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!
In March of this year, I found myself standing in front of my webcam, facing a virtual audience of Toastmasters. With a less than the pristine kitchen in the background, I attempted a speech for our Competitive Communicators Online Toastmasters International Speech competition.
But my audience had no clue that I changed my entire speech just 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the contest.
My original speech had one clear message: “Do not judge by outside appearance.” I was simply going to share a few obstacles that I have overcome in my life.
But something felt uneasy in my soul. I felt God saying, “Why not share about the moments you needed someone to hold your right hand?”
If you know me, you know that I was born with a smaller and shorter right arm and right hand. It makes prayer circles incredibly awkward – even today as an adult I still have others not sure what to do when they see “righty” coming their way. I’ve had very few occasions in my life where others actually want to or even ask to hold my right hand. I get it. It’s odd, uncomfortable and I never want anyone to feel uneasy around me. But it’s never something I really want to talk about. Especially in a speech competition!
As uncomfortable as this prompting made me, I was even more nervous presenting this speech without any prior practice time.
Just minutes before it was my turn to speak, I put my youngest boy back to bed for the second time that evening.
My mind was scattered.
My heart was pounding.
But I remember thinking, “Even if I totally embarrass myself, nobody will ever see this video anyway.”
But God had other plans.
Really crazy BIG plans…
I remember feeling completely free while presenting my speech. Even as I rounded the last minute and noticed my youngest watching me in his underwear in the hallway (off camera), God allowed my focus to remain constant (but you can guess what happened right after I went off camera!).
I won first place in my club that evening which honestly caught me completely off-guard. Then I was told that upon my approval, my recorded video from that live contest could be submitted into the worldwide International video contest.
Some may call me impulsive.
My thought process was quite simple actually. I thought. “Who in their right mind would vote for a mom, presenting a speech in front of a wrecked kitchen, verbalizing an under-prepared speech while failing to keep her kids in bed?” I honestly thought it was done at this level and just moved on about my week.
I received the occasional fun update emails from Toastmasters World Headquarters sharing with all of the video contestants the progress being made. I knew they had many entries from literally all over the world. I smiled as I pictured professional men and women gathered in a boardroom watching these videos back to back. Other entries would have this professional background with proper lighting and sound. Those watching around the table would nod in approval. Then they would begin my video and laughter would erupt. I was expecting the traditional, “Thank you so much for your entry but you did not place at all. Please work on your lighting, sounds and get your kids to bed on time.”
Just hours after returning home from Ukraine, I received the email that changed everything.
Dear Toastmaster Boring,
We are pleased to inform you that your entry, “Hold My Right Hand” is our 2018 Toastmasters International First Place Winner…”
I emailed back, honestly, just to make sure they had the right video.
And even more frightening – I was not allowed to share the news with anyone until after the announcement was made in August. (That was HARD!).
I was in complete shock and horror that my original video would be broadcasted at the 2018 Toastmasters International Convention. But as my luck would have it, they decided to save time and forgo broadcasting the winning video. Thank goodness!
I knew it would be impossible for me to attend the convention, so I waited to see if the announcement would be made. After all, they had weeks to change their mind!
The announcement was made on Saturday, August 25th right before the end of the Toastmasters International Convention.
And of course, with the announcement came requests to share the video.
Ahem…many…MANY requests to share the video!
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
I’ve always had a deep passion to speak in ways to inspire and encourage others. I never imagined God would take me on a journey quite like this, inviting strangers right into my dining room. But more than this, God has been showing me that He just wants me – the imperfect, spontaneous, real and vulnerable me. That’s where I want to land at the end of the day (even if my kids are watching in the hallway…in their underwear…way after their bedtime…again!).
Welcome to my journey friends. Thank you for the encouragement, the excitement and walking alongside as we walk this road together. With God we can always expect the unexpected!
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!
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