I traveled this evening to the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’ve never been here before! Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time alone with God, thinking, praying and preparing to go. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but if you knew where I’ve come from, you’d understand.
From the time I was a little girl, friends and family – especially my mother – encouraged me to speak and write. I looked forward to the plan God might have for me when I grew up. Even at such a young age, I knew He used our gifts and abilities to share His love and grace to a lost and hurting world. The thought of it was exciting, and I dreamed of serving Him when I was older – but then, heartbreaking disappointments and failures entered my life.
When we experience failure and heartbreak, a door swings wide open to allow the Shame-er to enter. Once he makes his entrance, he immediately starts talking – and loudly. The voice of shame tells you you’re done. It’s over. You might as well be quiet, place the dreams on a shelf, and sit down.
And that’s exactly what I did. I sat down, dimmed my light and lost my voice.
Have you spent any part of your life choosing to stay small to avoid the voice of the Shame-er?
Shame is the gremlin who says, “Never good enough”, and if you can talk it out of that one, “Who do you think you are?” – Brene Brown
Shame costs us. It cost me so much, but I think this is what impacted me the most: I developed a completely unbiblical belief about God and His intentions toward me.
I thought the voice of the Shame-er belonged to Him.
Brene Brown refers to shame as the gremlin, but we know who he really is. He has silenced many a woman who wrongly believed the voice of condemnation was from her God.
It’s a very effective tactic to keep us quiet – until we realize where it’s coming from.
As my faith grew, and I learned to line my thinking up with God’s Word, I began to recognize the sweet voice of my Savior. The way He spoke to me was in stark contrast to the condemning voice I had been listening to for so long.
The Shame-er said I was done – but God said, “Not so fast.”
Seven years ago, I attended my first speaker training at She Speaks in Concord, NC. I went terrified and with a sick stomach. It involved speaking in front of professionals who then critique and evaluate your presentation. Yikes!
They say public speaking is a person’s worst fear and I had all the feels! My friend Donna went with me and literally sat outside of the room where I was presenting, praying non-stop until I was done. What a sister! That’s one way to shush the Shame-er – and silenced he was!
It was an incredible experience. My life truly changed once I learned to focus on the grace-filled voice of God.
This time around, I am going to a new-to-me speaker conference and again, I will share my message and be critiqued. How different it is this time! Sure, I’m nervous to speak and be evaluated, but I am beyond excited to meet up with women who share the same calling!
The Holy Spirit’s energy will fill the conference center when women, who each have their own God story to tell, sit side-by-side to worship, learn and encourage one another. It is simply beautiful. I can’t wait to soak it all in! There’s nothing like a room full of redeemed women who are compelled to share their stories! The Shame-er might as well stay home!
If you have been listening to a voice that condemns, it is not from your God. If people are shaming you, they are just tools in the hands of the accuser who comes accusing. The condemning voice has nothing new to say.
It’s time to listen for the sweet voice of your Savior. He will always, always lead you to your true self – the one He created you to be. He’s given you the gifts and abilities needed for His plan for your life.
The world needs your unique and beautiful voice.
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
Shame says you’re done. But your loving God says, “Not so fast. I will put her back on her feet and heal her broken heart. Then, I will send her out to tell her God story to a lost and hurting world.”
Love to all,