Last night I attended my first big fundraiser event for the charity I love, Dress for Success Austin. I had BIG PLANS for this! See, Coffee @ Tiffani’s sponsored a seat! My new little company was a sponsor and I had my name in the program and everything. I had big dreams of walking in and talking to everyone, and telling strangers about my business, and how we’re selling products to raise money for the charity. Maybe even going on stage! This was going to be HUGE for my new business.
Now, I’ve never done anything like this before. I had no idea what to expect! And to make it even more terrifying, I was going ALONE. My nerves started screaming at me Thursday morning, and I started thinking of excuses not to go. Maybe I was sick? Or maybe my kids were sick? Or maybe since it was raining it wouldn’t be safe to drive. But no, we were all healthy and the rain cleared and the sun came out. So I put on my black dress, drove 45 mins into town, and prayed the whole way there for strength.
Ya’ll when I walked into this event, by myself, I about DIED. I was way out of my league!! I’ve never felt so small, insignificant, scared, and alone in my life. The room was small, but packed full of beautiful people all dressed up, all talking to each other. Everyone knew each other! My knees instantly started trembling. I felt like I would never be able to use my voice because I was so shaky.
I wondered around through the crowded room getting stuck behind people and not even being able to say, “excuse me!” I managed to get a plate of food, ate it in the corner by myself, and thought really hard about running out of that event so fast that no one would ever see me again!
Finally, by the grace of God, some sweet girls told me they liked my dress and started talking to me. I have no idea what I said to them, but I’m pretty sure I told them about Coffee @ Tiffani’s because they followed me on Instagram, so I guess I was speaking English. They even offered to pose for a picture with me so I wouldn’t have to stand by myself. Ya’ll!! Seriously!!
The program finally started, which was way better because I could sit by myself in a small theater and not feel so freaking awkward.
The highlight of the evening was listening to the Client Ambassador, Blanca, tell her story about how Dress for Success Austin changed her life. She was in an accident five years ago that caused her to lose her speech. She was told she would never speak again. But never the less, she persisted. She was able to make a full recovery, get a job with the help from Dress for Success, and even become a Client Ambassador. She took the stage last night, and was able to SPEAK in front of that whole room of people that terrified me. She was vulnerable. She told her story from her heart, and stood so proud it brought tears to everyone in the room.
I left the event, and sat in my minivan for at least twenty minutes processing what I had been through. I felt proud of myself for taking the risk and going to this event. I felt proud that even though Coffee @ Tiffani’s was listed on the last page of the program in tiny letters, at least it was there in the first place. I felt humble acknowledging my place in my journey, that yes, I am small right now. I felt motivated to one day get to where I want to go – on the front page of that program, and on that stage representing Coffee @ Tiffani’s. And I felt scared – terrified – that maybe I don’t have what it takes to make those dreams come true. If I can’t even walk into that event and talk to people, how would I ever accomplish my dreams. Maybe I’m just not strong enough.
Finally, I started my mini van and what happened next is the whole reason I wrote this story in the first place. See while I was praying the whole drive to the event I had it on my favorite Christian music station. Well, when I started my van, the song that was playing was Strong Enough by Matthew West. Maybe you’ve heard it. The lyrics say, “I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be, I give up, I’m not strong enough….I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, and I don’t have to be strong enough.” Ya’ll, after feeling goose bumps all over my body, I cried in my mini van.
You see, I don’t have to be strong enough right now and I’ll never be strong enough on my own. I can only do these hard things through Christ who gives me strength. And I know that as I go along on my journey, growing, and getting stronger, He will be with me the whole way. Just as He gave Blanca strength to get on that stage last night and speak, after she lost her voice, He will give me strength to reach my dreams of helping hundreds of women change their lives.
So next time you think to yourself, I’m not strong enough for this, or I want to achieve this goal but I’m terrified…remember this, You don’t have to be strong enough on your own and you never will be. Remember you have Christ to strengthen you. Count on Him. Believe in yourself. Do it scared. Do it small. But just go for it. We CAN do this! I’m with you. And so is HE.