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!


Sean Miller said...

"when you step out of your comfort zone, you find God." Whoa. That's good & deep stuff right there Giann. Very similar feelings right before my CEF presentation at the Tim Hawkins concert a couple years back. Thankful for God's grace, that feeling of peace once the first couple of words leave your mouth you know comes straight from God and not your own frazzled self.

Becca said...