be you bravelyA college professor once told me public speaking was not my forte and I took it to heart, attempting to avoid speaking in public whenever I can.  Funny enough then that, upon Jamie asking if anyone would be willing to share a brave story at the last MOPS of the year, a talent-sharing meeting, I decide to respond to her facebook message. With writing being one of my talents, I thought perhaps I could compose a little something and read it but by the end of the long and nap-less day, I hadn’t written anything and I was exhausted. I resigned myself to giving up and crawled to bed. Only then did the thoughts and feelings suddenly clash together and flood my head to the point I could not sleep.

In the dark, with a snoozing baby in his bassinet next to me, I pulled out my tablet to write them down:

My story of bravery began months ago, at the beginning of the new MOPS year when I almost didn’t return to MOPS. I felt as though I didn’t belong; too different from other moms. I’m nerdy, shy, and socially awkward, just to name a few things. I let the adversary in and tell me all about my self-worth, listening to that negative voice inside my head all the way up until the day before MOPS was to begin again. But even introverts crave some social interaction and I realized if I didn’t return, I had nothing to replace the empty space MOPS had fulfilled in past years.

monet s postmodernWhat would be the fun in things if we were all so alike? Our different personalities, quirks, and talents make up who we are and, like a painting, our different colors blend and bloom about upon a canvas together to make a beautiful scene. Who wants a canvas of contemporary postmodern art, with just one color slathered on it? (Maybe the Metropolitan Art museum for half a million but that is not the point.)

And so I decided, shoving out the negativity of Satan and replacing it with a trust in the Lord, to come. I felt accepted and loved more than I had ever fully realized. I started the year trembling and afraid, with emotional wounds I feared might never heal, and ended soaring high on the wings of being bravely me.

Sitting down in my seat after speaking to the large group of ladies, I could sense I could not have completely done such a feat all on my own. The words that came to me, both written late at night and what I spoke, were inspired by the help of a more divine power than just little ol’ quiet me.