This is me.
Doing something hard.
Terribly out of my comfort zone.
But can we all just take a moment to look how good my eye makeup was that night and my awesome earrings? (Thanks Michelle & Molly!)
This is Chocolate & Chuckles 2014. It's a yearly women's event at our church that draws hundreds of women for a night of friends, laughs and copious amounts of chocolate.
So when my friend Tammy mentioned that I should speak at it, I promptly told her I would pray about it. Which is actually my code for "No".
I went home and promptly tried to forget about it.
That didn't work.
I couldn't sleep. For several nights. I love to sleep. I'm really good at it.
So, I gave in and prayed about it.
At first I was good with this decision. I thought "No problem. You have a big mouth and funny stories. It'll be all good".
But as I got closer to the date, I had the overwhelming conviction to be honest. To be open. And to share all of my story - even the ugly parts.
I typed up what I wanted to say, emailing it to two friends to review. And then I threw up.
I was fairly certain at this point that things might not be ok.
But here's the thing. With loads of prayer and with the prayers and support of my husband and good friends, I stood on the stage and bared my soul. I told funny stories about growing up and my kids, I cried while talking about the loss of our daughter Grace, and I was honest for the first time about the bad choices I had made in my past. But more importantly, I was able to share with women, both young and old, saved and still searching, that there is a heavenly Father who loves them. And who has big buckets full of grace for them. And that the blood of Christ can cleanse us from our sins.
I honestly can't tell you how many ladies - and young girls - who have approached me since this event last October. Some just wanted to share their story, some thanking me for sharing mine, some who felt that they too could maybe finally realize that their past is just that - the past. And if God has forgiven them, then maybe they can finally forgive themselves.
It's good to do hard things.