Opportunity for Gratefulness

Yesterday was a day I dreaded for weeks. Probably more like since Change Champions began. Graduation day in the course means a final presentation which translates to a small speech detailing the takeaways we had from the course, or as my good friend told – it’s an opportunity to share.

That same friend told me about a little bean bag sort of thing she has that has 1 Peter 5:7 written on it. She said she could just hold onto it and throw it when ready to let go of the anxieties or worries – the burdens that you must let God take. I was like wow, I need something like that to throw. Consequently, she brought out that sack with the scripture written on it and let me use it for such an occasion as this.

Before bed the night before my speech, when my nerves were perhaps at an all time high, I realized I needed to really pray and relinquish the hold I had on these anxieties that were floating around in my body. I prayed and threw the sack into my reading chair. Now leave the burden there, don’t touch it. I then got into bed – the pillows being thrown on top of the sack in the chair.

The next morning, I woke up before my first alarm (because I have 6…). I HATE WHEN I WAKE UP BEFORE MY ALARM. Like why? Why can’t I get that extra 10 minutes in??? Anyway… woke up before my alarm, which is fine. God knew I had things to do to finish preparing myself for my speech. If it had been the other days this week, I probably would have overslept by my standards, rushing myself to get ready for work and the speech that was in two more hours.

I made myself some last minute note cards and went through all the things I knew I wanted to touch on. Then I went through some quiz items about things we’d gone over in the class because I figured we would talk about some of those things.

Even leaving those anxieties in the corner, I still felt some of the nerves and anticipation, but I was fully ready for what was to come. I wouldn’t be the only one nervous and I wouldn’t be the only one presenting like this in front of over 30 people. I had practiced and talked through my points so many times. I was as ready as I was going to be.

As the other students began giving speeches, I gained more confidence. Some of them I could tell were nervous, so I didn’t feel alone and I was like well, if they can, I can because I’ve practiced so much!

It came to be my turn and once I started talking, it just all flowed out. I hit my timer and let it run. I ended up speaking long enough this go round (previous speech in our normal class I had given only last barely 4 minutes and our allotted time was 5-7 minutes).

I was given great remarks like “You talked in a naturalness and as if you were talking to a group of friends it was really nice to hear.” I don’t normally get great speech reviews, but I felt like that speech was my best speech or at least talking moment.

I felt, and still feel, so good after that speech. Not just that it’s over, but that I gave it my all. I’m soooo thrilled with how much I’ve learned and the inspiration I gained to keep on growing and learning to help develop those around me in the process.

This whole process brought about a sense of gratitude just about everything.

I’m grateful, even if I was reluctant, to have this opportunity. This opportunity isn’t one that I would have signed up for on my own. It’s not a class that, not to say I wasn’t interested in, but really just one that made me uncomfortable. It’s a class that really forces you to speak, contribute and get out of the area of comfortability. For that, I would push this off further and further.

That being said, my manager really encouraged me two times in the time I’ve been at the company to take this internally led course. Okay, I said finally, and I signed up for one of the first classes to be held virtually, shortly after she mentioned it. I’m grateful for her encouragement and for her seeing potential in me.

I’m grateful that God gives me the courage and strength to brave something so uncomfortable for me like speaking. He is always showing up for me when I would much rather run away and not go through with things. He continually reminds me that the best way to grow is to just get through them, not go around them. Always beside me, He lifts me up.

Gratefulness also overcame me once that speech was done. So much relief was the result of that and I could feel all the pressure of it escape me. I’m a mess! Haha

Thank you for reading!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 9:1

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