so much that he will intentionally give us opportunities we are completely unworthy of. He does this just so we can see him work though us and in spite of us. God is willing to put us into situations where we can be challenged and grow, both personally and in our faith in him. God can use us to do anything if we are willing to trust him and get out of the way.
Do I feel nervous about speaking? Absolutely. Do I feel unqualified? Not nearly as much as I did at the beginning. I know God wouldn’t give me this opportunity if I couldn’t handle it, but I don’t want to just handle it. I want to crush it, and I know I can’t do that entirely on my own. I know God is bigger than my fears and doubts, and he’s given me this opportunity so that he can get the glory. My goal is to prepare as much as I can, do the best I can, and trust God to handle the rest. That’s really I can do, and that’s all anyone can really do.
I can’t wait to see what happens.
I will be giving updates on the event as it gets closer and I will also be posting info on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. Any prayers and encouragement would be appreciated! I’m gonna need all the help I can get.