Sunday, July 21, 2013

NC 2013 {Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone}

"Hey, y'all! My name is Giann Hoosier and I'm from Birmingham, Alabama...."

Those were the first words I nervously stuttered on stage at TeenPact National Convention 2013.

I remember a couple of weeks before I was just a small town girl who didn't like to speak to more than a few friends.

Despite my years of teaching kids, I strongly disliked speaking to anyone over the age of 12. You can stick me in front of 400 kids ranging in ages from 0-12 and I can talk without ANY hesitation.

But, when you ask me to speak on stage to my age group and beyond, I am a deer in the headlights.

I would rather memorize 13 minutes worth of piano music and perform for the President of Russia before I will utter a single word on stage.

So, no, public speaking is not my forte.

After TeenPact contacted me to write a five minute testimony about the alumni event, Endeavor, I quickly responded not knowing I would be speaking to 750+ people on stage three weeks later.

A week before the event, I received an email with a schedule of all the students who would be giving a testimony.

My name was first on the list.

That is when I nervously began to prepare for my upcoming speech.

Y'all, I practiced my testimony religiously.

I felt like a Catholic kid at school on quiz day {I should know because I grew up with Catholic neighbors and relatives.}

Anyway, as the day of my five minutes of fame approached, I began to think of the worst possible thing that could happen to me while I was speaking on stage.

I still had that mindset when I walked up on that platform.

My hands began to shake and my arms began to tingle.

{Yes, whenever I'm super stressed or nervous, my arms fall asleep. Strange, I know.}

As I finished my first sentence, suddenly, an overwhelming sense of peace overcame me.

{To all who prayed, you're prayers worked!}

By the end of my time on stage, I didn't want to leave.

When I did take those steps that led me down off the platform, I didn't know what was to come.

I left that stage not knowing that I would inspire other girls to attend.
I left that stage not knowing that I would form new friendships.
I left that stage not knowing that I would have many conversations with many people about how the LORD is working in their lives.

But, I did leave that stage with a fresh understanding of what it means to rely on the Holy Spirit.

You truly come to understand the Grace and Strength of the One who called you out of your comfort zone, when you take a step of faith.

Essentially, I learned that when you step out of your comfort zone, you find God.

Honestly, this was one of the highlights of my 18th year.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought about speaking to that many people sharing what the LORD had taught me while simultaneously growing more in Christ.

I'm forever grateful for the opportunity TeenPact gave to me.

* * * * *

So, how did you step out of your comfort zone this past year? What did you learn?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

3 Truths I Learned at 18

I turn 19 today.

Honestly, it's scarier than when I turned 18 last year.


Today, I thought I would share with y'all what I learned about God and His character during my 18th year of life.

I learned (and maybe re-learned) three traits about Him.

#1: God is Sovereign.

If you don't know my birth story, I briefly touched on it in this post. Suffice to say, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the Grace of God. I've seen the LORD's sovereignty in my life from the time I was born until now.

I am thankful the LORD led me to many different events and allowed me to meet some amazing people this past year. His Sovereign hand orchestrated each and very detail about my life this past year and for that, I am ever so grateful.

#2: God is Unchangeable.

No matter what comes my way, He is unchanging. He is right there walking through the valleys, climbing the mountains, and standing on the peaks with me.

#3: God is the Ultimate Healer. {The biggest thing I've learned this past year.}

I've been so sick this past year. I had strep throat for two weeks, the stomach bug for three days, allergies on and off, acid reflux (which was and still is painful), the flu for two and a half weeks, more allergies, migraines on a regular basis and the list could go on.

While being sick, I learned to take advantage of the opportunity to fully focus on Christ. In the past, whenever I would lose my voice, I would joke that the LORD wanted me to shut up.

And I think that's the truth.

He really just wanted me to listen to Him. This year, I think He allowed the sickness so, I would learn to trust in His strength and experience His grace.

Did I mention I had strep throat at TeenPact Congress or the flu at Passion 2013?

While Congress was incredible, it was also incredibly hard to get through. The first night I had a major meltdown. I had spent all day traveling and then socializing with so many people that caused me to become mentally and emotionally exhausted.

It was bad.

Throughout the rest of the week, I learned to rely on Christ to get me through each day. By His grace and through His power, I was able to enjoy and survive the week. Plus, it was TeenPact Leg on steroids. Who doesn't love that?!

The night before Passion 2013, I didn't feel good. {And it wasn't because LSU lost to Clemson over a stupid field goal. We can talk about that later. ;) }

I was having major anxiety about being around 60,000 people while having the early symptoms of the flu. {Okay, maybe I was a little upset about the game but, you get the picture.}

I barely survived those four brutal days. You can click here to see what I learned at Passion. And I encourage you to listen/watch Francis Chan's talk. So good.

On the spiritual aspect, I watched one of my dearest friends walk through the depths of depression. It was really hard to see someone I love so much walk through such pain. I learned that God will heal my friend in His time. I just need to trust in Him and not in myself. I don't need to help Him when it comes to this task. I've learned to just be a friend; to not offer advice, just to be present. Slowly but surely, she is climbing out of the valley up the mountain.

So, that's what I learned this year.

God is Sovereign, Unchanging, and the Ultimate Healer.

Here's to year 19! :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

25 Random Facts About Me {Vlog}

So, remember when I posted this oh so many months ago?!

Well, I finally made a video!

*insert crowd cheering*

I hope y'all enjoy it and I hope it makes your Monday even better! :)


Click through to YouTube to see my comments about the video in the description box!

Monday, July 1, 2013

In My Own Little Mind, In a Vast World

I'm gonna live a crazy dream
Impossible as it may seem
Doesn't matter what the future brings
I'm gonna live a crazy dream 

 You tell me, don't try it
I'm warning you that I won't buy it
All failure is fleeting
I trust it always has its meaning 

I wanna hold the whole wide world
Right here in my open hands
Maybe I'm just a little girl
A little girl with great big plans 

When you reach for the stars
Don't forget who you are
Every grain becomes a memory of the past
Oh, life's an hourglass
Life's an hourglass 

{source: one, two. }