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Why Bother Exposing Ourselves?

There is nothing quite like standing in front of an audience to speak. All eyes on you. You are the center of attention. There are expectations to meet. You have to deliver something worth the while of those who’ve come to listen. 

  Standing in Our Truth

Last Sunday, I was invited to speak at a church in a nearby community. I’d been asked to talk specifically about my journey to forgiveness. Part of that journey included relating a particular scenario in my life when one chilly November night I found myself sitting alone on the shoreline of the lake where I lived at the time. Feelings of hopelessness caused me to consider ending my life just as my Dad  had. But I didn’t because I heard an audible voice behind me that said, “You could choose life.” Looking around for the person who’d spoken those words, I saw no one. 

Whether in writing or in speaking, I always feel a certain amount of trepidation when sharing this scene. Will people think I am a nut, cuckoo, or crazy? I heard a voice? Like Moses in the wilderness?

It is always risky to share our personal experiences with others, but at the same time, those events are an important thread in the fabric of our story. Though some may misconstrue our words, misunderstand them or brush them off as unimportant, they remain a part of who we are.

Twenty years or so ago, I sent this part of my story off to a magazine. I was thrilled that they accepted it. I agreed to their terms which allowed them to edit it. Later, when I read my piece in their magazine, I felt a certain amount of let down. They’d written it as if I’d never heard the voice that said I could choose life.  

After that, I decided not to compromise my story just so I could see it in print, be accepted by someone else or to not make others or myself feel uncomfortable. 

Consequently, when I stood in front of the audience last Sunday, I did not modify, mince or hold back this part of my narrative. I told it like it happened. I heard an audible voice. 

Afterward, during the question and answer portion, one of the gentlemen in the audience asked me, “Was the voice you heard really audible?”

Here was another opportunity. Would I stand in my truth or would I waiver? I stood firm and said, “Yes, it truly was audible, otherwise I would not have looked around trying to find the person who’d spoken.” 

Then I heard an older woman in the audience say, “It was her experience.”

Bless her for validating me. Yes, it was my experience and I pray this man may too hear a voice calling him to choose life.

Why bother exposing ourselves? Others might think we are a little nutty, cuckoo, or crazy when we stand unabashed in our truth. But, no matter what others might think, it is up to us to stand in our truth.

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens