I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
Our focus for February has been “Love More.” Today, let’s focus on the space we need for close friendships.
My future steps as a speaker sat within the decision of men and women enjoying an exquisite lunch gathered around tables. Everyone sat laughing, sharing stories, leaning in for hugs and capturing the occasion through pictures on their phones. I was indeed invited and part of this lunch, but fear kept me a few feet away. Yes, my brave friends, I found myself in the second stall of the restroom.
Wanting to take the steps necessary to enjoy the occasion at hand but feeling crippled by my speech just moments away.
You see, I had made it to the Division B Table Topics and International Speech finals. I had won both contests in my local club and had placed first place in both contests for our area (where the top 2 winners of each club compete to advance). The Division contest was made up of the winners representing 5 areas and over 21 clubs. The winner of this competition would advance to the District conference competing against the winners from 9 divisions! Mind boggling, right?
But honestly, at that moment as I sat in a ball within the safety of the restroom walls, I knew advancing to the next round was not what brought the fear inside of me. In fact, I wasn’t comfortable being at this level at all. Advancing was never my goal. I simply wanted to share my story and my heart with others. This speech allowed others to see some of the darkest places in my life and how God brought me out to the other side. Yes, through sickness, uncertainty, job loss and family struggles God is making His story known.
But how would my words be received?
Would I be judged or accepted?
Was being open and vulnerable worth the price of having my heart shattered by labels or rejection?
My shaking hands pulled out my phone. The now glowing screen had one new text message that read, “Praying for you sweet friend. God has you where He needs you to be.”
Our Text Conversation:
Me: Ummmm…I’m in the bathroom and kinda freaking out.
Friend: Is it a nice bathroom?
Me: Actually, yes. It’s huge and nicer than anything I’ve ever been in. My kids could not come here!
Friend: So God has called you to the nice bathroom?
Me: No. I’m hiding. Ok. Gathering my thoughts.
Friend: What would it take to get you out of the bathroom?
Friend: Bethany, I believe in you but that doesn’t count for much. God has called you to share your heart. He will not leave you hanging. Or in the bathroom.
Friend: Bethany, I want to walk this with you.
And my friend did just that.
She prayed with me out of the bathroom and back to my seat.
She prayed me through both the Table Topics and the International Speech portions of the day. She was the first person I texted with two 1st place trophies in my arms.
This week, I heard a phrase that really resonated with me. The speaker was referring to a couch (someone who will sit with you during the easy and tough times) and vault (someone who will keep your conversations safe and toss the key) friendships. She said, “My friend made enough space for the both of us.” To have a couch and vault friend, we need space. We need God’s grace.
You cannot allow past hurts to define future friendships. If you are feeling stuck today, please know that our God can and will heal pain from broken friendships. Feel free to email or comment below if I can walk with you on this healing journey.
You are better having a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble. Someone might be able to beat up one of you, but not both of you. As the saying goes, “A rope made from three strands of cord is hard to break.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
To Love More, we need to make enough space for more in our lives. Are you doing this?
Do you have a couch and vault friend right now in your life? Please share how this friendship has impacted you!
If you are looking for a safe place to practice your speaking skills and gain leadership training, I would recommend joining a Toastmasters Club. Most cities have clubs that meet (times vary). I am in both a local club and an online club! If you are free Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9PM feel free to join us at Competitive Communicators Online!
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!